Saturday, January 05, 2008

Two Weeks in Colorado Hockey

University of Denver
After the Christmas break, the Denver Pioneers hosted the Wells Fargo Denver Cup at Magness Arena. Peter Mannino recorded his 13th career shutout (tying him with Gerry Powers for first place on DU’s career shutout list) in Friday's game to lead the Pioneers in a 5-0 victory over the Sacred Heart Pioneers. , allowing DU to advance to the Championship game. On Saturday they faced the Big Green from Dartmouth, winning by a score of 5-3 to capture the Wells Fargo Denver Cup. Tyler Bozak and Brock Trotter were once again honored by the WCHA, earning back-to-back honors, Bozak as the Rookie of the Week, Trotter as the Offensive Player of the Week.

The Pioneers will face the Wisconsin Badgers this weekend at Magness. The Badgers are coming off a weekend of being swept at home by the Colorado College Tigers. Having watched the Saturday night match, I think it's safe to say this will not be an easy weekend for the Pioneers. The Badgers played a very solid 50 minutes, but allowed the Tigers to capitalize on some Badger mistakes. Not to mention, the Badgers will benefit from the return of Kyle Turris, Blake Geoffrion and Jamie McBain, who were participating in the World Junior Championships last weekend. DU will also regain WJC Team USA participants Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger.

Colorado College
Our neighbors to the South have found themselves in a bit of trouble. Two players were recently suspended from school (one was suspended from playing) for varrying lengths (Cody Lampl, until January 2009; Derek Patrosso, until March 12, 2008; Chad Rau, one game) in an incident which CC's President, Richard Celeste, has declined to comment on. There's been some amazingly entertaining speculation going on regarding what exactly the players did to be suspended. Let's Go DU has offered a $50 bounty for the first person who correctly guesses what the players did to receive the suspensions. Trust me when I say that reading the comments section of that post is WELL WORTH IT.

On the ice, the Tigers have faired well. Beating RPI 3-2 in the opening round of the Lightning College Hockey Classic in Tampa, FL. However, in the Championship game on Sunday, the Tigers fell to UMass in overtime by a score of 5-4. Last weekend, the Tigers visited the Wisconsin Badgers. They earned two wins (2-0 on Friday, 3-1 on Saturday) in their first league play of the year. Chad Rau scored two shorthanded goals (one in each match), for a league leading total of 5 this year, 4 of which have come agains the Badgers...

Colorado Avalanche
The Avs received some terrible news when they heard Captain Joe Sakic is expected to miss 8-12 weeks after undergoing Hernia surgery. But the bad news didn't stop there, as the Avs will be missing Ryan Smyth for approximately 8 weeks due to a fractured ankle. In the last three weeks, the Avs have recalled Cody McLeod, David Jones (who was later reassigned), TJ Hensick, and Johnny Boychuk.

Through their last 9 games, the Avs are 4-3-2. Currently they are 8th in the Western Conference and 4th in the Northwest Division.

One bright spot in all this has been the play of Marek Svatos, who has finally stepped up his game and shown what he's truly capable of.