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Pioneers Faceoff Against Wisconsin in WCHA Playoffs This Weekend

March 5, 2007

DENVER -

The No. 10/11 Denver Pioneers (21-13-4, 13-11-4 WCHA) host the Wisconsin Badgers (15-17-4, 12-13-3 WCHA) in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs March 9-11 at Magness Arena. Friday and Saturday's games will be televised live locally on Comcast and webcast live on DenverPioneers.com. The games can also be heard live on KEPN AM 1600 (Fri.), KKFN AM 950 "The Fan" (Sat. & Sun.) or FREE online at DenverPioneers.com. Fans can follow online at GAMETRACKER.

DU Hockey Notes vs. Wisconsin in PDF Format
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THIS WEEKEND'S STORYLINES

• Denver and Wisconsin meet for the first time in the WCHA Playoffs since March 9-10, 2001.

• Denver posted a 3-1 mark against the Badgers this season and is 0-5 against Wisconsin in the WCHA Playoffs.

• DU head coach George Gwozdecky and UW head coach Mike Eaves helped the Badgers to the NCAA title in 1977.

• The Pioneers are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games against the Badgers and 15-3-2 in their last 20.

• DU is 62-51-6 (.546) all-time in the WCHA Playoffs. The Pioneers have won the WCHA Final Five in their last two appearances (2002 and 2005).

• The series features three goaltenders (Brian Elliott, Peter Mannino and Glenn Fisher) that are ranked in the top four in WCHA overall Sv%.

FOR OPENERS

• The Pioneers host the first round of the WCHA Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. DU has advanced to just two WCHA Final Five's in the past five years.

• DU is 11th in the latest PairWise Rankings, while Wisconsin is tied for 20th.

• The Pioneers are 1-2-2 in their last five games and 3-6-2 in their last 11.

• DU has allowed three goals or less in 30 of 38 games this season.

• The Pioneers are 12-5-3 against unranked opponents and 9-8-1 against ranked opponents following last night's 3-0 loss and 5-5 OT tie against No. 17 Colorado College.

TEAM NOTES

• DU is 1-for-24 on the power play in its last four games. The Pioneers also surrendered a season-high five power-play goals in the 5-5 OT tie at Colorado College on March 3.

• DU is 18-2-3 when scoring first and 3-11-1 when allowing the first goal.

LAST TIME OUT

DU scored two goals in the last 36 seconds of the game to salvage a 5-5 overtime time in its regular-season finale at Colorado College on March 4. CC held a 5-3 lead late in the third period. The Pioneers pulled Peter Mannino at 17:33 and Keith Seabrook made it 5-4 with 36 seconds left before Ryan Dingle tied it and sent the game to overtime with four seconds remaining. Brock Trotter led DU with a goal and an assist, while Chris Butler, Tyler Ruegsegger and Dingle added one goal and one assist each. Rhett Rakhshani added a career-high three assists. Mannino earned the tie with 24 saves. DU outshot CC 34-29 and went 1-for-6 on the power play. CC registered a 5-for-9 effort with the man-advantage.

ALL-TIME VS. WISCONSIN

The Badgers own a 67-49-9 (.572) advantage in the all-time series that began in the 1967-68 season. DU went 3-1-0 against Wisconsin during this season, including a two-game sweep (2-0, 4-3 OT) in Wisconsin (Nov. 10-11) and two-game split (3-1, 0-4) in Denver (Jan. 5-6). Wisconsin owns a 35-23-4 (.597) advantage against the Pioneers in Denver. DU is 4-1-0 against Wisconsin in its last five games and 7-1-2 in its last 10. The winning team has recorded shutouts in three of the last six meetings. The Pioneers are 0-5 against the Badgers in the WCHA Playoffs. Wisconsin is making its first trip to Denver for the WCHA Playoffs.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS

The 2006 NCAA National Champion Wisconsin Badgers bring a 15-17-4 overall record and 12-13-4 WCHA mark to Denver for the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Badgers took three of four league points at Minnesota Duluth last weekend to finish tied for sixth with Michigan Tech in the WCHA. The Badgers are 4-2-2 in their last eight games. Wisconsin, who has played its last four games on the road, sports a 5-8-1 road mark this season. The Badgers are led by All-American goaltender Brian Elliott, a 2006 Hobey Baker Hat TricK finalist. Elliott has posted a 12-16-2 record with a 2.15 GAA and .921 Sv%. Senior forward Andrew Joudrey is the team's leading scorer with 24 points on seven goals and 17 assists. Senior forward Jake Dowell leads the Badgers with 16 goals and eight power-play goals. Wisconsin ranks third in the WCHA on the penalty kill at 85.9% and eighth on the power play at 15.1%.

THE PUCK STOPS HERE

DU has been led all season by the goaltending of junior Peter Mannino and senior Glenn Fisher. Mannino leads DU with an 8-5-2 record, 2.25 GAA and .919 Sv%, while Fisher has a 13-8-2 record, 2.34 GAA and .917 Sv%.

Mannino earned the tie against CC on March 3 with 24 saves. Mannino, who has posted shutouts against Alaska Anchorage (12/16), Mercyhurst (12/29) and St. Cloud State (1/27), ranks third in the WCHA in saves percentage, fifth in goals against average and tied for fifth in winning percentage (.600). Mannino has a career record of 38-17-4 and is second on DU's all-time saves percentage list (.917) and third in shutouts (9) and goals against average (2.34). He recorded a season-high 39 saves in DU's 4-3 overtime win at Wisconsin Nov. 11. Mannino is 4-0-1 with a 2.32 GAA and .929 Sv% in five career games against Wisconsin.

