Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Miami University (Ohio) Red Hawks

NCAA West Regional
University of Denver vs. Miami University
Mariucci Arena, Minneapolis, Minn. March 27, 2009

The NCAA Tournament begins as the No. 1 West Regional seed Denver Pioneers (23-11-5, 16-8-4 WCHA) take on the No. 4 seed Miami RedHawks. (20-12-5, 17-7-4 CCHA). The winner will face the winner of the other regional semi-final, either the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs or the Princeton Tigers on Saturday night for the right to advance to the Frozen Four in Washington, DC. Game Time is 3:30 p.m. MT at Mariucci Arena (10,000 capacity). Television: ESPN2HD Radio: KCKK AM 1510 - Jay Stickney and the Audiocast:

The Pioneers are 4-2 all-time against the RedHawks in the series that started in 1986-87. DU defeated Miami, 3-2, in the lone meeting between the teams in the NCAA Tournament at the West Regional in 2004. Miami defeated Denver, 5-2, in the last meeting on Oct. 6, 2006. The game marked the opening of Steve Cady Arena on the Miami campus.

Red Hawks to watch
Carter Camper and Peter Cannone are the leading scorers on this year’s Miami squad, with 39 and 35 points respectively. Camper has 20 goals, and Cannone is more of a set up man with 11 goals and 24 assists. Miami also has four scorers in the mid 20s range, with Andy Miele (27) Justin Mercier (26), Jarod Palmer (26) and Chris Wideman (25). Connor Knapp has seen the most action in the Miami nets, with a 2.09 GAA and .904 saves pct in 23 games. Cody Reichard is the other Miami netminder, with a 2.16 GA and a .912 saves pct in 16 games played.

About Miami's Program
Steve Cady, Miami senior associate director of athletics, and the chairman of the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee this year, is the known as the “father” of Miami hockey. He was the one who started the varsity program in 1978, and guided it as the first head coach. The first victory came in the first game, when Miami beat Cincinnati’s club team 15-2, and for the first three seasons, Miami competed as a successful independent, with the first two seasons winning more than 20 games each.

Miami joined the CCHA in 1981, and finished 11th in the first league season. Steve Cady was never able to get Miami above sixth and stepped aside in 1985 to become the director of the original Goggin Ice Arena on campus, the RedHawks hired Bill Davidge and went through four terrible seasons and the school “very nearly pulled the plug” on the hockey program, according to the Dayton News. With an overall record of 39-111-3, Cady told the Dayton News, "I got called into the president's office" and was told the state of Miami hockey was "unacceptable." Cady “insisted that the program could succeed if it had more resources.”

Later that year a young Michigan State assistant named George Gwozdecky replaced Davidge as coach, and for the first time Miami's hockey program, Cady said, "was fully funded in terms of scholarships."

Gwozdecky coached the RedHawks to a CCHA league title in 1992-93 and their first NCAA appearance, where they fell to the Wisconsin Badgers, 3-1. One of the captains of that Miami team was Enrico Blasi, who later became a Denver assistant under Gwozdecky and has coached the RedHawks to five NCAA berths in the last six years.

Gwozdecky left Miami and moved to the University of Denver in 1994, and was replaced by Mark Mazzoleni, who would stay through the 1999 season. Mazzoleni’s highlight at Miami was the 1996-1997 season, where the Red Hawks finished second in the CCHA and went to their second NCAA tourney, where they dropped a 4-2 decision to Cornell in the regional.

Blasi took the reigns from Mazzoleni in 1999-2000, and has guided Miami to a higher level. Blasi first NCAA appearance with Miami came in 2004, when his second place CCHA team fell to Gwozdecky’s Denver Pioneers 3-2 in the West Regional.

Blasi’s 2005-2006 Miami team won it’s second CCHA title, but once again, the NCAA opener was not good, as the Red Hawks fell 5-0 to Boston College.

The following season, the Red Hawks finished third in the CCHA, but earned an NCAA berth, and this time, Miami did not fall in the opener. Rather, the Red Hawks edged New Hampshire 2-1 for the school’s first NCAA win. The victory celebration did not last long though, as Miami fell to BC the next day 4-0 in the regional final.

Last season, Miami finished second in the CCHA and won their NCAA opener against Air Force, 3-2, but old NCAA nemesis Boston College finished off Miami 4-3 on the way to their third NCAA Championship.

About Miami University
Miami University (sometimes called Miami of Ohio by sportswriters) is a coeducational public university founded in 1809 and is one of the eight original “Public Ivies” The University is located in the college town of Oxford, Ohio with its primary focus on educating undergraduates.

The tenth public college founded in the United States, Miami University dates back to a grant of land made for its support by the United States Congress and signed by George Washington on May 5, 1792. The university's first president, Robert Hamilton Bishop, envisioned Miami as the "Yale of the West" and planned the first several buildings accordingly. Miami is located in southwestern Ohio approximately thirty miles (50 km) northwest of Cincinnati. The Miami in this school's name refers to the Miami River valley, cut by two medium-sized rivers, the Little Miami River and the Great Miami River, that flow through southwestern Ohio; the rivers were in turn named after the Miami Indians who lived in the area before European settlement.

Miami ranks in the first tier of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings at 66th among 252 "National Universities" and tied with Purdue University, as 26th among public National Universities. BusinessWeek ranks the undergraduate business program for the Farmer School of Business at 19th among U.S. business schools, 8th among public business schools, and 1st among Ohio business schools.

Miami University is reputed to be one of the most beautiful university campuses, as poet Robert Frost described Miami as "the most beautiful college there ever was” The campus features modified Georgian revival red brick buildings on an open, tree-shaded campus void of high rise skyscraper dormitories. Miami is also striking in that the entire campus is consistent in design and appearance except for the buildings on the former Western College campus and the Miami University Art Museum. Parts of the campus can be seen in the 1991 film Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster, which was largely filmed on the Oxford campus.

Miami is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because several prominent football coaches were student/athletes and/or coaches at Miami before achieving greater fame at more prominent college programs or the National Football League. Among these coaches were George Gwozdecky, Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Bo Schembechler, Randy Walker, Ron Zook, Joe Novak, John Pont, Carmen Cozza, and Jim Tressel.

For many years, the athletic teams at Miami were nicknamed Redskins, but in 1997 the nickname was changed to RedHawks. Some controversy surrounded this change and some aspects of the old identity persist. The RedHawks compete in NCAA Division I in all sports (FBS in football). Miami's primary conference is the Mid-American Conference; its hockey program is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Miami is also known for its School of Education, housed in McGuffey Hall, named for Professor William Holmes McGuffey (called the "Schoolmaster to the Nation"), who was a Miami Classics professor and wrote America's most widely used pioneer text books - the McGuffey Readers - while on faculty at Miami University.

Miami also was the first U.S. public university to have an "Artist-in-Residence" program, with Percy MacKaye as the first poet in residence.

The Miami Student claims to be the oldest university newspaper, tracking its founding to 1826, although Dartmouth College's student newspaper contests this claim.

Miami University was first provided for under the Northwest Ordinance, which would regulate the free states of the Midwest. On May 5, 1792, "the President of the United States was authorized to grant letters patent to John Cleves Symmes and his associates . . . provided that the land grant should include one complete township . . . for the purpose of establishing an academy and other public schools and seminaries of learning. After Ohio became a state in 1803, the State legislature assumed responsibility for making sure that John Cleves Symmes would set aside a township of land for the support of an academy. Such a law was passed by the State legislature April 15, 1803. . . . Finally, on February 17, 1809, the State legislature created The Miami University (The article "The" is in the official name of Miami but is not currently used) and provided that one complete township in the State of Ohio in the district of Cincinnati was to be vested in Miami University for its use, benefit, and support."[1] This was known as the "College Township", ultimately Oxford, Ohio which was the first township in North America to bear the name Oxford.

At one point in the 19th century, Miami University was the 4th largest university in the United States after Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth. As the East-West national rivalries subsided, the North-South rivalries surged; Miami University split apart at the time of the Civil War. Most graduates volunteered for the Union, more than any other school except the military academies. The majority of those that didn't, primarily from Southern states (such as Jefferson Davis' nephew) volunteered in the Confederate armies. Miami contributed significantly to the leadership of both sides of the war. Of the ten members of Lincoln's Cabinet, two were Miami men: Secretary of the Interior Caleb Blood Smith and Postmaster General William Dennison. When the Civil war began, there were five governors of thirty-three states who were Miami graduates (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi). Also, Ohio would have two and Iowa one civil war governor, California one governor before the war and Missouri two governors just after the war, all from Miami University. Ten Union generals were Miami alumni, including 23rd President of the U.S., Benjamin Harrison (Miami Class of 1852) and three Confederate generals were graduates of Miami. Of the three Admirals in the Union Navy, two were Miami graduates, including Stephen Clegg Rowan.

Because most of its all-male student body had left for and fought in the war (leaving four years with virtually no student fees to sustain the University), because many alumni and professors died in the War, because the West opened up to other universities, and because Southern families no longer sent their sons to the North for an education, "Old Miami" passed on and Miami University nearly died. The university, unable to pay its huge debts, closed in 1873 and did not reopen until 1885 (when the Civil War ended, only 104 out of 516 American colleges would survive).

