The Denver Pioneers drop the puck on their 2011-12 campaign on Sat., Oct. 1 with an exhibition game against McGill University at Magness Arena. The No. 4 team in the nation will be without sophomore goalie Sam Brittain, who had offseason knee surgery, for most of the season. The Pios will need to look for junior Adam Murray or freshman Juho Olkinuora of Helsinki, Finland, to fill in the void. Murray played in 11 games (nine starts) during the 2010-11 season and went 6-3 with a 3.46 GAA.
But experienced junior forward Drew Shore will captain this team to what should be a fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Hockey Tournament. Senior Dustin Jackson will serve as co-captain. Shore led the team in points with 46 last season and was tied for the lead in goals (23) with Jason Zucker.
David Makowski, a sophomore this year, will look to improve on his six-goal, 24-assist freshman season, but he'll be hard-pressed to come up with something better than a 180-foot goal.
The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. MT as the first of two exhibition games before the Pioneers start the season on the road against Boston College and Boston University.