#10/10 DENVER PIONEERS (13-8-4, 8-6-4 WCHA)
at Minnesota Duluth (10-11-3, 8-7-3 WCHA)
Date: Friday, February 1, 2013
Puck Drop: 6:07 p.m. (MT)
Site: Duluth, Minn.
Arena: AMSOIL Arena (6,600)
TV: None Locally
Radio/Web: 102.3 FM ESPN (KDSP - Denver) with Jay Stickney (play-by-play) on the call.
All-Time Series: Denver leads 107-74-10 (first met in 1961-62)
Up Next: The Pioneers return to action next weekend when they take on rival Colorado College in the resumption of the Gold Pan Series. Denver will host CC on Feb. 8 before making the trip to Colorado Springs on Feb. 9.
DROPPING THE PUCK...
- The No. 10/10 Pioneers head to Minnesota Duluth for a two-game series with the Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday night (Feb. 1-2).
- Denver returns to action following a 12-day layoff. The Pioneers will be playing their second consecutive road series and are in the midst of a stretch that will see them play five of six games away from the confines of Magness Arena.
- The Pioneers will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak this weekend in Duluth, which matches it longest skid this season.
- Including this weekend's two games at Duluth, Denver will have played each of its last six road games in the state of Minnesota as the Pioneers made previous trips to Bemidji State (Dec. 14-15) and St. Cloud State (Jan. 18-19).
- Denver currently sits seventh place at 20 points in the WCHA Standings, one point behind North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota State, each are tied for fourth overall.
ALL-TIME VS. DULUTH...
- Denver leads the all-time series with Minnesota Duluth 107-74-10, which began in 1961.
- The Pioneers are 35-39-9 all-time in games played at Duluth and 9-9-4 on the road vs. the Bulldogs since George Gwozdecky took over the reigns at Denver in 1994-95.
- Denver will be making the trek to Duluth for the fifth consecutive season (dating back to 2008-09). The Pioneers have posted an overall mark 3-4-1 in their visits to Duluth over the last four seasons.
- The Pioneers defeated the Bulldogs 4-3 in double overtime on March 16, 2012 during the WCHA Playoffs, in the most recent meeting between the programs.
- The Pioneers enter this weekend's series at Minnesota Duluth 3-4-2 in road contests this season.
- Denver has not posted a win on the road in each of its last six such contests, sporting a mark of 0-4-2 over that span.
- The Pioneers opened the season a perfect 3-0 away from home, including a sweep at Minnesota State (Nov. 9-10) and a win at Colorado College (Nov. 16).
- Denver has been out-scored 34-23 over its first nine road games this season.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS...
- Minnesota Duluth enters this weekend's series having won four of its last five games overall and split its most recent action on Jan. 18-19 at Colorado College.
- The Bulldogs are 5-4-1 at home this season and have outscored their opponents 24-23 over those previous 10 games.
- Minnesota Duluth currently sits in eighth place in the WCHA standings with 19 points.
- Denver stayed at No. 10 in the most recent USCHO.com rankings and moved up to No. 10 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, both of which were released Jan. 28.
- Minnesota holds the top spot in both sets of rankings, with 975 points in the USCHO.com poll and 497 points in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15. Quinnipiac is second in the USCHO.com poll with 967 points, followed by New Hampshire (871), Miami (835), Boston College (771), Western Michigan (723), North Dakota (633), Yale (605), Notre Dame (564) and Denver (506).
- Quinnipiac was second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll as well with 485 points. New Hampshire (417), Boston College (369), Western Michigan (330), Yale (290), North Dakota (239), Boston University (182) and Denver (174) round out the top-10.
- Denver sits in No. 13 position in the most recent PairWise rankings entering the weekend, while Minnesota Duluth is unranked in the PairWise.
VS. NON-RANKED OPPONENTS...
- This weekend's games will mark Denver's 11th and 12th this season against a non-ranked opponent and its first since facing Bemidji State on Dec. 14-15.
- The Pioneers boast a record of 5-3-2 on the season vs. unranked foes and have outscored their opponents 27-22 over those previous 10 contests.
- Denver is 2-1-1 on the road vs. non-ranked foes this season.
VS. RANKED OPPONENTS...
- The Pioneers boast a record of 8-5-2 on the season vs. ranked foes and have outscored their opponents 58-45 over those previous 15 contests.
- Denver just wrapped up a stretch that saw it play seven straight games against nationally ranked foes as it played consecutive games against 6/6 Boston University (Dec. 29), Cornell (Jan. 4-5), No. 13/13 Nebraska Omaha (Jan. 11-12) and 19/RV St. Cloud State (Jan. 18-19).
PIONEERS IN FEBRUARY...
- Friday's game at Duluth will mark the Pioneers' first this season in the month of February.
- Since head coach George Gwozdecky took over the program's reigns in 1994-95, Denver has posted an overall mark of 73-51-13 in games played in the month of February.
- Denver posted a perfect 8-0-0 mark in February during the 2009-10 season.
