The two teams will face off for the second time this season. Last time out Denver took three points from Anchorage with 5-3 win and a 2-2 tie. The Seawolves have only played one series since their matchup with DU on Dec. 10 and 11th. They are coming off a sweep of Colorado College last weekend. While Denver took three points from Minnesota State last weekend. Denver (14-5-5, 10-3-3) is second in the WHCA while Alaska Anchorage (7-10-3, 6-8-2) is currently eighth.
Coach Gwozdecky took part in a live chat on Thursday. The transcript in its entirety can be seen here. Coach Gwozdecky talks about the improving play and attributes it to poise and resiliency. He also comments on Jesse Martin and the future of the WCHA.
Coach Gwozdecky continued his resiliency theme in a quote from a Theresa Spisak article at USCHO.com.
"This team has had many examples of that resiliency, whether it's coming from behind or dealing with the injuries that we’ve had, dealing with the loss of one of our captains and our senior center, dealing with so many changes from last year's team; turnover if you will, dealing with a very challenging, difficult early season schedule," said coach George Gwozdecky. "I think that all boils down to what the mental makeup is of this team. They're strong of character and they believe if they all work as one, good things are going to happen."
For proof of this resiliency look no further than the following: Denver is scoreless in the first period during the last four games, opponents have scored the first goal in the last five games and the Pios have come back to win or tie 10 games this season.
Collegehockeynews.com has a good write up on Anchorage and their recent play. The Seawolves head coach Dave Shyiak is quoted as saying, "It starts with our seniors and upperclassmen ... our leaders. A lot of your success is based on your upperclassmen and veterans who have been through the trials and tribulations of the game. They have led our young guys the right way."
Kyle Ostrow (46-47=93) needs only seven points to join the Pioneer's 100-point club.
Chris Knowlton (ankle) is the only Pioneer who is expected to miss the two-game series.
Jesse Martin was the featured speaker at TEDxDU Xpress: Overcoming Adversity event, held Jan. 20, 2011 in Ruffatto Hall at the Morgridge College of Education on the DU campus. See the DU website for the four-part video series. The total video is twenty-eight minutes long but completely worth the time. Listening to Jesse and his never-ending spirit is inspiring.