The No. 13 ranked Denver Pioneers (3-3-2) and the Colorado College Tigers (3-4-1) will face off again with their traditional home and home series. The series starts Friday night at Magness Arena, with the second game coming Saturday night at the World Arena in Colorado Springs. In a series that dates back to 1949 with 275 games played, Denver owns a 154-107-14 advantage overall and an 89-47-8 record in Denver. They will be playing for state and conference bragging rights along with the prized Gold Pan Trophy. Awarding the Gold Pan Trophy, an actual old mining pan, started in 1993-94 and goes to the regular season series winner. The Pioneers finally regained possession of the Gold Pan Trophy last season, after three years in Colorado Springs.
"At a game at the Broadmoor Arena, one of our fans released a black swan on the ice. I'm not sure what it was supposed to signify exactly, but it was pretty funny. You know how college kids are. Always trying to do some crazy stunt." Owens added, "At another game, someone let about 100 live mice loose on the ice. It may have been closer to fifty, but it seemed like 100. The game was held up for about 20 minutes while everyone scurried around trying to catch them."
Colorado College gave up fourteen goals last weekend, including nine in one game to Minnesota. Before that the Tigers had been a very defensive minded team. "We need to get back to that formula," Tigers Head Coach Scott Owens said. The offense for Colorado College has been a brother act as Jaden and Rylan Schwartz have nine goals and seventeen points between them.
Meanwhile, Denver experienced a very emotional weekend in Grand Forks, ND. Splitting the series against the Fighting Sioux but losing Jesse Martin for the season with three fractures in his neck. Terry Martin, Jesse’s father spoke today, "The neurosurgeons from a number of sources are reviewing the material independently and are going to concur on a strategy (this) morning, and we should be confirmed for surgery thereafter."
WCHBlog put together a good editorial on the Brad Malone's hit of Jesse Martin.
It appears Malone will be suspended one game for his actions.
In what has become a reoccurring theme Sam Brittain was awarded for his performance last weekend as he received a WCHA honor, this time for defensive player of the week. Forwards, Drew Shore and Jason Zucker were also nominated for offensive player and rookie of the week, respectively.
As mentioned above Jesse Martin will be out for the season. Also on the injured list are Nick Shore (wrist/hand fracture), Dustin Jackson (mono), Paul Phillips (nasal surgery) and Adam Murray (groin).
With lots of questions heading into the weekend perhaps the biggest is, will the Pioneers have a let down after last weekend's emotional rollercoaster. Denver head coach George Gwozdecky speaks in his weekly press conference about Jesse and the team's frame of mind. The fact they are involved one of college hockey's most storied rivalries will help but it will be quite a challenge.