Dec. 11, 2008

Courtesy of Denver

No. 5/6 Denver (11-5-1, 7-4-1 WCHA) takes its five-game winning streak to No. 14 Minnesota State (8-5-3, 5-5-2 WCHA) on Dec. 12-13. Puck drop is set for 6:37 p.m. MT on Friday at Alltel Center and 6:07 p.m. MT on Saturday. Both games can be heard on AM 560 and www.DenverPioneers.com.

THIS WEEKEND’S STORYLINES

• DU has outscored its opponents 26-3 during its season-high, five-game winning streak.

• The Pioneers are tied for second in the WCHA with 15 points, while the Mavericks are tied for fifth with 12 points.

• DU is 1-5-2 in its last eight games at Minnesota State, including a two-game sweep (5-1, 3-2) against at Mankato last season.

Marc Cheverie is 5-0 with a 0.62 GAA and .980 Sv% in his last five starts.

FOR OPENERS
• The Pioneers conclude the first half of the 2008-09 season at Minnesota State this weekend.
• DU is 2-3 on the road and 7-2-1 against ranked opponents this season.
• DU’s Joe Colborne had four points (1g, 4a) at Michigan Tech last weekend and 1-9--10 during his career-high, five-game point streak.
• DU is second in the nation in scoring at 3.88 goals per game. The Pioneers are averaging 4.9 gpg in its 11 wins, including 5.2 during their five-game winning streak, and 2.0 gpg in its five losses and one tie.
• DU is 23-for-23 on the penalty kill during its five-game winning streak and 89-for-100 (89%) overall.
• DU is 7-for-27 (25.9%) on the power-play during the winning streak and 21-for-118 (17.8%) overall.
• DU has scored the first goal in the last five games and is 9-1 when scoring first.
• The Pioneers are 9-0 when scoring four or more goals and 9-1-1 when holding opponents to two goals or less.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Anthony Maiani (6-16--22) and Tyler Bozak (7-14--21) lead DU in scoring. Maiani and Bozak are currently enjoying six-game point streaks. Maiani has tallied at least one point in 14 of 17 games and is tied for first in the WCHA in assist scoring. Maiani is tied for third in the WCHA in scoring and Bozak is tied for fifth.
Patrick Mullen (2-13--15) and Patrick Wiercioch (7-7--14) are DU’s top scoring defensemen. Mullen is tied for fourth in WCHA defenseman scoring, while Wiercioch is tied for fifth in WCHA rookie scoring.
• Freshman Luke Salazar (10-5--15) leads DU with 10 goals and is tied for second in WCHA rookie scoring with Joe Colborne (3-12--15) and SCSU’s Jared Festler.
Salzar’s 10 goals are tied for third in the WCHA.
• Salazar and Tyler Ruegsegger (8-3--11) lead the WCHA with three game-winning goals each. Ruegsegger also leads the league with seven PPGs.
Marc Cheverie has posted a 11-5-1 record with a WCHA-leading 2.22 GAA and .927 Sv%. He is 12-5-1 with a 2.15 and .927 Sv% in 22 career games. Cheverie has stopped 145 of 148 shots during the five-game winning streak, including two shutouts. Backup goaltender Lars Paulgaard has played in three games, stopping all three shots.
• DU is 5-0 since inserting junior Brandon Vossberg back into the starting lineup. Vossberg, who played in 39 of 41 games last season, played in just one of DU’s first 12 games. Vossberg has responded with 3-1--4 in the last five contests.

DU ALL-TIME VS. MINNESOTA STATE
DU is 14-13-4 all-time against Minnesota State in the series that dates back to 1997. DU is 5-9-2, including a 1-5-2 mark in its last eight games, against the Mavericks in Mankato. DU’s last two-game sweep at Minnesota State was on Dec. 14-15, 2001.

SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS
Minnesota State was swept (4-2, 6-2) last weekend by St. Cloud State in a home-and-home series. The Mavericks rank fourth in the WCHA in scoring at 3.31 gpg. Minnesota State is 18-for-101 (17.8%) on the power play and 94-for-118 (79.7%) on the penalty kill. The No. 14 Mavericks are led by defenseman Kurt Davis, who leads all WCHA blueliners with 5-16--21. Forwards Mick Berge and Mike Louwerse have added 18 and 14 points, respectively. Senior goaltender Mike Zacharias leads the team with an 8-5-3 record, 2.76 GAA and .911 Sv%. Head coach Troy Jutting has posted a 135-150-41 record in nine seasons at MSU.