With the help of alumni and Ohio legislators, "New Miami" was reopened in 1885 and soon began admitting women. Although Ohio State University, then the Ohio Agriculture and Mechanical College, had been launched in the interim, Miami University continued to attract its fair share of Ohio students by the 1890s, and by the 1950s had massively grown.

Over the course of the twentieth century, Miami has absorbed two women's colleges located in Oxford: Oxford College (1854–1929) and Western College for Women (1853–1974, a daughter school of Mount Holyoke. Oxford was also home to Oxford Theological Seminary (1838–1858) and the Oxford Female Institute (1849–1867), which was absorbed into Oxford College in 1867. Miami University was coeducational long before most schools in the Ivy League. Miami has been a non-sectarian school as were other pioneer universities in the Midwest, though its early leaders were often Presbyterians. Miami University's current enrollment on the Oxford campus is approximately 15,000 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students. In addition to its Oxford campus, Miami has additional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio, West Chester, Ohio and a European Center in Differdange, Luxembourg, with approximately 6000 more students.

Miami University is known around the fraternity world for the Miami Triad, three fraternities founded in the 19th century that spread throughout the United States, and is called "Mother of Fraternities." These were Beta Theta Pi (1839), Sigma Chi (1855), and Phi Delta Theta (1848). The Delta Zeta sorority was also founded at Miami University in 1902 as was the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity in 1906. Alpha Delta Phi was the first fraternity to arrive on campus in 1833. Phi Delta Theta was founded in Elliott Hall and two of Phi Kappa Tau's four founders lived in the same room at the time of its founding.

In an effort to make college more affordable to Ohio students, Miami offers a varied in-state tuition based on financial need as well as state-identified key areas of study including engineering and mathematics. In 2007-08, the highest tuition paid by Ohioans is $11,643; 60 percent pay less, as low as $8,900. Ohio families earning $35,000 or less annually pay no tuition courtesy of the Miami Access Initiative.

Miami is celebrating its bicentennial in 2009. To commemorate this occasion, Miami University announced the construction of the Bicentennial Student Center which will serve as a focal point for student life and leadership for future generations of Miamians. Students have outgrown the Shriver Student Center, which is limited on space, technology and hours; not accommodating the round-the-clock lifestyles of most college students. The new student center will be a place on campus which is more student focused, with plenty of room to accommodate the more than 350 student organizations on Miami’s campus.

Miami University has six academic divisions—the College of Arts & Science, the Farmer School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Education, Health, and Society, the School of Fine Arts, and the Graduate School.

Oxford, Ohio
Oxford is a city in northwestern Butler County, Ohio, United States, in the southwestern portion of the state, and was planned to accommodate Miami University as its primary town purpose. It lies in Oxford Township, originally called the College Township. The population was 21,943 at the 2000 census..

Although Miami was chartered in 1809, Oxford was laid out by James Heaton on March 29, 1810, by the Ohio General Assembly's order of February 6, 1810. The original village, consisting of 128 lots, was incorporated on February 23, 1830. Oxford was elevated to town status in 1962 and to city status in 1971.

Oxford is home to the national offices of five Greek-letter organizations including the home office of the international business fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi, social sorority Delta Zeta and general fraternities, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Delta Theta, and Beta Theta Pi. All but Delta Sigma Pi were founded at Miami University.

University Traditions

Nickname – Red Hawks
At the urging of the Oklahoma-based Miami Tribe, (for whom the school is named) the Miami Board of Trustees voted on Sept. 25, 1996 to discontinue the use of Redskins as the nickname for the university's athletic teams. More than 3,000 nickname suggestions (700 different names) from alumni and current members of the Miami community were received. At its meeting on April 19, 1997, the board selected the nickname RedHawks from three nickname finalists - RedHawks, Thunderhawks and Miamis - forwarded them by the athletic nickname selection committee. The new moniker went into effect July 1, 1997.

University president Dr. James C. Garland unveiled the RedHawk logos at a press conference on Oct. 18, 1997 prior to the Marshall game. Swoop, the mascot of Miami teams, made its first appearance on Dec. 9, 1997, before the men's basketball contest versus Xavier.

Use of the nickname Redskins for Miami athletic teams dated back to the 1930-31 school year, when the Miami alumni magazine, then edited by the school's lone publicity man, Ralph McGinnis, announced the new nickname as successor to Big Red, which had caused confusion with Denison University teams. A similar tag had popped up in a 1928 story in the Miami Student that referred to the "Big Red-Skinned Warriors," but the transition wasn't made for another three years. For a time in 1931, Redskins and Big Red were used interchangeably in The Student. Prior to 1928, teams had been referred to as The Miami Boys, The Big Reds or The Reds and Whites.

Fight Song
Miami's fight song was composed in 1908 by Professor of Geology Raymond H. Burke. Before the music was composed, students sang the words to the tune of "Oh My Darling Clementine”The lyrics are as follows:

Love and honor to Miami,
Our college old and grand,
Proudly we shall ever hail thee,
Over all the land.

Alma mater now we praise thee,
Sing joyfully this lay,
Love and honor to Miami,
Forever and a day.

Famous University of Miami Alumni
Government, military, public administration
* Charles Anderson, 27th Governor of Ohio (1865–1866)
* Calvin Stewart Brice, Former U.S. Senator, railroad magnate and campaign manager for Grover Cleveland's U.S. presidential campaign against Brice's fellow Miami alumnus, Benjamin Harrison.
* James Edwin Campbell, 38th Governor of Ohio
* Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator from Washington
* Joseph Davis, American Civil War Confederate General (nephew of President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America
* William Dennison Jr., U.S. Postmaster General; 24th Governor of Ohio (1860-1862)
* Thomas Dinwiddie, retired Brigadier General U.S. Air Force
* Ozro J. Dodds, U.S. Representative from Ohio
* John E. Dolibois, ambassador to Luxembourg and interrogator at the Nuremberg Trials
* Steve Driehaus, current U.S. Representative from the 1st district of Ohio
* Samuel Galloway, U.S. Representative from Ohio (1855-57)
* Stan Greenberg, Democratic Party pollster and campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry
* Andrew L. Harris, 44th Governor of Ohio (1906-1909), U.S. Commissioner, American Civil War General
* Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (1889-1893)
* David Archibald Harvey, U.S. Representative from Oklahoma
* Isaac M. Jordan, U.S. Representative from Ohio
* Oliver P. Morton, Former Indiana governor and U.S. Senator
* Michael Oxley, Member of Congress and co-sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act
* George Ellis Pugh, Former U.S. Senator
* Joseph Ralston, May 2000 - 2003, Commander, U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO
* Whitelaw Reid, U.S. ambassador to France from 1889 to 1892, and U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1905 to 1912, Republican candidate for Vice President on the ticket with fellow Miami alumnus, Benjamin Harrison, 1892 (the only time in American political history that the candidates for President and Vice President, put forward by a major political party), were undergraduates of the same college).
* Paul Ryan, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin
* Milton Sayler, U.S. Representative from Ohio
* Caleb Blood Smith, 6th United States Secretary of the Interior, serving in the Cabinet of Abraham Lincoln
* Sidney Souers, First Central Intelligence Agency Director appointed by President Harry S. Truman
* Anthony Thornton, U.S. Representative from Illinois and Illinois Supreme Court Justice
* John B. Weller, fifth Governor of California, former Congressman from Ohio, U.S. Senator from California and Minister to Mexico

Journalism, literature, media, entertainment
* Ira Berkow, sports writer, New York Times
* Pete Conrad, sports columnist Dayton Daily News
* Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize Winner, First African-American U.S. Poet laureate, Consultant to the Library of Congress
* Jon Gambrell, correspondent, Associated Press
* Wil Haygood, columnist, The Washington Post
* Bill Hemmer, Fox News Channel anchor
* Katie Lee Joel, television personality, food critic, and wife of pop music superstar Billy Joel
* Tina Louise, Ginger on Gilligan's Island
* Nick Lachey, singer
* P. J. O'Rourke, conservative satirist
* Chad Pergram, FOX News journalist, recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award and the Joan Barone Award for his reporting on Capitol Hill
* Whitelaw Reid, Editor-in-chief, New York Tribune and U.S. Vice-President candidate with President Benjamin Harrison (the only time in U.S. history that the President and Vice-President candidates were alumni from the same University).
* Bill Sammon, Senior White House Correspondent, Washington Examiner, formerly at The Washington Times; and political analyst for Fox News Channel, and the author of four New York Times bestsellers. .

