Feb. 13, 2009

Courtesy of Denver

No. 8 Denver (17-9-3, 13-7-3 WCHA) travels to No. 18 Colorado College (14-9-7, 10-8-4 WCHA) on Friday, Feb. 13. Puck drop is set for 7:37 p.m. at World Arena. The game will be televised live on FSN Rocky Mountain and broadcast live on AM 560.

THIS WEEKEND’S STORYLINES
• DU leads the WCHA with 28 points, while Colorado College is fourth with 24 points.
• DU and CC meet for the 270th time on Feb. 13.
• DU is winless at 0-3-1 in its last four games against the Tigers.
• CC has held possession of the Gold Pan Trophy for two consecutive seasons and holds a 9-6 advantage in the 15 years of Gold Pan competition.
• DU is 10-5-2 against ranked opponents and 5-5-1 on the road.

FOR OPENERS
• DU is 0-1-1 against CC this season. The teams tied 2-2 in overtime on Oct. 31 and CC beat DU 3-2 in Colorado Springs on Nov. 2.
• DU is first in the WCHA in scoring offense at 3.55 ppg and second in scoring defense at 2.52 gpg.
• The Pioneers are fourth in the WCHA on the penalty kill at 86.7% and seventh on the power play at 15.9%.

PIONEER LEADERS VS. CC
Tyler Ruegsegger is DU’s career scoring leader with 3-4--7 in 10 games against the Tigers. WCHA co-Offensive Player of the Week Rhett Rakhshani is second with 2-4--6 in 10 games. Marc Cheverie has posted a 0-1-1 record with a 1.86 GAA and .922 Sv% in three career games against Colorado College.

LAST TIME VS. COLORADO COLLEGE
In the 2-2 overtime tie on Oct. 31, CC jumped to a 2-0 lead before DU rallied with goals by Rhett Rakhshani in the second period and Luke Salazar just 28 seconds into the third period. DU outshot the Tigers, 46-29, but Richard Bachman sparkled in net with 44 saves. CC rode 40 saves from Bachman in its 3-2 win on Nov. 2. DU went 1-for-19 on the power play and outshot CC, 88-59, in the series.

PLAYER NOTES
• Marc Cheverie (17-9-3) ranks second in the WCHA in winning percentage (.638) and goals against average (2.48), and fourth in saves percentage (.915). Cheverie is 18-9-3 with a 2.42 GAA and .915 Sv% in 34 career games. Cheverie has stopped 23 or more shots in 21 of 29 games. Backup goaltender Lars Paulgaard is 0-0-0 with a 1.61 GAA and .917 Sv% in four games.
• Leading scorer Anthony Maiani has tallied a career-high 9-25--34 this season after netting 7-8--15 as a freshman. Maiani is fourth in WCHA scoring and assists. He netted 3-13--16 during his career-best, 11-game point streak from Nov. 21-Jan. 9.
• Tyler Bozak (7-14--21) has missed the last 11 games with a knee injury. Bozak is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.
• Luke Salazar (13-6--19) and Rhett Rakhshani (13-16--29) lead the team with 13 goals each. Rakhshani (37-56-93) is seven points shy of joining the Pioneer Century Club for 100-point scorers, while Salazar leads all WCHA freshmen in goals.
• Patrick Wiercioch (10-13--23), Joe Colborne (6-17--23) and Salazar rank in the top 10 of WCHA rookie scorers. Wiercioch is tied for second nationally among defensemen with 10 goals and third in rookie scoring with .92 ppg.
• Tyler Ruegsegger (11-9--20) leads the WCHA in power-play goals with 10. Kyle Ostrow (9-11--20) is tied for the WCHA lead with four GWGs.

DU ALL-TIME VS. COLORADO COLLEGE
The Pioneers hold a 152-106-11 advantage over Colorado College in the historic series that dates back to 1950. DU is 60-60-5 in Colorado Springs, but just 6-16-2 in 24 meetings at World Arena. DU is 1-3-1 in its last five games against CC and 1-7-2 in its last 10. The losing team has been held to two goals or less in the last five meetings.

SCOUTING THE TIGERS
Colorado College is 2-2-1 in its last five games and 4-4-2 in its last 10. Like DU, the Tigers are looking for more consistency in 2009 after enjoying an 11-6-5 mark in 2008. CC is led by forward Chad Rau and goaltender Richard Bachman. Rau leads the team in scoring with 13-17--30 and Bachman is 12-8-7 with a 2.50 GAA and .916 Sv%. Eric Walsky has added 10-18--28, while Brian Connelly is CC’s top scorer on the blueline with 3-18--21. The Tigers took three points from Michigan Tech last weekend and have earned at least one league point every WCHA weekend this season. Scott Owens has posted a 237-130-32 record in 10 seasons at CC.

ABOUT THE 2008-09 DU PIONEERS
The Pioneers are 4-4-2 since Jan. 2. DU has split its last two WCHA series’ against Alaska Anchorage and Minnesota Duluth. DU is averaging 3.1 gpg without top playmaker Tyler Bozak. DU was averaging 3.8 gpg with Bozak in the lineup for the first 18 games. DU continues to receive strong goaltending from Marc Cheverie and features seven players with 20 or more points and 12 with 10 or more. DU is led by captain J.P. Testwuide (3-7--10), and alternate captains Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger. Rakhshani (37-56--93), Ruegsegger (36-40--76) and Patrick Mullen (18-57--75) are DU’s top current career scoring leaders. Testwuide leads the team in penalties (32) and penalty minutes (94). Cheverie, who has started all 29 games in net, stopped a career-high 41 shots in DU’s 3-1 win over Ohio State on Oct. 24 and has posted two shutouts.

MULLEN AND VOSSBERG CANDIDATES FOR POSTSEASON AWARDS
Senior Patrick Mullen and junior Brandon Vossberg are candidates for major postseason awards. Mullen is one of 20 candidates for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award honors players who have combined excellence in athletics, academics and community service. Former Pioneers Glenn Fisher (2007) and Peter Mannino (2008) were top-10 finalists for the award. Vossberg is one of 21 candidates for the prestigious 2009 Bank of New York Mellon Hockey Humanitarian Award, given annually to college hockey's finest citizen.

INJURY UPDATE
Tyler Bozak (knee), Joey Brehm (hernia) and Chris Nutini (shoulder) are out this weekend. Jesse Martin (lower body) is probable.

WHO’S HOT?
Rhett Rakhshani, Tyler Ruegsegger and Anthony Maiani each bring two-game point streaks into this weekend’s series.
 
MORE ON THE POWER PLAY AND PENALTY KILL
The Pioneers went 5-for-13 (38.5%) on the power play last weekend after a 2-for-19 performance against Alaska Anchorage on Jan. 30-31. DU has tallied two or more power-play goals in 10 games including a season-high four at Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 6. DU is 28-for-32 (87.5%) on the penalty kill in its last five 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 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
DU is 10-5-2 against ranked teams this season and 42-31-6 against ranked teams over the last four seasons.

MAGNESS = HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
The Pioneers are 127-63-7 (.662) all-time in 10 years of competition at Magness Arena. The Pioneers are 12-4-2 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
Chris Butler (Buffalo), Paul Stastny (Colorado), Matt Pettinger (Tampa Bay), Matt Carle (Philadelphia) and Wade Dubielewicz (Columbus) are former standouts representing the Pioneers in the NHL.

ON THE HORIZON
DU plays at Wisconsin on Feb. 20-21.