Fisher took the loss against CC on March 2 with 14 saves. He is one win shy of matching his career high of 14 wins set in 2004-05. Fisher recorded his fourth career shutout with 31 saves at then-No. 1 Minnesota Jan. 20. He set a personal best in shutout minutes at 158:03 from Nov. 10-Nov. 24 and netted a career-high 47 saves in DU's 4-3 overtime win at St. Cloud State Oct. 13. Fisher has allowed two or less goals in 12 of 22 starts and has three shutouts this season. He has a career record of 39-21-5 with a 2.72 GAA and .899 Sv%. Fisher ranks fourth in the WCHA in saves percentage and winning percentage (.609), and eighth in goals against average. Fisher is 3-2-0 with a 2.44 GAA and .909 Sv% in five career games against Wisconsin.

DINGLE LEADS OFFENSIVE ATTACK

Junior Ryan Dingle leads Denver in goals (21), power-play goals (9), shorthanded goals (2) and game-winning goals (4) for the second consecutive season. He is second in the WCHA in goal scoring and ranks among the conference leaders in game-winning goals (T-2nd), power-play points (3rd), power-play goals (T-3rd), shorthanded goals (T-5th) and shorthanded points (T-7th). Dingle has tallied three two-goal games and one hat trick this season, while recording scoring points in 23 of 38 games. He is tied for third all-time at DU with six career shorthanded goals and 14 career game-winning goals. Dingle is tied for seventh all-time at DU with 23 career power-play goals. He is DU's current career scoring leader with 54-42--96 in 119 career games. He is four points shy of becoming the 90th member of the Pioneer Century Club for 100-point scorers. Dingle netted the game-tying goal in DU's 5-5 OT tie at Colorado College March 3.

DU FRESHMEN AMONG NATION'S ELITE

DU's nationally-ranked freshman recruiting class is among the nation's best. The DU freshmen rank second behind Minnesota in total scoring points (137) among all freshmen classes in the nation. Brock Trotter (16-23--39), Rhett Rakhshani (9-26--35), Tyler Ruegsegger (15-19--34), Keith Seabrook (2-11--13), Brian Gifford (3-9--12), Brandon Vossberg (2-1--3), Cody Brookwell (0-1--1) and Matt Glasser have accounted for 48% of DU's scoring points. Trotter leads DU in scoring and is tied for fifth in WCHA scoring and tied for second in WCHA freshman scoring. He is on pace to become the first DU freshman to lead the team in scoring since Dave Shields in 1986-87. Rakhshani and Ruegsegger rank tied for fifth and seventh, respectively, among WCHA freshman scorers. The DU freshmen have racked up 35 multi-point efforts and have combined for a +19 plus/minus rating. Ruegsegger leads DU with a +17 plus/minus rating, while Trotter and Rakhshani lead the team with 12 multi-point games each.

VETERANS ANCHOR DU BLUELINE

DU's blueline is anchored by veterans Adrian Veideman (3-9--12), Andrew Thomas (2-5--7) and Chris Butler (10-17--27). Butler leads DU blueliners in goals, assists, points and power-play goals. He leads all WCHA blueliners with 10 goals and is fifth in WCHA defenseman scoring. Thomas is tied for first on the team 65 penalty minutes and second with 27 penalties. Veideman tallied the game-winning assist in DU's 4-3 OT win over North Dakota Feb. 23.

SEASON NOTES

Glenn Fisher and Peter Mannino became the second DU tandem to record three shutouts each in the same season. Former Pioneers Wade Dubielewicz and Adam Berkhoel recorded three shutouts each for the Pioneers in 2002-03. DU has won 21 games for the sixth consecutive season and 13 WCHA games for the fourth consecutive season. The Pioneers are 4-1-4 in a school-record tying nine overtime games this season. DU will establish a new school record with its next overtime game. The Pioneers suffered back-to-back shutouts at home for the first time in school history (Feb. 24 and March 2). Head coach George Gwozdecky is three wins shy of becoming the second hockey coach to win 300 games at DU. The Pioneers have finished fourth or better in the WCHA for four consecutive seasons.

MAGNESS MAGIC

DU has sold out 57 consecutive regular season games at Magness Arena. The streak started with a sellout crowd of 6,022 on Oct. 22, 2004, when the Pioneers raised their sixth NCAA National Championship banner prior to puck drop against St. Cloud State. DU averaged 6,067 fans in 2004-05, 6,093 in 2005-06 and is averaging 6,088 fans after 22 home dates in 2006-07.

TICKETS ON SALE FOR 2007 NCAA WEST REGIONAL AT PEPSI CENTER IN DENVER

Tickets for the 2007 NCAA West Regional at Pepsi Center in Denver are on sale. Tickets are being sold in three-game packages, starting as low as $50. Tickets can be purchased at the Pepsi Center Box Office, online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.pepsicenter.com, and by phone at (303) 830-8497. The 2007 NCAA West Regional is set for March 24-25.

ON THE HORIZON

The winner of the Denver and Wisconsin series advances to the 2007 Red Baron WCHA Final Five on March 9-11 at Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minn.

 

 

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