* Brad Alford, Chairman & CEO of Nestle USA
* C. Michael Armstrong former CEO of Hughes Electronics, Comcast Corporation & AT&T
* John Christie, President and CFO, Worthington Industries
* Arthur D. Collins, Chairman of Medtronic, Inc.
* Bruce Downey, Chief Executive Officer of Barr Pharmaceuticals
* Richard T. Farmer, Founder and Chairman of the Cintas Corporation
* Cynthia Fedus Fields, Former President & CEO of Victoria's Secret Catalogue Division
* William L. McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne
* Charles Mechem, Jr., retired chairman and CEO of Jacor Communications and former commissioner of the LPGA; Director of Convergys Corporation
* Matt Merchant, CTO, Corporate Information Systems at General Electric
* John H. Patterson, founder of NCR (National Cash Register)
* Marvin Pierce, Former President of McCall Publishing, father of former First Lady Barbara Bush, and maternal grandfather of President George W. Bush
* Mitchell Rales, co-founder, former CEO, and current Chairman of the Executive Committee and Director of Danaher Corporation
* Michael Rechin, CEO of First Merchants Corporation
* Jack Rogers, Former Chairman & CEO of United Parcel Service (UPS)
* John Smale, retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Procter & Gamble and retired chairman of the executive committee of General Motors
* Thomas Smith, founding partner and president of Prescott Investors, Inc.
* Richard K. Smucker, Chief Executive Officer of The J.M. Smucker Company
* Thomas Stallkamp, Director and former CEO of MSX International and Former President & Vice Chairman of Daimler Chrysler
* John Walter, former President and Chairman of AT&T

* Kevyn Adams, NHL player, Chicago Blackhawks; member of 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes
* Walter Alston, former manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams; earned four World Series championships and seven National League pennants
* Jerry Angelo, General Manager of the Chicago Bears
* Bill Arnsparger, NFL coach - Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers; NCAA football coach; Head Coach, LSU; Athletic Director, University of Florida
* Randy Ayers, former NBA player and college Head Coach at Ohio State University and Head Coach of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, Assistant Coach of the Orlando Magic and current Assistant Coach of NBA Washington Wizards
* Bob Babich, former NFL player, San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns; First-Team All-American in football.
* Jacob Bell, NFL player, Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams
* Eric Beverly, NFL player, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons
* "Red" Earl Blaik, former Head Coach Army football; member of the NFL Foundation Hall of Fame.
* Dan Boyle, NHL player for the Tampa Bay Lightning; won Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightening
* Paul Brown, partial founder of the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals and the first head coach for both teams
* Rob Carpenter, NFL player, where he rushed for 4,363 yards in a 10-year career with the Houston Oilers, New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams.
* Alain Chevrier, NHL player, New Jersey Devils
* Carmen Cozza, former head football Coach, Yale University; played in NFL for Green Bay Packers and in Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox organization
* Dan Dalrymple, NFL coach, Head Strength & Conditioning for the New Orleans Saints
* Paul Dietzel, All-American center, football; Head Coach, football at LSU, South Carolina and Army; National Coach of the Year
* Bill Doran, former second baseman for the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, and Milwaukee Brewers; bench coach, Kansas City Royals
* Wayne Embry, General Manager, NBA's Toronto Raptors; former NBA player and NBA executive with the Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers, and was the first African American NBA General Manager and Team President; two-time basketball All-American at Miami
* Weeb Ewbank, Super Bowl-winning NFL Head Coach; won two NFL titles with the Baltimore Colts and the New York Jets
* Mike Glumac, NHL player, St. Louis Blues
* Jim Gordan, Los Angeles Olympian, track and field; track and football in college
* Andy Greene, player, NHL, New Jersey Devils
* John Harbaugh, Head Coach, Baltimore Ravens
* Ron Harper, retired NBA player, Five-time NBA Champion, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers; coach, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic
* Bob Hitchens, player, NFL, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers
* Alphonso Hodge, NFL player, Cornerback, Kansas City Chiefs, 5th round draft pick (147th overall) in 2005
* Bob Jencks, player NFL, Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears; Super Bowl Champions with Chicago Bears
* Ryan Jones, player NHL, Nashville Predators
* Ernie Kellermann, former defensive back for the Cleveland Browns, 1966-71, Cincinnati Bengals from 1971-72 and Buffalo Bills from 1972-73
* Aaron Kromer Tampa Bay Buccaneers Senior Offensive Assistant)
* Charlie Leibrandt, former pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Atlanta Braves, and Texas Rangers; 140-119 Major League record
* Phil Lumpkin, player, NBA Portland Trailblazer and Phoenix Suns
* Bill Mallory, head football coach, Miami University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Indiana University Bloomington; Big Ten Coach of the Year
* Denny Marcin New York Giants
* John McVay former Head Coach New York Giants; General Manager, San Francisco 49ers (5 Super Bowl Championships; NFL Executive of the Year winner
* Marvin Miller, union leader Major League Baseball Players Association
* Mike Mizanin, aka The Miz, WWE wrestler/ entertainer
* Tim Naehring, former MLB player, Boston Red Sox
* Martin Nance, NFL player, Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings
* Ira Newble, NBA player, Cleveland Cavaliers, Seattle Supersonics and Los Angeles Lakers
* Ara Parseghian, former head football coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish
* John Pont, Head football coach, Miami University, Yale University, Indiana University, Northwestern University; national Coach of the Year; lead Indiana to Big Ten title and Rose Bowl
* Travis Prentice, retired NFL player, NCAA Division 1-A Career leader in points scored, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings
* Ryne Robinson, NFL player, Carolina Panthers
* Randy Robitaille, NHL player, Ottawa Senators
* Ben Roethlisberger, NFL player, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers, set record for most victories by a rookie quarterback in the NFL, 2004, Super Bowl Champion 2006 and 2009. (Did not graduate.)
* Scott Sauerbeck, Major League Baseball pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
* Brian Savage, NHL player, Philadelphia Flyers
* Bo Schembechler, noted former football head coach of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Wolverines
* Bob Schul, 1964 Olympic Gold medalist, 5000m run
* Sherman Smith, NFL player, Seattle Seahawks, coach Tennessee Titans, Offensive Coordinator Washington Redskins
* Jim Steeg, EVP and COO, San Diego Chargers; for Senior Vice President of Special Events, NFL
* Milt Stegall, all-time career leader in touchdowns, receiver for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League; player NFL Cincinnati Bengals
* Wally Szczerbiak, NBA player, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves
* Randy Walker, former head football coach at Northwestern University
* Sheldon White, Pro Player Personnel Detroit Lions
* Ron Zook, Head Football Coach at the University of Illinois and former Head Football Coach at the University of Florida

The game
Denver comes into this game with some excitement with the return of it’s best overall player, Tyler Bozak from a mid-season knee injury. But that excitement is somewhat tempered by off a loss in the WCHA title game, and injuries to key players Tyler Ruegsegger and captain JP Testwuide, both of who are listed as “doubtful” to play against Miami.

Miami is a big team that should pose a lot of difficulty for the Pioneers, but with Denver’s depth on offense, defense and goal, the Pioneers should be able to emerge victorious if the play their transition game and play good defense,

Prediction. Playoff hockey. Denver wins a tight one, 2-1.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WCHA Playoff Semi-Finals: Wisconsin Badgers

(above) The Badgers play their home games at the Kohl Center

The Xcel Center, St. Paul MN.
March 20, 2009 - 1 PM
The University of Wisconsin Badgers

The post season continues for the WCHA No. 2 seeded Denver Pioneers (22-10-5, 16-8-4 WCHA), who meet the WCHA No. 3 seed Wisconsin Badgers (19-15-4, 14-11-3 WCHA) for the right to advance to the WCHA Championship Game on Saturday, and the defense of the Broadmoor Trophy, won by the Pioneers last season. Game time is 1:07 PM MT at the 18,064 seat Xcel Energy Center. The Game will be telecast on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain and Fox Sports North, while radio fans in the Denver area may tune to 1510 on the AM dial, with Jay Stickney handling the call.

The Pioneers are 54-71-9, including an 0-2 mark on neutral ice, all-time against Wisconsin in the series that began in 1967-68. DU is 0-8 against the Badgers in the WCHA Playoffs and 0-11 in postseason action. DU won the 2008-09 regular season series, 4-0, with sweeps in Denver (6-5, 7-4) on Oct. 17-18 and in Madison (4-3 ot, 5-0) on Feb. 20-21. DU is 4-1 in its last five games against Wisconsin and 5-5 in its last 10. Wisconsin defeated Denver, 6-2, in the last postseason meeting at the Kohl Center in Madison during the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regional.

Badgers to Watch
The Badgers are led by junior defenseman Jamie McBain, who is second among all NCAA blueliners with 7-29--36, and is a Hobey Baker Award candidate. McBain is one of 10 NHL drafted Badgers. Derek Stepan (9-24--33), Tom Gorowsky (12-18--30), Blake Geoffrion (15-12--27) and John Mitchell (15-11--26), round out Wisconsin’s top-five scorers. Shane Connolly leads the team with a 18-13-4 record, 2.54 GAA and .911 Sv% in the nets.

About the Wisconsin Program
According to Wikipedia and the UW web sites, records indicate that ice hockey was played at Wisconsin before 1900, but the first varsity game was played in 1921. Coaching changes were frequent and seasons were short, due presumably to relying on nature to provide suitable outdoor conditions, and the University dropped the sport in 1935.

