Denver University Pioneers Week in Review

By Christa Moore

This weekend, the state of Colorado was the center of attention in college hockey. The three top teams in the NCAA battled for WCHA points and rankings. Colorado College took on the mighty (#1) St Cloud State Huskies. After CC lost on Friday, they rebounded for a commanding 5-1 victory on Saturday. SCSU’s only two losses have come against the under .500 CC Tigers. However, the big battle was fought at Magnuss Arena as the (#2-t) Denver University Pioneers hosted the (#2-t) Minnesota Golden Gophers.

GAME ONE: Minnesota’s resume includes 6 draftees, 1 WJC invitee, 4 players ranked on the CSB preliminary rankings and one 2001 Hobby Baker finalist. With this impressive list, DU seemed to be a bit intimidated on Friday night. Both teams played a tight checking defensive game and neither team seemed to achieve good puck control thought out the evening. Both goaltenders made some incredible save and kept their respective teams in the game until the end. Minnesota’s goalie Adam Hauser was especially impressive, stopping 30 of 31 shots.

Minnesota was up 2-0 when the game finally opened up for a while during the second period with both teams exchanging break away attempts. DU’s Wade Dubielewicz made a spectacular save against Troy Riddle. Soon after that, Connor James also had a break away but could not convert. Also during this on slot, DU’s Jesse Cook blasted one that rang off the post. Finally in the 3rd period, Aaron MacKenzie’s shot from the blue line was redirected in by Luke Fulghum. DU pulled their goalie but could not tie it up.

Side Notes: This very physical battle included an injury to the high scoring freshman Jon Foster. Foster awkwardly slid into the boards in the third period after catching a grove on the ice. He has a sprained left knee and will be out 2 to 4 weeks. Foster was named Rookie of the Week (Nov 12-18). Greg Barber also re-injured his shoulder and did not play in Saturday’s game.

Connor James logged a ton of ice time and was the quarterback on the power play.
He often stayed out for almost the entire power play, which included puck retrieving duties.

Date: Dec 7,2001 DU Vs. Minnesota Score2-1 UM

Scoring for DU:
1st:none
2nd:none
3rd:Luke Fulghum (Aaron MacKenzie Max Bull)

Total Shots on Goal: DU 31 UM 23

Three Stars:
***Wade Dubielewicz (DU)
**Erik Wendell (UM)
*Adam Hauser (UM)

Game two: Saturday’s game was a much more up-tempo game with both teams getting more offensive opportunities. DU pummeled Hauser in the first period with 16 shots on goal. DU scored first with a rebound goal from Max Bull. UM quickly answered with a goal of their own. DU scored another goal in the first period as Kevin Doell tipped in a shot from Jesse Cook.

In the second period Aaron MacKenzie slapped one on net and the puck trickled past Hauser for a power play tally. After Adam Berkhoel made two great saves, UM finally stuffed one in on the third rebound to make the score 3-2.

DU’s 4th goal came in the 3rd period from Chris Paradise who batted the puck out of mid air and into the net. A potential momentum shifting goal came when UM chalked up a short handed goal early in the third. For seventeen minutes DU battled and weathered the storm to hold on to their 4-3 win.

Next up: DU travels to Minnesota for a series with Minn-Mankato. After the Christmas break they will host the annual Wells-Fargo Cup. Harvard, U-Mass-Lowell and Bowling- Green will all play in this tournament.

Date: Dec 8,2001 DU Vs. UM Score:4-3 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Max Bull (Luke Fulghum, Erik Adams)
Kevin Doell (Jesse Cook, Matt Weber)

2nd:Aaron MacKenzie PP (Luke Fulghum, Kevin Doell)

3rd:Chris Paradise (Kevin Ulanski, Connor James)

Total Shots on Goal: DU 30 MN 31

Three Stars:
***Matt Koalska (NM)
**Kevin Doell (DU)
*Adam Berkhoel (DU)

Weekend Goalie tandem Comparison:
Friday: Dubielewicz 23 shots 21 saves .913 %
Sat: Berkhoel 31 shots 28saves .903 %

Looking Back: DU Vs. Minn-Duluth

Game one: DU had a two fold mental challenge to face while playing Minnesota-Duluth.
First, they needed to rebound from a so-so showing at the New England Conference Classic tournament, which included their first loss of the season against New Hampshire. Second, they needed to make sure not to look past this series with a huge match up against the highly ranked Minnesota coming up at home. Minnesota’s loss and tie to St Cloud in the same weekend only added to the drama.

After giving up a very early goal to MD in both games, DU took over and swept the series 8-2 and 3-1. Matt Weber did not play due to an injury so Kevin Ulanski played on the line with Chris Paradise and Connor James. This line had an offensive explosion combining for 3 goals and 12 assists over the weekend. In recognition of this high scoring line, Kevin Ulanski was named rookie of the week and Connor James was named offensive player of the week. (Dec3-9)

Even a bizarre controversy in Saturday’s game over the line-up card, which cost DU a 2 minute, penalty did not cause them to lose their focus. Max Bull had to leave the game and J.J. Hartman came down from the stands, suited up and took his place in the line up.

Date: Nov 30, 2001 DU Vs. Minn-Duluth Score 8-2 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Cook, Jesse (Paradise, Chris-James, Connor)
Foster, Jon pp (Ulanski, Kevin- Paradise,Chris)
Ulanski, Kevin pp (James, Connor-Dora, Lukas)

2nd:Vines, Brian (Barber, Greg- Doell, Kevin)

3rd:James, Connor (Ulanski, Kevin- Armstrong, James)
Grahame, Jason (Foster, Jon- Adams, Erik)
James, Connor (Paradise,Chris)
Bull, Max (Grahame, Jason- Foster, Jon)

Total Shots on Goal: DU 43 Minn-Duluth 33

Game two: Date: Dec 1, 2001 Vs. Minn-Duluth Score 3-1 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Fulghum, Luke (Caldwell, Ryan Paradise,Chris)
Caldwell, Ryan (James, Connor, Paradise,Chris)

2nd:James, Connor (Paradise, Chris- Ulanski, Kevin)

3rd: none

Total Shots on Goal: DU 26 Minn-Duluth 31

Weekend Goalie tandem Comparison:
Friday: Dubielewicz 33 shots 31saves .939 %
Sat: Berkhoel 31 shots 30 saves .967 %

Player Profiles:

Jesse Cook (Defenseman Sr) During warm-ups, you can’t miss Jesse. He towers over players on both teams at 6-5 206lbs. During the game he blends in with the crowd, rarely ever losing a step to any smaller, quicker opponent. Only when the glass around the entire rink is rattling do you notice his presents. This local guy (Englewood, CO) is a fan favorite with his solid defensive work but most of all his pounding hits. Drafted by the Flames in 1999, he is soon to be a fan favorite in Calgary too. Cook was recently named defensive player of the week in November 5 -11.

Alumni: Congratulations to former DU player and current Pittsburgh Penguins GM Craig Patrick for his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Patrick played for DU from 1966 to 1969 and recorded 114 points in his college career.

Over the next several months the WCHA will honor its top fifty players of all time.
This will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the WCHA. This list of players will be released ten at a time with the final ten to be announced at the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul in March 2002. Included on the list of the first 10 was former DU defensemen Keith Magnuson, who also played for DU from 1966-1969.