This weekend the Denver Pioneers (11-5-2) are headed out on a 3000 mile trek to Alaska, where they will match-up against the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (5-9-2). It will be a home coming for a couple Pios as Adam Murray and William Wrenn both hail from Anchorage. Denver is 41-15-7 all-time versus the Seawolves. The Pios went 2-1-1 against the Seawolves last season, including a win (2-1) and loss (7-3) last season in Anchorage. Denver is 11-1-2 in its last 14 games against the Seawolves at Sullivan Arena. While the Pioneers are only 3-3-1 on the road this season but they have played at Duluth and North Dakota, two top five teams
The Seawolves are lead by Tommy Grant (Sr), Matt Bailey (Fr) and Jordan Kwas (Fr). All three have double digit points. UAAfan has a fan's perspective preview of the 2010-2011 season of the Seawolves. Along with some pretty strong opinions about the Pios this season.
The Pios have been led lately by Drew Shore and his six-game point streak along with Anthony Maiani who has 11 points (5g, 6a) during his seven-game point streak.The Pios have also been buoyed by their special teams play. DU is 14-for-78 (17.9%) on the power play and 77-for-91 (84.6%) on the penalty kill this season. The Pioneers are sizzling 12-for-43 (27.9%) on the power play during the past ten games after starting a horrid 2-for-35 (5.7%).
More accolades for the Pioneers as Jason Zucker wins another WCHA rookie of the week award. While Drew Shore keeps racking up the awards, his latest is the National College Hockey Player of the Month. To top things off for the pair they both made the National Junior Team preliminary roster. A big congratulations to both Denver stars.
One new injury to report, Beau Bennett suffered a right knee sprain against Minnesota Duluth last weekend and won't be available for the UAA series.
Some sad news from Pioneer nation this week as Murray Armstrong has died at the age of 94. The DU website and Denver Post have some memories to share about the Pioneer legend. Coach Armstrong, the Chief as he was often called, was the head coach for the Pioneers from 1956 until 1977, amassing one of the most impressive records in college hockey history, winning five NCAA championships and runners-up four times. Armstrong was inducted into the DU Athletic Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 1996 and into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. When asked current DU head coach George Gwozdecky said "I am extremely saddened to learn of the passing of coach Murray Armstrong," "The game of hockey and the University of Denver has lost one of its great men. Coach Armstrong was the legendary architect of this great DU Pioneer hockey program."