The modern era of Badger Hockey began in 1963, with the decision of athletic director Ivan B. Williamson. The Badgers started out ambitiously, playing as an independent team and scheduling 8 games against Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams, losing all 8 games. However, the persistence eventually paid off. Late in the 1965-66 season, the Badgers finally broke through, beating the Minnesota Golden Gophers 5-4 in overtime, their first win over a WCHA opponent. At the end of that season, Coach John Riley retired, and UW hired "Badger" Bob Johnson (left), a former Minnesota Gopher player who would build the UW program into what it is today. Johnson would become one of the most the most legendary American hockey figures of all time, coaching not only the Badgers to NCAA glory, but winning a Stanley Cup as coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and becoming an international fixture with USA Hockey as a coach and administrator.

The next milestone for UW hockey was WCHA membership, which came for the 1969-70 season. The Badgers shocked the hockey world by gaining an NCAA tournament berth in their first season as members of the WCHA. The early success captivated fans, who packed the 8,600 seat Dane County Coliseum off campus and made the arena what Sports Illustrated termed the “Montreal Forum of College Hockey”.

More success would follow under Johnson. After again earning an NCAA bid in 1972, the Badgers won their first national championship in 1973, over the Denver Pioneers. The 1977 UW team further cemented Wisconsin Hockey in the national landscape, by sweeping the WCHA regular season, tournament, and NCAA tournament titles. Behind the efforts of four first team All-Americans, Mike Eaves (the current head coach of UW) 1980 Olympic hero Mark Johnson (Badger Bob’s son and now coach of the UW women’ team), Craig Norwich and Julian Baretta) the 1977 team won the title in amazing fashion, getting an equalizing goal late in regulation and winning goal in overtime in the final against Michigan. Another player on that team, grinding forward George Gwozdecky, would later become the coach of the Denver Pioneers, cementing his own legend in Denver.

The early 1980s were a glory period for Badger Hockey. The Badgers reached the NCAA title game three consecutive times in 1981, 1982, and 1983. The 1981 title was especially sweet for the Badger faithful, coming with a defeat of archrival Minnesota in the championship game. After again reaching the championship game in 1982, where the Badgers lost to North Dakota, the program was dealt a double blow with the resignation of "Badger" Bob Johnson. He left Wisconsin after 15 seasons with 3 NCAA championships, a record of 367-175-23, and having built the program into an NCAA powerhouse.

The pain of 1982 was quickly eased in 1983, however, with the hire of former Badger assistant coach Jeff Sauer. Sauer turned around and won the 1983 NCAA championship in his first season. Wisconsin defeated Harvard 6-2 to earn the program's 4th NCAA title. Under Sauer's leadership, the Badgers would qualify for eight consecutive NCAA tournaments from 1988 to 1995, winning the program's 5th NCAA title in 1990, with a 7-3 victory over Colgate in Detroit. Also, Sauer presided over the team's move from the venerable Dane County Coliseum to the new, on-campus Kohl Center in 1998. The Badgers have been tops in college hockey attendance every year since moving to the Kohl Center, where crowds of 13,000 -15,000+ are the norm, with a rowdy band and and fully engaged student section. Wisconsin is also credited with the inventions of the "Sieve" cheer, now heard all over college hockey. A game in Madison is a special experience that all hockey fans should experience.

In the mid 1990s, Badger hockey hit a bit of a lull, earning NCAA bids in 1998 and 2000, but generally underachieving compared to the high standards of the 1970s and 1980s. The 1999-2000 team featured a duo of 2nd overall NHL draft pick Dany Heatley and Steve Reinprecht, won the MacNaughton Cup, and earned a #1 position in the polls for most of the season, only to be upset by Boston College in the NCAA regionals. Two seasons later, during the 2001-2002 campaign, coach Sauer announced his retirement.

Sauer's replacement was hotly debated. Denver’s George Gwozdecky was considered, but elected to stay at DU, and the selection came down to Mike Eaves and Mark Johnson, with Eaves getting the nod due to deeper coaching experience in the NHL and abroad. While Eaves still holds the record as UW's all-time leading scorer, he is a much more defensive-minded coach. His first season at UW was full of hardship and controversy, including one of the worst records in the modern era. However, in 2003-2004, Eaves brought the Badgers just short of the Frozen Four, falling in overtime to Maine. After a disappointing finish to the 2004-2005 season, the Badgers returned to national prominence by winning the 2005/2006 NCAA championship by winning the Frozen Four held in nearby Milwaukee. He is looking to return the Badgers to the pinnacle again, but recent teams have lacked the scoring depth needed to win Frozen Fours.

About the University of Wisconsin
Founded in 1848, the original idea of UW was to start the university near the seat of the state government in Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin. UW was founded the same year that Wisconsin became a state, and the University began with 17 students in rented rooms at the Madison Female Academy. Since then, it has grown to become one of America’s largest research universities, with over 42,000 students in 20 different schools, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin system over $900 million in research funding.

Early UW academic successes included the 1913 and 1916 discoveries of Vitamins A and B by UW scientist, Elmer V. McCollum, and the 1923 process for adding vitamin D to milk. In 1940, UW developed Warfarin, an important blood thinner,
(also known as Coumadin) and named it after the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

In the 1960s and 70s, Madison and UW became a hotbed of anti-war protests including the August, 1970 bombing outside the Army Math Research Center in Sterling Hall, killing post-doctoral researcher Robert Fassnacht.

In 1988, two UW Madison students, Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson founded the Onion humor newspaper, and in 1998, UW cell biologist James Thompson first isolated and cultured human embryonic stem cells.

UW is a member of the Big 10 conference as well as the WCHA, and has really upgraded its athletic programs in recent years, and with no other comparable school in the state, UW Madison has a deep and passionate statewide following with large alumni chapters across the world.

Madison, Wisconsin
Known as one of America’s great college towns, the City of Madison is the State Capital with over 220,000 residents, and over 500,000 in the metropolitan area, the second largest city in Wisconsin after Milwaukee. The city was founded in 1836 as planned capital for the new Wisconsin Territory, and had only 626 people when UW was founded in 1848. The UW Campus has over 900 acres that occupy much of central Madison, sitting on an isthmus between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota in south central Wisconsin.

During the American Civil War, Madison served as a center of the Union Army in Wisconsin. Camp Randall, on the west side of Madison, was built and used as a training camp, a military hospital, and a prison camp for captured Confederate soldiers. After the war ended, the Camp Randall site was absorbed into the University of Wisconsin. Camp Randall Stadium was built over the site in 1917.

Today, the city is known for both its liberal leanings and for its reputation as a party town, helped along by 40,000+ UW students and the bars of State Street. It's a white collar place with a lot of culture, recreational opportunities and cheap alcohol.

University Traditions

Nickname – Badgers
The nickname "Badgers" was borrowed from the state of Wisconsin. The territory was dubbed the "Badger State," not because of animals in the region, but rather because of an association with lead miners. In the 1820s and 1830s, prospectors came to the state looking for minerals, and without shelter in the winter, the miners had to "live like badgers" in tunnels burrowed into the hillsides. The badger mascot was adopted by the University of Wisconsin in 1889.

Logo and Mascot:
"Buckingham U. Badger", aka “Bucky Badger” was chosen in a student contest in 1949. The current emblem, a scowling, strutting badger wearing a cardinal-and-white striped sweater, was designed by Art Evans in 1940. Bucky wears a cardinal red and white Wisconsin sweater along with a gruff look on his face (the costumed-mascot version is decidedly cheerier, with a beaming smile).He also has a history of playfully fighting other team's mascots like the University of Minnesota's Goldy Gopher or Purdue University's Purdue Pete. Although fighting is no longer allowed by NCAA mascots, Bucky still frequently interacts with other mascots through skits. Bill Sagal was the first costumed Bucky Badger. The original Bucky costume was introduced at a pep rally on Friday, November 11, 1949, before the next day's Homecoming football game against Iowa. Carolyn (Connie) Conrad, a UW art student, designed the original chicken wire and paper mache head. Sagal, then head cheerleader, wore his regular cheerleader trousers and sweater and added boxing gloves.

The modern Bucky Badger logo was part of a group of "comic collegiate badger mascots" created by the Anson W. Thompson Company of Los Angeles in 1940. The company was one of several that manufactured decals and other logowear for universities. The UW athletic department first used the logo on the cover of the 1948 Football Facts and Centennial Sports Review. In 2003, Bucky was given an update, with simplified lines and the "motion W" on his sweater.

Wisconsin School Colors:
Cardinal and white are the official colors of UW’s sports teams, and the color of cardinal shade or red comes originally from Catholic Cardinal’s Cassock (robe). Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa State, USC, Stanford and Wisconsin all use Cardinal as a school color, which is very close shade to crimson, the color of the Pioneers.

Wisconsin Fight Song
"On, Wisconsin!" is the fight song of the Wisconsin Badgers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is also the official state song of Wisconsin. "On, Wisconsin!" was also the cry that Arthur MacArthur, Jr. used in the Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge, in the Civil War.

