Denver Pioneers Report

By Christa Moore
           Revenge was on the minds of the Denver University Pioneers as they hosted the Huskies of St Cloud State. Earlier in the season DU was handed a sound beating and a tie while on the Huskies ice. With a fresh start to the second half of the season, DU was ready to return the favor. After a confidence building win against the mighty New Hampshire Wildcats it was time to get back in the routine of alternating goaltenders, which has been the formula for the Pioneers success in the last year and a half.

Game one: DU set the tone early with big hits along the boards by Jason Grahame, Kevin Ulanski and Greg Keith and two open ice hits by Aaron Mackenzie.
St Cloud seemed unprepared for DU’s furry as the Pioneers took a 1-0 lead when Ryan Caldwell (NY Islanders) pinched down deep and threw the puck in front of the net for Kevin Ulanski to sweep in as he was falling to the ice.
  Later in the period DU took advantage of a 5 on 3 when the puck squirted out from a scramble in front of the net and Aaron Mackenzie slapped it in for a top shelf goal.

    Neither team scored in the second period but Wade Dubielewicz   proved he was far from being rusty after a long injury layoff. Doobie turned away all 13 shots that he faced and sent the Pioneers into the third period with confidence.

  Midway thought the third period a speeding Gabe Gauthier dropped the puck behind him to J.J. Hartman who crashed the net as Gauthier followed up on the rebound to give the Pioneers a comfortable 3-0 lead.
  Soon after this Max Bull sent a no look pass into the front of the net where Connor James (LA Kings) kicked the puck off his skates, on to his stick and into the net to finish off Fridays game. St Cloud did not challenge the shutout and seemed to give up in the third period.
    With Dubielewicz ‘s 27-save shutout, this marked the first time in the history of the Pioneers that the team has registered 3 consecutive shutouts.

Date: Friday Jan 10,2002        DU Vs.   St Cloud        Score 4-0 DU

Scoring for DU:

                              1st: Kevin Ulanski (Greg Barber, Ryan Caldwell)
                                     Aaron MacKenzie 5 on 3 (Kevin Doell, Greg Barber)


                                3rd: Gabe Gauthier (J.J. Hartmann, Jon Foster)
                                       Connor James (Max Bull, Aaron MacKenzie)
Total Shots on Goal:  DU 34   SCSU 27

Three Stars:
                     ***Kevin Ulanski (DU)
                         **Greg Barber (DU)
                           *Wade Dubielewicz (DU)

Game two: Wearing the fancy gold jerseys that brought them good luck against New Hampshire, the DU Pioneers took to the ice looking for the sweep of the Huskies. This time it would be Adam Berkhoel’s turn to mind the net. Berkie did not fair too well against St Cloud earlier in the season when he was pulling full time duty though Dubielewicz’s injury.
   The momentum of this game would shift several times and started with an early goal by St. Cloud, which ended DU’s shutout streak. DU soon responded with a power play sweep-up-the-garbage-goal from Greg Barber.
   Things got ugly when 2 bad goals where let in by Berkhoel and he was done for the night midway thought the first period. Dubielewicz took to the crease and weathered the storm through the rest of this stanza. Unable to score on a five on three at the end of the period added to the bleakness of this first period for DU.
    Again the momentum drastically changed when St. Cloud was given a 5 minute major for viciously boarding Brent Skinner. In less than a minute into the major Connor James set up Kevin Doell for the first goal.
  Still on the power play, the Pioneers pressed closer and closer to the net until Aaron Mackenzie released a slap shot for his second goal of the weekend to tie the game at three a piece.
   As the 5-minute major wound down, the Pioneers got caught on a bad line change and St Cloud took the lead again with a short-handed goal. With an unbelievable up and down emotional second period behind them the Pioneers still did not give up with out a fight.

  The start of the third period had an interesting incident. As the players took to the newly resurfaced ice, pulled goalie Adam Berkhoel did not immediately take his place at the end of the bench. Both he and Dubielewicz teamed together and took to the crease to proceed in the traditional “scratching up” of the smooth ice in front of the net.
     The Pioneers fought hard and kept the Huskies in check though the entire third period and kept them scoreless for as long as possible. Even after St. Cloud scored an empty net goal with the goalie pulled, DU continued trying to put the puck in the net. Yet another slap shot from Aaron MacKenzie found it’s way to the back of the net with less than 30 seconds left in the game. The Pioneers crashed the net for one last try to tie the game but the clock ticked down to zero and the Huskies would be the winners on this night.
  As the two teams met at center ice to shake hands, the fans cheered wildly because they had seen a “never say die” emotional hard fought battle from their home team.

Date: Saturday Jan 11,2002     DU Vs. St Cloud    Score 5-4 SCSU

Scoring for DU:

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

                               2nd: Kevin Doell PP (Lukas Dora, Connor James)
                                       Aaron MacKenzie PP (Connor James, Lukas Dora)

                                3rd: Aaron MacKenzie (Jussi Halme, Jeff Drummond)

Total Shots on Goal:  DU 45 SCSU 23

Three Stars:
                     ***Connor James (DU)
                         **Kevin Doell (DU)
                           *Jake Moreland (SCSU)

Weekend Goalie tandem Comparison:
     Friday: Dubielewicz       27 shots         27 saves             SO %

      Sat:       Berkhoel             10 shots           7 saves            .700 %
                    Dubielewicz        11 shots         10 saves           .909 %