STRUGGLES IN ST. CLOUD...
- Denver dropped back-to-back games at St. Cloud State on Jan. 18-19, marking the first time it has been swept in a WCHA conference series since the 2008-09 season - a span of 60 consecutive games without being swept.
- The last time the Pioneers were swept in a two-game conference set was Nov. 14-15, 2008 - when it also dropped a pair of games at St. Cloud State.
- The only other time in that span that Denver has lost consecutive games to the same team on back-to-back days was in non-conference action against Boston College on Oct. 15-16, 2010.
- Denver currently ranks 15th nationally and third in the WCHA in combined special teams at 52.6.
- The Pioneers' power play unit ranks 10th nationally at 21.8 (3rd/WCHA).
- Junior David Makowski paces Denver with a team-best five power-play scores on the year.
- Denver's penalty kill currently ranks 18th nationally and second in the WCHA at 84.8.
BLUE LINE DOMINANCE...
- Denver boasts the nation's highest scoring defensive unit with 81 points - 36.3 percent of the teams' total point output. The next closest is Minnesota and North Dakota - each with 63 points from the blue line.
- The Pioneers' defense has registered 21 goals - also the most among any team nationally - and two more then the next closest team UMass (19).
- The Denver defense has totaled 60 assists also the most among any team nationally and 10 more then the next closest team Minnesota (50).
- All six DU blue liners have registered points: David Makowski (6-12=18), Joey LaLeggia (8-12=20), Nolan Zajac (3-14=17), Scott Mayfield (2-10=12), Paul Phillips (1-5=6) and Josiah Didier (0-4=4).
- Current Denver players Nolan Zajac, Nick Shore and Quentin Shore have older brothers playing in the NHL.
- Zajac's brother Travis is a center in his seventh season with the New Jersey Devils.
- The Shore's older brother Drew, is currently on the roster of the Florida Panthers after being called up on Jan. 21.
FORMER PIONEER MAKES NHL DEBUT...
- Former Pioneer standout Drew Shore made his NHL debut for the Florida Panthers on Jan. 22 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
- Shore was recalled by the Panthers from the AHL's San Antonio Rampage following an injury to Florida's top winger, Kris Versteeg.
- Shore is in his first professional season and was previously honored as an AHL All-Star selection after totaling 10 goals and 30 points in 41 games for San Antonio.
- During his time at DU, Shore totaled 118 points in 123 career games and led the Pioneers in scoring in each of his last two collegiate campaigns. He was selected in the second round (44th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Panthers.
PIONEERS IN AHL ALL-STAR GAME...
- During the AHL All-Star game on Jan. 29 in Providence, a total of three former Pioneers saw action, including Drew Shore who registered a goal and an assist to lead the West to a 7-6 victory. Jason Zucker also notched a goal and an assist for the West squad while Matt Donovan suited up for the East. Beau Bennett also was also on the East roster, but not not see action due to injury.
- Scott Mayfield has registered at least one assist in three of the last four games and has totaled five overall during the stretch.
- Nolan Zajac has tallied at least one point in five of the last seven games overall.
- David Makowski has posted an assist in each of the last two games and has tallied at least one point in six of the last seven contests overall.
BRITTAIN STARTS IN ST CLOUD...
- Sophomore goalie Sam Brittain made the start in net on Jan. 19 at St. Cloud, his first since Dec. 8.
QSHORE HEATING UP...
- Freshman Quentin Shore has scored four goals in his last seven games overall after registering just three in his first 18 collegiate contests.
- Shore has been honored as the WCHA Rookie of the Week in two of the last three voting periods (Jan. 8 & Jan. 15).
- Overall, Shore has tallied seven points over Denver's last seven games.
LARRAZA STAYS HOT..
- Sophomore Zac Larraza scored three goals over the two games against Nebraska Omaha (Jan. 11-12) including a pair in a span of two minutes with less than seven minutes remaining in the third period to spark Denver to a 7-4 win. Larraza finished the weekend with three goals and two assists.
- Larraza's two goals marked the second time in a three game span that the Pioneers have had a player register multiple goals after not having it happen in the previous nine contests.
- Entering this weekend's action at Duluth, Larraza has registered four goals over the last five games overall.
SCORING FIVE OR MORE...
- The Jan. 11th 7-4 win over Nebraska-Omaha marked the 10th time this season that Denver has registered at least five goals - the Pioneers are a perfect 10-0 in those contests.
PIONEERS IN OVERTIME...
- The Jan. 12th 3-3 tie vs. Nebraska Omaha marked Denver's fifth overtime game this season. The Pioneers now stand at 0-1-4 in games that required extra time.
FLIPPING THE CALENDER...
- Denver's trip to St. Cloud on Jan. 18-19 marked the Pioneers final games in the month of January.
- Since head coach George Gwozdecky took over the program's reigns in 1994-95, Denver has posted an overall mark of 74-45-17 in games played during the calender's first month.