The tune was composed in 1909 by William T. Purdy, with the intention of entering it into a competition for a new fight song at the University of Minnesota. Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student, convinced him to withdraw it from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater to use it instead. Beck then wrote the original, football-oriented lyrics, changing the words "Minnesota, Minnesota" to "On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!" (The eventual winner of the competition became known as the Minnesota Rouser).

The lyrics were rewritten for the state song in 1913 by Judge Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard. The song was widely recognized as the state song at that time, but was never officially designated. Finally in 1959, "On, Wisconsin!" was officially designated as the State Song. The song is actually in the public domain and used by hundreds of high school and small colleges, and is even used as the fight song of the CFL’s Saskatchewan RoughRiders.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field,
A touchdown sure this time. (U rah rah)
On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.

Famous University of Wisconsin Alumni
The University of Wisconsin has many distinguished alumni including aviator Charles Lindbergh, Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, writers Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen Ambrose and Eudora Welty, TV personalities Edwin Newman, Greta Van Susteren and Jeff Greenfield. Famous UW politicians include Dick and Lynn Cheney, Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold, as well as musicians Steve Miller and Boz Skaggs.

Famous Sports Alumni include Alan Ameche, Ron Dayne, Troy Vincent and Crazy Legs Hirsch (Football), NBAers Michael Finley and Devin Harris, Baseball Hall of Famer Addie Joss, NHL Hockey players Chris Chelios, Dany Heatley,Tony Granato, Mike Richter and Gary Suter, and Olympians Eric Heiden, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Carly Piper and Horse trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

The Series

Defending Broadmoor Cup champion Denver seeks its WCHA-leading 16th playoff title, as DU has gone four-for-four in Red Baron WCHA Final Five titles (1999, 2002, 2005, 2008) in its last four attempts. While the Pioneers are 4-0 against Wisconsin this season, outscoring the Badgers 22-12, Denver is surprisingly 0-11 all time against Wisconsin in playoff action, DU comes into the series with serious injuries to centers and two best offensive players, Tyler Bozak and Tyler Ruegsegger, and a third center, Jesse Martin, is questionable with a groin injury. With so many injuries to key players, Denver will need some excellence from its remaining players in order to advance with a patchwork lineup. A win over the Badgers would go a long way towards clinching a top-4 seed in the NCAA playoffs, but this will not be certain until all playoff games are completed.

Career wise, Rhett Rakhshani has the best overall numbers against the Badgers, with 13 career points in 13 career games vs UW, but on a PPG basis, Patrick Wiercioch is probably the one player that scares the Badgers the most, as he has 9 points in just four career games against UW in just his first year in the league.

Offensively, Denver carries a 3.43 scoring average, good for 7th nationally, while UW is 10th nationally at 3.34. With DU’s top two offensive talents unable to play, Denver’s slight edge here has likely been eroded, and I'd give the edge to UW based on the Denver injuries, and the fact that UW offense is really clicking, with massive amounts of shots on goal last weekend in the playoffs vs Minnesota State.

Defensively, Denver has the 10th best defense nationally, letting in 2.38 GPG from its opponents, while UW is 23rd at 2.68 GPG. Denver has a slight edge here, and will likely need to play a top notch defensive game to emerge victorious.

In Goal, DU’s Marc Cheverie is 14th nationally at .921 in saves percentage, while UW’s Shane Connolly is 35th at .911. The edge here goes to Cheverie.

Special teams wise, Wisconsin enjoys a big edge, ranking 8th nationally vs Denver’s 36th best special teams. Wisconsin has a 19% PP good for eighth nationally, while Denver checks in at 24th with 17.4%, and that unit is likely to struggle without Tyler Ruegsegger’s PP goalscoring, which was tops in the WCHA this year. On the PK, Wisconsin has the 5th best kill at 88.2% nationally, while DU’s kill is 11th best at 87.1%. All in all, if the Badgers can exploit their special teams advantage on Denver, DU will likely lose.


Wisconsin will be playing for its playoff life, while Denver’s place in the NCAA tourney is secure, When you add to the fact that Denver has never beaten UW in a playoff game, it doesn't bode well, even though Denver's never lost a playoff game in the Xcel Energy Center, and when DU makes it there, they have always won the Broadmoor Trophy.

Prediction: As much as I’d love to see Denver hold off UW, I think the injuries down Denver’s middle are pretty devastating, and without DU’s two best offensive players and UW playing as well, as they are on special teams. UW is going to win the game, 3-1.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

WCHA Playoffs: The University Of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves

(above) UAA's Sullivan Arena

Magness Arena, Denver. Colo.
March 13-15

No.2-seed Denver (20-10-5) hosts No. 9-seed Alaska Anchorage (14-15-5) in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs on March 13-15. Puck drop is set for 7:37 p.m. on Friday, March 13 and 7:07 p.m. on Saturday in the best two-of-three series. Puck drop for Sunday's game, if necessary, is set for 7:07 p.m. Jay Stickney will have the call on AM 1510 on Friday and AM 560 on Saturday and Sunday. All games will be webcast on Pioneer Vision on

The Series
The Pioneers own a 37-14-5 all-time advantage against Alaska Anchorage in the series that started in 1992-93. The Pioneers are 20-7-1 against the Seawolves in Denver, including a 12-4 mark at Magness Arena. DU is 9-1 in its last 10 games against UAA and 12-3 in its last 15. DU has held UAA to three goals or less in the last 12 of the last 13 contests. The Pioneers are 3-2 in their last five games against UAA, including a split in February at Magness.

Seawolves to watch
The Seawolves bring a four-game winning sweep to Denver after sweeping Alaska (1-0, 3-0) and Minnesota Duluth (5-4, 4-2). And the hottest UAA player is Kevin Clark, who earned WCHA Player of the Week honors last weekend, A 5-9, 167-pound right winger from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Clark scored four goals in the UMD series and added two assists for six points as the visiting Seawolves swept on the road for the first time since Nov. 10-11, 2000 (@ Wisconsin) and extended their winning streak to four games - a feat that hasn't been accomplished in over a decade (Dec. 4, 1998-Jan. 8, 1999). Last Friday (March 6) at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center, Clark led the UAA attack with a two-goal, two-assist night in a 5-4 victory over the host Bulldogs. He scored the game-opening goal in the first period, tied the score at 3-3 with a goal in the second, and then set up both of his team's goals in the third period - including teammate Josh Lunden's winner. Last Saturday (March 7) evening, Clark came back with a two-goal night to lead Alaska Anchorage to a 4-3 win over UMD. In addition to his six points in the series, he also fired 10 shots on goal and earned a +3 plus/minus rating. On the 2008-09 season, Clark ranks second on the UAA team in scoring with 29 points in 32 games (11g,18a).

The Seawolves are also led by forwards Paul Crowder, Tommy Grant and Josh Lunden, who scored 14 goals each. Mat Robinson (2-12--14) and Curtis Leinweber (2-10--12) anchor UAA’s blueline, while Bryce Christianson (8-7-4, 2.53 GAA, .895 Sv%) and Jon Althuis (6-8-1, 3.45 GAA, .875 Sv%) share the goaltending duties. Christenson posted both shutouts against Alaska on Feb. 27-28.

About the University of Alaska-Anchorage
University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest member of the University of Alaska System, with more than 19,000 students, about 14,000 of whom attend classes at the main Anchorage campus. Most of the students at UAA commute, while about 1000 students live on campus.

UAA comprises eight colleges and schools: The College of Education, College of Health and Social Welfare, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Public Policy, the Community and Technical College, School of Engineering, School of Nursing and School of Social Work. There are four community campuses: Matanuska-Susitna College, Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College, and Prince William Sound Community College. UAA offers Graduate degrees through the Graduate Division.

The university's history began in 1954, when the Anchorage Community College opened, using the then-Anchorage High School building at night. Anchorage Senior College began providing upper-division classes in 1969, becoming the four-year University of Alaska Anchorage in 1976. UAA, ACC, and ACC's rural extension units merged in 1987 to form the present institution.

Located in the heart of Alaska’s largest city is the University of Alaska Anchorage, the state’s largest post-secondary institution. The campus is nestled in the middle of a greenbelt, surrounded by lakes, ponds and wildlife, and is connected to a city-wide trail system.

Most popular majors at UAA
-Business Administration
-Human Services
-Aviation Technology

About the UAA Hockey Program
UAA is a program that represents the underdog in all of us. They play home games that are at least two time zones and long plane flights removed from most of the rest of college hockey, and since few visiting fans have made the trip to Alaska in winter, we know less about UAA, contributing to their unique mystique.

UAA began playing varsity hockey in 1979, under pioneering coach Kelvin “Brush” Christiansen. As a startup program in the first season, UAA’s team did not leave the state of Alaska, as the team played at 8 games at the NCAA D-II level against fellow Alaskan rival the University of Alaska Fairbanks, beating UAF in all 8 games, and the remaining 23 games against Alaskan Senior League teams, going 17-14 overall. The first four seasons of UAA hockey would be played on campus at the UAA sports center, now known as the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, where UAA won 70% of its games. UAA now uses the rink as a practice facility.

