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No. 2 Denver Pioneers Battle For Gold Pan Trophy

When we last talked about this rivalry Denver was ranked No. 13 and Colorado College was off to a (3-4-1) start. Much has changed since that early November matchup. DU is now ranked No. 2 while CC just made it into the polls at No. 20. CC went 8-3-0 after the series with Denver, but has fallen off lately losing four of their last seven. With two of those wins coming against Alabama-Huntsville, not exactly a powerhouse. Since the last series, the Pios have won 12 with three ties and only one loss. A streak some say inspired by the 9-2 loss at the World Arena.

CC has had some injury issues including star freshman Jaden Schwartz, who has been out for 11 games. Denver is getting healthy with Sophomore forward Chris Knowlton (ankle) the only Pio on the injury report for this weekend. The Pioneers finally regained possession of the Gold Pan Trophy last season, after three years in Colorado Springs and they do not want to let it go. For CC to win the Gold Pan, they must win and tie/sweep this weekend. If they split again, the Pan will remain in Denver.

For a Tiger perspective see David Ramsey's article at the Colorado Springs Gazette. I really enjoyed the "Evil Empire of the North" comment. The article notes and I agree with the possibility the 9-2 loss by Denver, last time in the Springs, could've been a turning point for the young Pios. DU coach George Gwozdecky agrees saying "It was important for them to go through that".

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post takes a look at this weekends matchup with the sting of the 9-2 loss still fresh on players minds. He also notes Adam Murray will start in goal on Friday while Brittain will go Saturday.

In other notes:
Kyle Ostrow (48-49=97) needs just three points to join the DU 100-point club.
For CC notes versus Denver see link
For Denver versus CC notes see link
Denver Pioneer Nick Shore shows up on Kevin Allen, of USA Today, list of top draft picks.

This is a very important weekend for the young Pioneers with the first of many of their goals within reach, the coveted Gold Pan Trophy.