Denver is preparing the best it can for this weekends Frozen Five Tournament. Friday's semi-final with be the No. 2-seeded Pios versus No. 6 Bemidji State (14-17-5) who beat No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth (22-9-6) in Thursday's quarterfinal. Denver won both games versus Bemidji State this season. The other side of the bracket will be No. 1 North Dakota (28-8-3) playing the winner of the No. 5 Alaska-Anchorage (16-17-3) and No. 4 Colorado College (21-17-3). Denver, who has more WCHA playoff championships (15) than any other is making their fourth straight Frozen Five appearance
With the Broadmoor Trophy up for grabs DU has brought back some big guns to help them focus.
To get his team focused on the task ahead, Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky is going to have former stars Mark Rycroft, Gabe Gauthier and Paul Stastny talk to the team today after practice.
"They're going to talk about their experiences at this time of the year, tournament time, and hopefully expound some of their wisdom on how they prepared in order to help our guys accomplish our goals," Gwozdecky said.
Adrian Dater writes about how it appears, in prior seasons, the Pios had been less focused on the playoffs at hand and more on their future as NHLers. Coach Gwozdecky has his own opinions: he believes it's a yearly distraction that affects many teams. It's a part of the current culture of college hockey and teams need to deal with it. Gwozdecky also believes that injuries and recovery time are major factors instead of NHL futures for his players.
Drew Shore believes this year is different than last year's. Pro futures may have been a large concern around this time last year, but this set of players is different. They just want to win.
The Pios were a bit of a surprise this year but Coach Gwozdecky has a way of repeating the same type of surprises every year. This year is was Jason Zucker and Drew Shore
"I don't think that any of us on our staff expected Jason to come in and provide the type of offensive numbers that he put up," Gwozdecky said of Zucker.
As for Shore, "he came into this year and started out really, right from the very first game and has been a major part of our team and where we are at right now.
Let hope the young Pios and keep focused this weekend and bring home the Broadmoor Trophy.
D-rah! E-rah! N-rah! VER Boom.
Denver, our Denver,
We sing to thee,
Fairest of colleges,
Give her three times three,
Rah, rah, rah!
Long may we cherish
her Faithful and true.
University of Denver
For me and you.