The following season, UAA scheduled a full collegiate slate at the D-II level, and went 14-10. By 1981-82, the Seawolves began scheduling more Division I opponents, and gained their first sweep of a D-I school when they defeated the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. That season also included a triumphant four game sweep of German opponents in the former West Germany.

In 1982-83, The Seawolves recorded their first 20 win season, going 20-7-1, and were in the process of establishing themselves as a legitimate spectator attraction in Anchorage. For the last game of that season, UAA lost a 4-3 exhibition to US National Team in the newly-constructed 6,000-seat Sullivan Arena in downtown Anchorage, where they have played ever since.

The 1983-1984 hockey season would be the last played at the Division II level, and the Seawolves made it a memorable one, winning 23 games, losing six and tying one and starting the season with a 22-game winning streak (with five of the 22 wins coming against the Korean National Team) and their first win over a WCHA school, a 8-3 whipping of Colorado College.

The next year, UAA elevated the program to play as a full NCAA Division I independent, and went 17-21, including a six-game sweep of Korean Universities in South Korea.

The next big step in the evolution of the program was the formation of the Great West Hockey Conference in 1986, a collection of four former western independent programs (Northern Arizona, U.S. International University, UAF and UAA). While the conference lasted only a couple of seasons, UAA won the inaugural season and finished third in the second season.

By 1989, NAU and USIU has dropped hockey as a varsity sport, and UAA found itself as a D-I independent once again. Fortunately, 1989-90 was the breakthrough season for the program as a legitimate D-I force. The team went 21-11-2, with a lot of magic moments along the way. The first sweep of a Hockey East team came in January, when UAA swept Maine. But the biggest regular season moment of all came when UAA beat Minnesota in Minneapolis, 4-3 in a thrilling overtime contest, announcing to the world of college hockey that the UAA program was for real. The next week, UAA also tied Michigan in Ann Arbor and finished out the regular season of college opponents with a 5-1 drubbing of rival UAF.

In those days, the NCAA tourney was a 12-team tournament, and UAA was selected to represent the lone independents’ slot after beating Notre Dame in the special independents’ tournament in Alabama. While UAA lost to Lake Superior State in the first round of the NCAAs in a two-game total-goals series, it marked another step in the development of the program as the first of three consecutive years of NCAA appearances as an independent. This three-year era represented the high water mark of the UAA program in terms of wins and NCAA appearances.

In 1990-91, behind the superb goaltending of Paul Krake and the scoring talents of Robb Conn and Dean Larson, the Seawolves won 22, lost 17 and tied 4. But the story of the season was not so much in the beginning of the year, when UAA started with only two Division I wins before December, but the finish, when UAA hosted the independents’ tournament in March, and exploded for 15 goals, wiping out Alabama-Huntsville 5-0 and Notre Dame 10-2 to earn another independents’ slot in the NCAA tournament.

The Seawolves would then face powerhouse Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. on BC’s home ice– a tall order for any college hockey program, let alone an independent with only seven seasons as a D-I program under its belt. But UAA flew to Boston undaunted, and proceeded to shock the Eagles with a 3-2 victory in the first game, and doing it once again, beating BC in game 2 by a 3-1 count, marking the first NCAA victories for UAA, and sending the Seawolves to the NCAA quarterfinals as the victors of one of the bigger NCAA upsets in history.

UAA then advanced to Marquette, Mich. to face the high-scoring Northern Michigan Wildcats, who would be the eventual NCAA Champions that year. UAA put up a good fight, but lost by 8-5 and 5-3 scores to NMU.

The next season (1991-92) would become the most successful UAA season ever in terms of wins and losses, as the Seawolves stormed out a school record 27-8-1 record, and a 14-3 record heading into the New Year. In the second half, UAA went on another serious rampage through its independent schedule, going 13-2 from mid-January to early March, with the only two losses coming to arch-rival UAF in Fairbanks. The Seawolves then travelled back to Fairbanks for the Independents’ tournament, where they defeated Air Force 3-2 in the semifinal, setting up an epic revenge/grudge match with rival UAF for the independent tourney title and the NCAA bid. The game was tied 3-3 heading into overtime, and UAF fans were hopeful that fortune would shine on them at the Carlson Center. But it was not to be, as it was UAA who won the game in overtime, 4-3, sending the Seawolves to face Lake Superior State in a first round NCAA game at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Unfortunately for the Seawolves, a full 20 days had elapsed between the dramatic victory over UAF (March 7) and the game with LSSU (March 27), and LSSU won by a 7-3 count, ending UAA’s season. But all was not lost from a program standpoint, as the WCHA had noticed the advancement and commitment of UAA’s program. The WCHA awarded UAA with WCHA affiliate status for the next season, with an eye toward full WCHA membership in 1994.

The next season (1992-1993) saw UAA play a number of WCHA teams as an affiliate member, but not a full WCHA schedule, and the Seawolves responded with another winning year, going 18-14, and beating schools such as Boston College, and sweeping North Dakota and Northern Michigan. The WCHA also allowed UAA to participate in the WCHA playoffs, where UAA fell to Minnesota-Duluth. Little did most Seawolf fans realize that they would wait at least 15 years for the next winning season…

UAA’s admission to the WCHA would be a mixed blessing for the program – on one hand, the stability and security of playing in the nation’s dominant conference has improved the level of talent, credibility and prestige of the program, but due to the dramatically increased level of opposition that UAA now faces weekly in the WCHA, the Seawolves have not been able to finish higher than 6th in the WCHA since admission, have never hosted a league playoff game and still face some of the most difficult travel in all of college hockey every season. As a result, UAA has yet to make a return visit to the NCAA tournament.

Brush Christiansen retired as coach after 17 years after the 1995 season, and he was followed by Dean Talafous for the next five seasons, followed by ex-UAA player John Hill for four seasons, before he suddenly left the team to be an assistant at Minnesota. Current UAA coach Dave Shyiak has been on the job for for the past 2.5 seasons.. The common denominator with all the Seawolf coaches since joining in the WCHA has been lower division finishes and mostly first round playoff exits.

That’s not to say there haven’t been some thrilling moments in the last 15 years for UAA fans. In the 2003-2004 season, UAA had a dreadful 4-14-1 second half of the season and finished 8th in the league. But in the league playoffs, UAA stunned Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison, winning the best 2 of 3 series and advancing to the WCHA final five in Minneapolis for the first time ever. There, the Seawolves whipped Colorado College in the play-in game, 4-1, gaining a berth in the league semi-final, and coming only two wins away from an automatic NCAA tourney berth. But North Dakota ended the fairly-tale UAA finish with a 4-2 victory in the semis.

Since then, there have also been some glimmers of hope in playoff play. In the 2005, WCHA playoffs, UAA also beat Wisconsin 2-1 again in Madison to even the playoff series at one game each, but UAA fell 2-1 in the deciding game three. And in 2007, UAA also enjoyed its only other WCHA first round playoff victory, over host Minnesota (2-1) in overtime to even the series at one game each, but the Gophers won deciding game 3-1 to advance.

Individually, there have also been some well-known players to wear the Green and Gold, including future NHLers Robb Conn, All WCHA first teamer Greg Naumenko, Mike Peluso, Jeff Batters and Curtis Glencross.

Through all the losing, the Seawolves have retained a loyal core group of fans, and still compete toe to toe with the local minor league hockey team, the Anchorage Aces, for local fans and publicity. A new on-campus arena is the hope for many UAA fans, but it is not yet a reality.

Seawolf Traditions – The Nickname
UAA’s athletics teams were originally known as the Sourdoughs, but the university adopted the Seawolf moniker in 1977 when it elevated its program to the NCAA Division II level.

The name ‘Seawolf’ represents a mythical sea creature that, according to Tlingit Indian legend, brings good luck to anyone fortunate enough to view it. The exact nature or shape of the Seawolf, however, is left to the imagination, thus the creature has been depicted in many forms throughout the years.

The Seawolf logo of today was designed and introduced in 1985 by Clark Mishler & Associates in cooperation with a university committee. It represents an adaptation of a more traditional Alaska totemic-like characterization of the mythical Seawolf.

Notable UAA Alumni (Thanks to Paul Porco of UAA for providing the non-hockey names)
- Alaska Governor and former VP candidate Sarah Palin is “believed to have attended UAA at some point”, but this could be not been officially confirmed by the school
- Mike Doogan, current state representative, current author of mystery novels, former metro columnist for the Anchorage Daily News
- Deborah Bonito, wife of newly-elected Sen. Mark Begich
- Susan Knowles, wife of former Alaska Gov. and former Anchorage mayor Tony Knowles
- Diane Benson, former candidate for Alaska’s only seat in the U.S. House
- Arlitia Jones, poet & playwright; author of “The Bandsaw Riots,” book of poems
- Dana Stabenow, Alaska’s most successful novelist, author of 16 or mystery novels
- NHL Hockey player Robb Conn
- NHL Hockey player Greg Naumenko
- NHL Hockey player Mike Peluso
- NHL Hockey player Jeff Batters
- NHL Hockey player Curtis Glencross

About Anchorage
Anchorage (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) is Alaska’s largest city. With an estimated 279,671 municipal residents in 2007, and 359,180 residents within the Metropolitan Statistical Area, metro Anchorage constitutes more than 40 percent of the state's total population.

