Jan. 2, 2009

Courtesy of Denver

FOR OPENERS
• The Pioneers are 26-5-1 all-time in Denver Cup competition. Boston University, Holy Cross and RPI are all making their first appearances in the holiday tournament that dates back to 1992.
• DU is second in the nation in scoring at 3.89 gpg. The Pioneers lead the WCHA in scoring offense and rank third in scoring defense (2.29 gpg).
• The Pioneers are 12-1 when scoring three or more goals and 11-1 when scoring first.

MORE ON THE 7-GAME WINNING STREAK
• DU has scored the first goal in its last seven games and has scored at least one goal in 18 of its last 21 periods.
• The Pioneers are 32-for-34 (94.1%) on the penalty kill during the winning streak and 98-for-113 (88.3%) overall.

BOZAK OUT, WIERCIOCH IN
• Tyler Bozak, DU’s second leading scorer, is out indefinitely after tearing his meniscus in his left knee on Dec. 12. Bozak had successful surgery on Dec. 19 and is aiming to return for the postseason.
• Patrick Wiercioch rejoins the team after missing the Minnesota State series to attend Team Canada’s Evaluation Camp for the IIHF World Junior Championships. Wiercioch has 7-7--14 in 15 games.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Leading scorer Anthony Maiani (6-19--25) has 2-11--13 during his eight-game point streak. Maiani has tallied at least one point in 16 of 19 games.
• Jesse Martin (6-7--13) has five goals during his four-game goal streak and 5-3--8 during his five-game point streak.
• Freshman Luke Salazar (11-5--16) leads DU with 11 goals and is tied for third in WCHA rookie scoring with Joe Colborne (4-12--16) and SCSU’s Jared Festler. Salzar’s 11 goals and three GWGs are tied for the WCHA lead.
Ruegsegger also leads the league with seven PPGs.
• Marc Cheverie has posted a 13-5-1 record with a 2.19 GAA and WCHA-leading .926 Sv%. He is 14-5-1 with a 2.14 and .926 Sv% in 24 career games. Lars Paulgaard has made three saves in 19:11 minutes of action.

WELLS FARGO DENVER CUP PREVIEW
The 17th annual Wells Fargo Denver Cup field features No. 5 Denver, No. 3 Boston University, Holy Cross and RPI. BU was picked to finish second in the Hockey East. The Terriers will be without leading scorer Colin Wilson (7-14--21) and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (3-9--12). Wilson and Shattenkirk will compete for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa on Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009. BU will lean on its strong blueline and the goaltending of Kieran Millan (8-1-1, 1.79 GAA, .922 GAA). Holy Cross is led by Brodie Sheahan (5-9--14) and Jordan Cyr (8-5--13), while RPI is led by sophomore Chase Polacek (4-11--15) and Tyler Helfrich (3-7--10), and freshman Patrick Cullen (7-5--12).

DU AGAINST DENVER CUP FIELD
The Pioneers meet Holy Cross for the first time. DU is 12-12-2 all-time against Boston University and 11-1 against RPI. DU last met BU on Nov. 25, 2005, when the Terriers edged DU, 1-0. The Pioneers welcome RPI to Denver for the first time since Oct. 20-21, 2006, when the teams split a two-game series.

ABOUT THE 2008-09 DU PIONEERS
The Pioneers are playing their best hockey of the season since going 2-5-1 after their first 4-0 start since 2003-04. DU has received strong goaltending from Marc Cheverie and features 10 players with 10 or more points. DU will lean on its balanced scoring with the loss of Bozak and its power-play will get a boost with the return of Patrick Wiercioch (7-7--14). DU is led by forwards Anthony Maiani (6-19--25), Rhett Rakhshani (7-10--17) and Tyler Ruegsegger (8-4--12), and defenseman J.P. Testwuide (1-5--6) and Patrick Mullen (2-14--16). Rakhshani (31-50--81), Mullen (18-54--72) and Ruegsegger (33-35--68) are DU’s top current career scoring leaders. Testwuide leads the team in penalties (19) and penalty minutes (60). Cheverie, who has started all 19 games in net, has stopped 187 of 194 shots during DU’s seven-game winning streak. 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?
Matt Glasser (4-2--6) tallied his first career hat trick in DU’s last game, while Luke Salazar has four goals in his last six games. Joe Colborne has scoring points in six of his last seven games and Tyler Ruegsegger has three points in his last four games.

MORE ON THE POWER PLAY AND PENALTY KILL
The Pioneers have scored on the power-play in nine of their last 13 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 four power-play goals in its last 12 games after allowing a power-play goal in six of its first seven games.

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 9-2-1 against ranked teams this season and 41-28-5 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 returns to WCHA action against Michigan Tech on Jan. 9-10, 2009.