DENVER - Head coach George Gwozdecky and senior captain Paul Phillips addressed the media today at the University of Denver men's hockey's annual media day, held in the Champions Room of Magness Arena.
Gwozdecky emphasized his team's defensive focus this season, after losing some of last season's biggest offensive weapons.
"Any successful team has to be strong down the middle," Gwozdecky said. "We have three outstanding goaltenders in Sam Brittain, Adam Murray and Juho Olkinuora all returning, and all of whom give us a chance to win any game. We're going to be extremely strong on the blueline with great depth, not only with the incoming talent we have, but from our returning players as well, led by captain Paul Phillips. And last but not least, we're going to be pretty strong down the middle up front. Nick Shore and Shawn Ostrow, just to name a few of our outstanding centermen. What we don't know is where we're going to get the offense from our wings. We're hoping the guys like Ty Loney, Daniel Doremus, Chris Knowlton and Zac Larraza, just to name a few, will be able to add the firepower we need."
Gwozdecky also addressed the perception that this year's DU team is flying under the radar.
"The history of the (Denver) program has a lot of success, and a lot of tradition," Gwozdecky said. "No matter where you go and no matter what year it is, I think people know DU is going to have one of the top teams in the conference and one of the top teams in the country. They'll look at (this year's) team a little differently, but I think no matter who is playing for us, and no matter who is in our lineup, we're capable of winning any game that we're in."
Phillips talked about how hard the team will work this season.
"I can say confidently that every game we will come out, and we will work hard," Phillips said. "I don't know what the outcome of each game will be, but I know that every game we play, whether it's here or away, we're going to be working hard."
Phillips also talked about how the team where the team is at, heading into the season's opening weekend.
"We're stressing the importance of these games, because last season we had some lapses in nonconference games," Phillips said. "(The game against) Alabama Huntsville comes to mind, and that will not happen this year. It can't happen this year. That's a focal point for us going forward."
Denver opens its season Friday against No. 9/10 UMass Lowell at Magness Arena. Puck-drop is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. MT.
Denver hockey tickets can be purchased online at www.DenverPioneers.com, in person at the Ritchie Center North Box Office or by calling (303) 871-2336.
Visit DenverPioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of DU's NCAA Division I sports.
- EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS -
Like Denver Pioneers and DenverHockey on Facebook
Follow @DU_Pioneers and @DU_Hockey on Twitter