Anchorage was established in 1914 as a railroad construction port for the Alaska Railroad, which was built between 1915 and 1923. Ship Creek Landing, where the railroad headquarters was located, quickly became a tent city; Anchorage was incorporated on November 23, 1920. The city's economy in the 1920s centered around the railroad. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, the city experienced massive growth as air transportation and the military became increasingly important. Merrill Field opened in 1930, and Anchorage International Airport opened in 1951. Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson were constructed in the 1940s.

On March 27, 1964, Anchorage was hit by the major Good Friday Earthquake, which killed 115 Alaskans and caused $1.8 billion in damage (2007 U.S. dollars). The earth-shaking event lasted nearly five minutes; most structures that failed remained intact the first few minutes, then failed with repeated flexing. Rebuilding dominated the city in the mid 1960s.

In 1968, oil was discovered in Prudhoe Bay, and the resulting oil boom spurred further growth in Anchorage. In 1975, Anchorage merged with Eagle River, Girdwood, Glen Alps, and several other communities. The merger expanded the city, known officially as the Municipality of Anchorage. The city continued to grow in the 1980s, and capital projects and an aggressive beautification campaign took place.

Anchorage is located in South Central Alaska. It lies slightly farther north than Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and St. Petersburg. It is northeast of the Alaska Peninsula, Kodiak Island, and Cook Inlet, due north of the Kenai Peninsula, northwest of Prince William Sound and Alaska Panhandle, and nearly due south of Mount McKinley/Denali. The city is on a strip of coastal lowland and extends up the lower alpine slopes of the Chugach Mountains. To the south is Turnagain Arm, a fjord that has some of the world's highest tides. Knik Arm, another tidal inlet, lies to the west and north. The Chugach Mountains on the east form a boundary to development, but not to the city limits, which encompass part of the wild alpine territory of Chugach State Park.

Anchorage has a subarctic climate due to its short, cool summers. Average daytime summer temperatures range from approximately 55 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 26 degrees Celsius); average daytime winter temperatures are about 5 to 30 degrees (-15 to -1 degrees Celsius). Anchorage has a frost-free growing season that averages slightly over 100 days.

A diverse wildlife population exists in urban Anchorage and the surrounding area. Approximately 250 black bears and 60 grizzly bears live in the area. Bears are regularly sighted within the city. Moose are also a common sight. In the Anchorage Bowl, there is a summer population of approximately 250 moose, increasing to as many as 1000 during the winter and over 100 moose are killed by cars each year.

Anchorage's largest economic sectors include transportation, military, local and federal government, tourism, and resource extraction. Large portions of the local economy depend on Anchorage's geographical location and surrounding natural resources. Anchorage's economy traditionally has seen steady growth, while not quite as rapid as the rest of the country; it also does not experience as much pain during economic downturns. Widespread housing foreclosures seen around the country during 2007 and 2008 were generally nowhere near as severe in Anchorage.

The United States Military has two main bases in the area, Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson as well as the Kulis Air National Guard Base in Anchorage. These three bases employ approximately 8500 people and military personal and their families comprise 10 percent of the local population. During the Cold War, Elmendorf became an increasingly important base due to its proximity to the Soviet Union. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, Task Force 1-501 housed at Fort Richardson was upgraded into an airborne brigade to become the primary strategic response force in the Pacific Theater.

While Juneau is the official state capital of Alaska, there are actually more state employees who reside in the Anchorage area including current Governor Sarah Palin. Around 6,800 state employees work in Anchorage, compared to around 3,800 in Juneau. Federal government workers also include around 10,000, many related to federal lands management.

Many tourists are drawn to Alaska every year and Anchorage is commonly the first initial stop for most travelers. From Anchorage people can easily head south to popular fishing locations on the Kenai Peninsula or north to locations such as Denali National Park and Fairbanks. The economic impact of tourism and conventions in Anchorage totals around $150 million annually.

The resource sector, mainly petroleum, is arguably Anchorage's most visible industry, with many high rises bearing the logos of large multinationals such as BP and ConocoPhillips. While field operations are centered on the Alaska North Slope and in more southern areas around Cook Inlet, the majority of offices and administration are found in Anchorage. Around one sixth of jobs state-wide are related to this industry.

Sports-wise, The Sullivan Arena is not only home to UAA, but home to one professional hockey team the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. The city is also home to the Alaska Wild, an arena football team that began playing with the Intense Football League in April 2007. Anchorage's third professional franchise, which is scheduled to compete in the 2009-10 season, is the Alaska Dream, a basketball team in the ABA. UAA sponsors the annual Great Alaska Shootout, an annual NCAA Division I basketball tournament featuring colleges and universities from across the United States along with the UAA team. Anchorage holds the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and was the U.S. candidate for hosting the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, but it lost to Albertville, France and Lillehammer, Norway respectively.

The Series
In most sports leagues, a two seed like Denver vs. a nine seed like UAA is no contest. But the WCHA is no average league, and UAA happens to be playing its very best hockey of the season right now, winning its last four games, and showing that the Seawolves are team to be reckoned with in the playoffs. DU took UAA a little too lightly a few weeks ago at Magness and let the Seawolves claim an OT victory to salvage a split, so I don’t see DU taking UAA lightly again on the ice. Revenge will be on the menu for Denver, That said, DU’s fans will take UAA lightly and not bother to show up this weekend, as school is on spring break, and the fans here traditionally do not turn out in big numbers for first round WCHA playoff games against the lower half of WCHA teams. I expect attendance in the quiet 4,000 each night at best this weekend, so home ice won’t help DU too much beyond the altitude.

The Pioneers are 3-1-2 in their last six games and come in averaging 3.0 gpg without top playmaker Tyler Bozak, who has missed the last 17 games with a knee injury. DU was averaging 3.8 gpg with Bozak in the lineup for its first 18 games. DU continues to receive strong goaltending from Marc Cheverie and features 13 players with 10 or more points and 10 with 21 or more points. DU is led by captain J.P. Testwuide (3-10--13), and alternate captains Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger. Rakhshani, Ruegsegger (38-42--80) and Patrick Mullen (19-59--78) are DU’s top current career scoring leaders. Testwuide leads the team in penalties (37) and penalty minutes (104). Cheverie, who has started all 35 games in net, has stopped 23 or more shots in 27 games with three shutouts. Kyle Ostrow has 4-2--6 in his last five games, while Luke Salazar has 1-3--4 in his last four games. Goaltender Marc Cheverie is 3-1-1 with a 1.38 GAA and .958 Sv% in his last five games. The Pioneers have scored at least one power-play goal in their last eight games. DU is 13-for-44 (29.5%) with the man-advantage during that span, including a season-high four PPGs at Minnesota Duluth on Feb. 6. DU is 27-for-28 (96.4%) on the penalty kill in its last four games.

Yet all in all, DU is a team where the last few minutes can make a huge difference. In recent weeks, the Pioneers have played either very well in the final minutes (Beating UW and tying CC) or horrible in the waning seconds, losing to UAA, SCSU and letting CC tie them at the end. I am sure DU will be trying to focus harder in the dying minutes of games, as fatigue is a factor at this time of year.

As we saw last time UAA was here, the Seawolves have a decent skating NHL sized lineup and will try to play physical hockey against Denver to offset the lack of skill on the lower end of their depth chart. The Pioneers will need to leverage their team speed advantage and try to outskate UAA in transition in order to be effective. The Pioneers have more offensive depth than UAA does, but UAA is clicking on all cylinders now, and DU will need to do a better job of keeping UAA to the outside, where their size advantage will be less dangerous. DU won’t overlook UAA, but I don’t see a DU sweep, either. UAA is good, but Denver is slightly better and playing at home.

Denver in three games. DU wins game one 3-1, UAA wins game 2, 2-1 and Denver wins game three, 2-0. UAA 1 on Saturday.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Colorado College Tigers

Magness Arena, Denver March 7

No. 5 Denver (20-10-4, 16-8-3 WCHA) concludes regular-season action against in-state rival No. 13/15 Colorado College (16-10-9, 12-9-6 WCHA) on Saturday, March 7. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. at Magness Arena. The game will be televised live on FSN Rocky Mountain and broadcast live on AM 560 and Pioneer fans are urged to wear white to the game.

The Pioneers hold a 152-106-12 advantage over Colorado College in the historic series that dates back to 1950. DU is 89-46-6 against CC in Denver, including a 1-3-1 mark in the last five games at Magness Arena. DU is winless at 0-3-2 in its last five games against CC and 1-6-3 in its last 10 games against the Tigers overall. CC holds a 9-6 advantage in 15 years of Gold Pan Trophy competition.

