Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Yes, indeed Miscellanea is a word!

So the trade deadline has come and gone (yesterday to be exact). Of note: the Avs signed Peter Forsberg; they received Adam Foote for a conditional first-round draft pick in 2008 or 2009 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2009; and finally, traded Karlis Skrastins for Ruslan Salei of the Florida Panthers.

Admittedly, I'm not overly excited about any of these acquisitions. Peter Forsberg *could* (and that's a pretty big could) be a great asset to the Avalanche in the stretch run to the playoffs. However, $5 million for a *could* is a pretty big risk to take. I sincerely hope that in June I have to eat my words and bow down to the greatness of Forsberg, but I fear it's all just a publicity stunt to get butts in the seats at the Pepsi Center.

I think Foote is a great addition, but at 36 I think it's safe to say Foote may be past his prime and just looking to end his career with the franchise that started it all (same goes for Forsberg if his injury problems continue).

As for Salei, I'm not familiar with him at all. He looks to be a "defensive defenseman," which, lord knows, the Avalanche are in sore need of.

CC is doing disgustingly well, even though they finally lost at home to St. Cloud State earlier this month. I've heard talk of Bachman for Hobey. While he's certainly got the credentials on the ice, I think Kevin Porter from Michigan is a shoe-in for the win, followed closely by Nate Gerbe of BC. I think the sleeper candidate is Chad Rau from CC. He's quietly having a career year with 22 goals and 12 assists for 34 points, with only 3 penalties for 6 minutes!

There's a new site for Pioneer fans that is (quite conveniently) called They have a great idea and it seems to be going well so far, so check it out!

Swept/Sweep same diff...

February 15th and 16th, the Pioneers visited the Taj MaHockey (aka Ralph Englestad Arena). All I can say is what an embarrassment. There is really no good that came from that weekend of hockey. On Friday, the Pioneers were up 4-1 on the Sioux and blew that lead to lose 5-4. What happened, you may be wondering, the answer to which is the Pioneers just stopped playing. They grew too comfortable with their lead and started making mistakes. Absolutely embarrassing...

Saturday wasn't much better as the Sioux completed the sweep and kicked the Pioneers' collective (and individual) ass. It all started at the 6:38 mark of the second period when JP Testwuide and Kyle Radke literally dropped the gloves for a small skirmish. This was definitely not a full fledged fight, but in my opinion, both players should have been assessed game disqualifications for fighting rather than the 2 minutes for roughing they received (In case you're curious that mistake was rectified by the WCHA after the game). From there, all hell broke loose. I'll let you watch it rather than trying to explain it all...

It's been reported that the fight broke out when Joe Finley knocked into Rhett Rakhshani while the players were exiting the ice, this caused Peter Mannino to hit Finley. Long story short, both teams look ridiculous. The Pioneers were ganging up on the few Sioux players still on the ice, while Vossberg claims he didn't want to get suspended for fighting so he let Radke beat the $hit out of him...

Last weekend, the Pioneers (minus Testwuide and Vossberg on Friday due to Game DQs) swept (Friday 4-2, Saturday 3-1) the Seawolves of Alaska-Anchorage. No offense to UAA and its fine fans, but I just couldn't get excited about this series. I ended up skipping the Friday night game in favor of Happy Hour and was bored out of my mind on Saturday. I'm glad the Seawolves put up a fight (kinda) and I'm grateful that Denver was able to get 4 valuable league points.

The Pioneers traveled to Houghton, MI today to face the Huskies of Michigan Tech. Last year the Pioneers fared less than well against an always difficult Husky team. I hope they can pull out another sweep to keep themselves in 3rd place in the WCHA.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ease on down the road...

According to a press release from, Redshirt Sophomore Brock Trotter has signed a professional contract with the Montreal Canadiens. He was then assigned to the team's AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs. While he has been added to Hamilton's roster, he has yet to play a game. Best wishes to Trotter in his future hockey career.

This weekend, the much hated (and struggling) Golden Gophers of Minnesota visited Magness Arena. On Friday night, the Pioneers had a much better effort than in recent games and were able to end the evening with a 1-1 tie. Freshman phenom Tyler Bozak scored the lone goal for the Pioneers on a beautiful short-handed play.

Saturday night saw the Pioneers trounce the Gophers in a hard fought 4-1 win. The Pioneers got goals from 4 different players (Glasser, Bozak, Rakhshani, and Gifford).

