The Field House. College Sports coverage from The Denver Post’s Kyle Fredrickson.
The University of Denver men’s ice hockey team called a players-only meeting last week after a 2-0 loss to Colorado College in the opening game of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference playoffs. Despite being the fifth-ranked team in the nation, the Pioneers still had issues to address.
“We just wanted to come together as a group and just talk about what we needed to do to be successful,” DU senior captain Tariq Hammond said. “To just have belief in our team that we were going to go the distance. … We have a lot of young guys on our team and we just wanted to reiterate those points.”
The message stuck, and two wins later (3-2, 6-1), the Pioneers have advanced to the NHCA Frozen Faceoff semifinals 7:30 p.m. Friday at Xcel Energy Arena in St. Paul, Minn., to play Minnesota Duluth — a familiar opponent. The Pioneers have won eight of their last nine matchups, including the 2017 NCAA championship game, and four victories this season with each outcome decided by one point.
Dougal Brownlie, The GazetteColorado College Tigers forward Nick Halloran (13) slides during a missed scoring attempt as the Tigers took on the Denver Pioneers at the Broadmoor World Arena on Saturday Dec. 9, 2017 in Colorado Springs.
“Obviously, (DU) is a great team,” Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin said. “They’ve got some difference makers. There’s not a whole lot of holes on their team. They’re a great puck possession team. They can defend well. … One thing I’ve learned is don’t make too many mistakes against them because they’re going to capitalize.”
The respect is mutual.
“We see a highly competitive fast-skating physical team that is so hard to play against,” DU coach Jim Montgomery said. “This team …read more
Source:: The Denver Post – Sports