ABOUT THE 2008-09 DU PIONEERS
The Pioneers are led by Tyler Bozak, Tyler Ruegsegger and Rhett Rakhshani, defensemen J.P. Testwuide and Patrick Mullen, and goaltender Marc Cheverie. Bozak, who led DU with 34 points last season, is second on the team in scoring and first with a +14 plus/minus rating. Rakhshani (31-49--80), Mullen (18-53--71) and Ruegsegger (33-34--67) are DU’s top current career scoring leaders. Testwuide leads the team in penalties (18) and penalty minutes (58). Cheverie, who has started all 17 games in net, has 23 or more saves in 13 games. Cheverie stopped a career-high 41 shots in DU’s 3-1 win over Ohio State on Oct. 24 and has posted two shutouts.

WHO’S HOT?
Anthony Maiani has 2-8--10 and Tyler Bozak has 2-6--8 during their six-game point streaks. Joe Colborne has 1-9--10 during his five-game point streak, while Rhett Rakhshani (7-9--16), Jesse Martin (3-6--9) and Kyle Ostrow (5-8--13) have three-game point streaks. Tyler Ruegsegger and Luke Salazar have two-game goal streaks.

WIERCIOCH HEADED TO TEAM CANADA CAMP
Patrick Wiercioch was one of 38 players selected to attend Team Canada's 2009 National Junior Team selection camp held Dec. 11-15 in Ottawa. Wiercioch will miss DU’s two-game series at Minnesota State as the freshman competes for spot on the team that will compete in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ottawa. Matt Pettinger was the last Pioneer to compete for Team Canada at the World Juniors in 1998.

MORE ON THE POWER PLAY AND PENALTY KILL
The Pioneers have scored on the power-play in nine of their last 11 games and have tallied two or more power-play goals in seven games including a season-high three against Wisconsin on Oct. 18. DU has allowed just two power-play goals in its last 10 games after allowing a power-play goal in six of its first seven games.

WHAT ELSE IS NOTEWORTHY?
Matt Glasser (1-2--3) tallied his first goal of the year on Dec. 6 and six different Pioneers scored each night against Michigan Tech.

COLBORNE AND WIERCIOCH TOP DRAFT PICKS
Freshmen Joe Colborne and Patrick Wiercioch are the two highest NHL draft selections during head coach George Gwozdecky’s 15 seasons at DU. Colborne became DU’s second first-round NHL draft pick when Boston selected the forward No. 16 overall last June. Wiercioch was selected No. 42 overall by Ottawa.

CARLE NAMED STUDENT ASSISTANT COACH
Freshman David Carle is serving as a student assistant coach for DU this season. Carle was forced to retire from competitive hockey prior to the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and his freshman season at DU after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The disease is a thickening of the myocardium, which is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Carle is writing a bi-weekly blog on ESPNU.com.

COLORADO FLAVOR
The 2008-09 DU roster sports seven Coloradans.
Jon Cook (Denver), Stephen Cunningham (Boulder), Chris Nutini, (Centennial), Tyler Ruegsegger (Lakewood), John Ryder (Colorado Springs), Luke Salazar (Thornton) and J.P. Testwuide (Vail) all hail from the Centennial State. Testwuide is the first Coloradan and ninth consecutive defenseman to captain the Pioneers.

OH BROTHER!
Freshman defenseman John Lee is the younger brother of former North Dakota and current Ottawa Senators defenseman Brian Lee. Student assistant coach David Carle is the younger brother of former Pioneer and current Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Matt Carle. DU captain J.P. Testwuide is the older brother of Colorado College forward Mike Testwuide, while Jon Cook is the younger brother of former Pioneer Steven Cook.

HALL OF FAME SON
Senior defenseman Patrick Mullen is the son of
U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Mullen. Patrick’s dad tallied 1,063 points, including 502 goals, in 16 NHL seasons and helped the Calgary Flames (1989) and Pittsburgh Penguins (1991 and 1992) to Stanley Cup championships. Joe Mullen is currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers.

DU VS. RANKED TEAMS
The Pioneers are 7-2-1 against ranked teams this season and 39-28-5 against ranked teams over the last four seasons.

MAGNESS = HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
The Pioneers are 124-61-6 (.665) all-time in 10 years of competition at Magness Arena. The Pioneers are 9-2-1 at home this year after posting a 16-4-1 mark in 2007-08.

CHAMPIONSHIP HOCKEY
The Pioneers are tied for second in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey with seven NCAA National Championships. DU captured national championships in 1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004 and 2005.

PIONEERS IN THE PROS
Paul Stastny (Colorado), Matt Pettinger (Tampa Bay) and Matt Carle (Philadelphia) are former standouts representing the Pioneers in the NHL.

ON THE HORIZON
Denver welcomes Boston University, Holy Cross and RPI to the 17th annual Wells Fargo Denver Cup on Jan. 2-3, 2009.