Tyler Bozak has definitely solved the Gophers this year as he has 8 points (6 goals, three of which were shorthanded, and 2 assists) in the 4 games he's played against the Gophers.

Up next for the Pioneers is a visit to Ralph Englestad Arena. The Fighting Sioux stand just 2 points ahead of the Pioneers in the WCHA, with DU having 2 games in hand. This weekend will be a great test for DU that will show whether this young team has the mental and physical fortitude to make a splash come March and April.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What the French, Toast?!?

I had hoped that by the time I was able to sit down and write a post there would be some good news. However, the hockey scene in Denver is as bleak as the weather's been as of late.

University of Denver

The Pioneers hosted the Badgers in the second weekend of January. I was unable to attend the Friday Night due to a prior work engagement, but I did DVR it so to watch it later. The Badgers battled back from a 3-0 deficit to seemly tie the game in the final 4 seconds of the game. However Referee Randy Schmidt ruled that it was a no goal. Turns out rather than looking at the entire replay (which showed the puck entering and exiting the net before the end of the period), he saw only a screen shot at the 0:00 mark of the 3rd period, granting the Pioneers a 3-2 win over the Badgers. Amid the outcry of fans and Mike Eaves, the WCHA issued an apology admitting that Schmidt made an error and the goal should have counted, however they are unable, due to NCAA rules, to change the outcome of the game. You may remember that Randy Schmidt is the same ref that allowed Jesse Martin's controversial goal in the favor of the Pioneers when they visited St. Cloud State. Much to the chagrin of all parties involved, Schmidt was allowed to officiate the Saturday night game of the series. In my opinion, this was a HUGE mistake by the league as, from my view, Schmidt spent the entire evening trying to make up for mistake the previous night, including allowing a Badger goal that changed the flow of the game, leading the Badgers to a 7-2 win over the Pioneers. After allowing 5 goals, Senior Goaltender Peter Mannino was replaced by Freshman Marc Cheverie.

The following weekend saw the Pioneers play at Air Force and host Bemidji State. As is to be expected, the Air Force Falcons worked hard the entire 60 minutes of the game, to a well deserved 5-2 win over the Pioneers. Once again, the Pioneer defense left goalie Peter Mannino out to dry, and he was pulled in favor of Marc Cheverie after allowing 4 goals. The Pioneers hosted the Bemidji State Beavers the next night. Marc Cheverie's play earned him the starting job for the Saturday night tilt. Four different Pioneers scored in the 4-2 win over the Beavers, included Matt Glasser who scored his first goal in his collegiate career.

After a long bye-week, the Pioneers traveled to Mankato, Minnesota for its first WCHA road series of the New Year. If you're any kind of DU fan, you'll remember the 8-7 loss to the Mavericks in the 2003-2004 season. It seems that DU can never play "their" game when visiting Mankato and this trip was no different. The Mavericks pounded the Pioneers in a 5-1 loss for DU. For the third consecutive game, Peter Mannino allowed 4 or more goals. The one bright spot was perhaps that Rhett Rakhshani scored in his second consecutive game and seems to be coming out of his WJC haze. The next night the Pioneers lost by a hair in a 3-2 loss as the Mavericks completed the sweep. It's a bit ironic that the same team DU swept at home for its first WCHA home sweep in a year and half, ended up sweeping them when they visited...

The biggest (and most likely most tragic, but nothing appears to be certain yet) news of late is that Brock Trotter did not make the trip to Mankato with the team. When it was first reported (see:Crucial Stretch starts with Trotter Missing), it appeared (at least in my reading of this quote: "I can't tell a lot about why he is not with us," Gwozdecky said. "All I can say is that each guy on our team has a private life and at this point in time, we have to respect his privacy. This was an internal decision to not have him on the trip.") that there was some sort of personal issue that Trotter was dealing with. However as days have passed and news has been deferred repeatedly (see: the mention of TrotterWatch in the USCHO Fan Forum All Things DU XVIII Thread), speculation has run rampant through the hockey community. Chris at the Western College Hockey blog has a great summary of the events of the last day or so. Check it out: Where in the World is Brock Trotter?

While I have several theories, I'm not going to commit them to writing as there is every chance that this is an extremely personal situation for Trotter and there's no reason to besmirch him based on rumor and innuendo. I can only say that I sincerely hope that when all the smoke has cleared the integrity of both player and program remain intact.

That's really all I have the energy for now...