Denver Pioneers Report

By Christa Moore

After playing two completely different weekend series at home, the Denver University Pioneers should find themselves at the top of all the standings and polls in the NCAA. First a review of this weekends action versus Michigan Tech.

Game one: After an unbelievably physical series against Wisconsin, it would be easy for the Pioneers to take the 5-12-2 Huskies lightly. Kevin Doell scored the first goal early to let them know that this would not be the case. Soon after, defensemen James Armstrong pinched in deep and threw the puck behind him for an easy open net goal for Connor James. This game was tight checking and a bit slow at times.

In the second period, Greg Barber lifted his team to a 3-0 as he cleaned up the garbage in front of the net for a power play tally.

At Magness area, the scores from around the NCAA are only shown during the intermissions while the team is still in the locker room. DU sure came out looking like they knew that mighty St Cloud State had just been upset by last place Minnesota-Duluth. First place and a number one ranking was theirs for the taking if they could hold on to this game and win on Saturday.

Date: Jan 11, 2002 DU Vs. Mich Tech Score 3-1 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Kevin Doell PP (Greg Barber, Aaron MacKenzie)
Connor James (James Armstrong, Jeff Drummond)

2nd:Greg Barber PP (Jon Foster, Aaron MacKenzie)

3rd:none

Three Stars
***Aaron MacKenzie
**Connor James
*Wade Dubielewicz

Total Shots on Goal: DU 32 Mich Tech 34

Game two: Saturday’s game was a much more high flying game with Michigan Tech taking an early lead. DU answered with a beautiful goal from Max Bull, just 18 seconds later. Even though he added an assist to the next goal scored by DU, goalie Adam Berkhoel did not have his best game. Before the period was over, Mich Tech slapped one past him to tie the game.

During the second period, defensemen captain Bryan Vines left the game with and injury and defensemen James Armstrong left for a game miss conduct. With only four blue liners in the mix, the offence took over, getting goals from Greg Barber and Kevin Doell.

Even though the third period was filled with up and down hockey, DU managed to hold Mich Tech to two shots on goal for the rest of the game. JJ Hartman opened up the floodgates with an impossible angle goal and Jeff Drummond netted two more to stomp out anymore attempted comebacks by Michigan Tech.

Date: Jan 12,2002 DU Vs. Mich Tech Score 7-4 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Max Bull (Kevin Ulanski, Greg Keith)
Kevin Doell (Greg Barber, Adam Berkhoel)

2nd:Greg Barber (Kevin Doell, Jon Foster)
Kevin Doell (Jon Foster, Ryan Caldwell)

3rd: JJ Hartman (Matt Weber, Erik Adams)
Jeff Drummond (Connor James, Matt Weber)
Jeff Drummond (Chris Paradise)

Three Stars
***Jon Foster
**Greg Barber
*Kevin Doell

Total Shots on Goal: DU 43 Mich Tech 24

Weekend Goalie tandem Comparison:
Friday: Dubielewicz 34 shots 33 saves .970 %
Sat: Berkhoel 24 shots 20 saves .833 %

DU vs. Wisconsin

Game one: It was Wisconsin that knocked DU out of the playoffs last year but it was the beast from Madison that came out like they had a big chip on their shoulder. The Badgers came out pounding anything that moved which threw DU off it’s game for a while. Eventually DU matched Wisconsin’s toughness and played hard hitting yet smart hockey thought the rest of the weekend. Adding to Wisconsin’s frustration was the remarkable play of goalie Wade Dubielewicz. He stopped every one of the 30 shots he faced.

Date: Jan 4, 2002 DU Vs. Wisconsin Score 3-0 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st: Kevin Doell (Greg Barber, Aaron MacKenzie)

2nd: Connor James (Chris Paradise, Bryan Vines)

3rd:Chris Paradise (Connor James, Jesse Cook)

Three Stars
***Kevin Doell
**Connor James
*Wade Dubielewicz

Total Shots on Goal: DU 40 Wisc 30

Game two: Saturday’s game was an odd one. DU’s Lukas Dora was the target of the Badgers aggression from the very first face off. After Wisconsin scored an early goal,
Adam Berkhoel clamped down and let the offensive do what they needed to do.

When it looked like Wisconsin had some momentum and could bring the game close, Max Bull scored a spectacular short handed goal to swing the momentum in DU’s favor for the rest of the game.

The third period saw two major penalties called on each side and 2 waved off goals scored by DU. After Lukas Dora scored one of two waived off goals, he finally got justice from the pummeling he had been taking all night long and scored the last goal of the night.

The Wisconsin alumni was large and vocal at both games but the Pioneers sent them home with 2 losses.

Date: Jan 5, 2002 DU Vs. Wisconsin Score 5-1 DU

Scoring for DU:

1st:Connor James (Erik Adams, Greg Barber)
Kevin Doell (Greg Barber, Lukas Dora)

2nd:Max Bull SH (Greg Keith, Jeff Drummond)

3rd:Lukas Dora (Erik Adams, Bryan Vines)

Three Stars
***Max Bull
**Adam Berkhoel
*Connor James

Total Shots on Goal: DU 34 Wisc 19

Weekend Goalie tandem Comparison:
Friday: Dubielewicz 30 shots 30 saves SO
Sat: Berkhoel 19 shots 18 saves .947 %

Player Profiles: Greg Barber, Jr. RW (Kelowana BC) Bruins fans, remember this name because, for some reason it’s easy to forget. Boston’s 7th round pick in 1999 has the same thing that Joe Sakic once had. He has a way of making you forget he is on the ice and scoring goals.

It’s only until you check the box score and the stat sheet do you realize how important he is to every game and to the team. Often times, the opposing team forgets what a threat he is too, even though he plays on the first line. His hard working, consistent play on both ends of the ice will endear him to the Bruin faithful in the near future.

Alumni: 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 second set of 10 was former DU defensemen George Konik, who played for DU from 1958-1961.

Side Notes: Congratulations to DU Senior Erik Adams for being name Defensive player of the week. During the Wisconsin series Adams had a plus 2 and lead the team in hits with 10.

While watching warms ups on Saturday’s game against the Badgers, I noticed something I had never seen before. Wisconsin’s coach Jeff Sauer, was sitting out on the bench during this time.

He didn’t really seem to be watching his players too much but did seem to be doing some deep thinking. I assumed that this was simply how this particular coach prepares for a game. However, later in the week he announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Fans of college hockey wish him well and thank him for his 31 years of dedication to the game.