Tigers to Watch
Colorado College is coming off a 4-4 overtime tie and 4-3 overtime loss at North Dakota last weekend. CC is 2-1-2 in its last five games, including a two-game sweep (4-3, 5-3) over Minnesota on Feb. 20-21. CC is led by forward Chad Rau and goaltender Richard Bachman. Rau leads the team in scoring with 17-19--36 and Bachman is 14-9-9 with a 2.63 GAA and .913 Sv%. Eric Walsky has added 11-24--35, while Brian Connelly is CC’s top scorer on the blueline with 3-23--26.

About Colorado College:
The Colorado College (familiarly known as CC) is a private, selective liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was founded in 1874 by General William Palmer. The college enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduates at its 90-acre campus, 70 miles south of Denver. While it shares many similarities with the arch rival University of Denver (Both private and expensive, both have national student bodies and both student bodies love skiing and hockey) the major difference is the orientation of the schools. CC focuses solely on liberal arts and is mostly undergraduate, while DU is a medium sized university with business, liberal arts and professional schools and a 50/50 undergraduate balance. Also, CC is a famously liberal school (albeit in a conservative city) while DU is more conservative as a school but situated in a more liberal city.

Colorado College is known for its unusual "block plan," which divides the year into eight academic terms; a single class is taken during each block. Students study only one subject for three and a half weeks, which advocates say allows for more lab time, field trips, and other more intensive learning experiences. Blocks are only three weeks long in summer school, during which there are also graduate blocks of differing lengths. In parallel with the students, professors teach only one block at a time. Classes are generally capped at 25.

The current President of the college is Richard Celeste, former Governor of Ohio, ambassador to India, and Director of the Peace Corps.

Colorado College was instituted as a liberal arts college which would foster Christian outreach by its graduates and faculty in the New England tradition. Like many U.S. colleges and universities that have endured from the 19th century it now is secular in outlook, though it retains its liberal arts focus.

The college's first building, Cutler Hall, was occupied in 1880; the first bachelor's degrees were conferred in 1882. Phi Beta Kappa was chartered in 1904. Under President William F. Slocum, who served from 1888 to 1917, the campus took the shape it held until the 1950s. Since the mid-1950s, the campus has been virtually rebuilt. New facilities include three large residence halls, Worner Campus Center, Tutt Library, Olin Hall of Science and the Barnes Science Center, Honnen Ice Rink, Boettcher Health Center, Schlessman Pool, Armstrong Hall of Humanities, Palmer Hall, El Pomar Sports Center, and Packard Hall of Music and Art. Bemis, Cossitt, Cutler, Montgomery, and Palmer Halls are some of the remaining turn-of-the-century structures on the National Register of Historic Places, along with the William I. Spencer Center.

CC’s sports programs are primarily NCAA D-III, except for hockey and women’s soccer, which are Division I. CC and DU were once fierce rivals in many sports, and the two schools played the first football game west of the Mississippi River back in 1885. CC won 12-0, but the victory was tarnished when CC later revealed that a number of players on that team were not CC students.

About the CC Program:
Colorado College started playing hockey in the late 1930s when the Broadmoor Hotel converted its seldom-used indoor riding academy into an ice rink. The Broadmoor World Arena, originally called the Broadmoor Ice Palace, served as CC's home for 55 seasons before being demolished at the conclusion of the 1993-94 campaign.

CC has done a remarkable job in building a powerhouse program when one consider the size of the school, the distance from hockey hotbeds (far) and the strong academics and liberal arts nature of the college . Making it even more special is the fact that the program almost went bust in 1994, when many years of losing seasons and escalating costs put the program at a crossroads. After brushing aside faculty members who called for the end of hockey, CC made a great hire in then coach Don Lucia, who took the Tigers back to the NCAA finals in just a couple of seasons, built a new arena with the help of the city and USA Hockey, and today, have enjoyed strong contender status in the upper echelons of the NCAA. Lucia went on to Minnesota, but CC has remained a contender ever since.

However, ask many Denver Pioneer fans when CC won its last NCAA title and the answer “1957” comes quickly. Yes, Ike was still President when the Tigers brought home the hardware that year in beating Michigan, and the CC fans have been waiting ever since. The Tigers won the NCAA Division I championship twice during the formative years (1950 and 1957) of the NCAA tournament when it was always played in Colorado Springs, were runners up three times (1952, 1955, 1996) and made the NCAA Tournament eighteen times, including every year since 1995 except 2000, 2004 and 2007. In 2005, CC played in the ­Frozen Four against Denver in Columbus, but suffered a 6-2 setback when they could not stop the Denver power play that April afternoon.

While the Tigers have been a strong program since the mid 1990s, there were many years of disappointing hockey between the 1957 NCAA title and Lucia’s arrival in 1993, as the Tigers had just four winning seasons and one NCAA appearance in that time span .

Tiger Hockey officially made its debut on January 21 of 1938 in an 8-1 loss to a team sponsored by Giddings Department Store in Colorado Springs. Colorado College finished the campaign with three victories and nine defeats under playing coach and team captain John Atwood of Watertown, Conn.

The program made significant strides forward the following season under new coach Garrett Livingston, whose leadership the next four years helped vault CC to national prominence. While several New England students with backgrounds in high school hockey joined the team, the strongest addition was Ernie Young of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. When Young returned in the fall of 1939 for his second year at the school, he brought four more Canadian players with him - Jack Chamney, John "Chick" Ross, Wilmer "Spike" Wilson and Harold McClay -all from his home province.

With Livingston at the helm, those players helped the Tigers sweep the University of Michigan, 4-2 and 4-3, in their first-ever intercollegiate series early during the 1939-40 season. Colorado College also played games against Colorado Mines, the Montana School of Mines and the University of Southern California, champion of the Pacific Coast League, that season. Enthusiasm reached a feverish pitch among CC hockey supporters for the next few years, with games at the World Arena selling out on a regular basis. By winter of 1942, the Tigers had earned a reputation as one of college hockey's "Big Four," along with USC, the University of Illinois and Dartmouth.

Due to World War II, no games were played in 1942-43 or '43-44, but the sport was rejuvenated at Colorado College and nationwide in 1944-45. With the return of former players and the addition of seven more Canadians, the Tigers quickly were on the rise again. Cheddy Thompson, who came to Colorado Springs when he was assigned to 2nd Air Force Headquarters here, took over the coaching duties in the fall of 1945 and held the position for the next decade.

In cooperation with the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado College sponsored the first National Collegiate Athletic Association Hockey Championships at the end of the 1947-48 season. The tournament would be held at the Ice Palace for the next 10 years, with CC participating seven times - in 1948, '49, '50, '51, '52, '55 and '57. Thompson was at the helm when CC won its first NCAA championship in 1950 and finished as runner-up in 1952 and '55. He was named national Coach of the Year in 1952 by the United States Hockey Coaches Association.

In 1951, Colorado College helped found the Mid-West Collegiate Hockey League, which changed its name to the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League in 1953. Other charter members were the University of Denver, Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota and North Dakota. The WIHL evolved to become the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in November of 1959, with the present-day WCHA consisting of five of its original seven teams plus the University of Wisconsin, Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State University and Alaska Anchorage.

Four Colorado College coaches - John Matchefts (1968-69), Jeff Sauer (1971-72 and '74-75), Brad Buetow (1991-92) and Don Lucia (1993-94 and '95-96) - have earned WCHA Coach of the Year honors. Matchefts (2007) and Sauer (2003) both have been named recipients of the prestigious John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award for their contributions to the overall growth and development of ice hockey nationwide. Lucia (1993-94) and Tony Frasca (1962-63) each were named national Coach of the Year by the U.S. Hockey Coaches Association. Still another, Bob Johnson (1963-66), went on to the National Hockey League where he guided the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup championship in 1991. Johnson earlier had served as head coach of the 1976 United States Olympic Team and of the NHL's Calgary Flames, as well as a three-year stint as executive director of USA Hockey.

More than 20 former Tigers actually have played in the NHL, including recent Tigers Noah Clarke, Mark Cullen, Jack Hillen, Curtis McElhinney, Toby Petersen, Richard Petiot, Tom Preissing, Peter Sejna, Brett Sterling, Mike Stuart, Colin Stuart and Mark Stuart, who was a first-round draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 2003. Two Colorado College products – Red Hay with the Blackhawks in 1961 and Doug Lidster with the New York Rangers in 1994 and Dallas Stars in 1999 have had their – names engraved on the Stanley Cup.

University Traditions:
Nickname – Tigers
College lore has it that in the late 19th century, the CC Trustees made the decision in homage to Princeton University's tiger emblem. Nearly a hundred years after in 1994, a group of CC students began a campaign to change the mascot from the tiger to the greenback cutthroat trout, the Colorado state fish. When the subject came to a vote, the tiger won by a narrow margin: 468 for, 423 against. The Tiger mascot is named “Prowler.

School Colors
Black and Gold

Scientia Et Disciplina (Science or Knowledge and Discipline)

Famous CC Alumni
Diana De Gette, US House (D-Colo.)
Ken Salazar, US Senator (D-Colo.)
Lynne Cheney, Wife of US Vice President Dick Cheney
Steve Sabol, President, NFL Films
Dutch Clark, NFL Hall of Fame (Detroit Lions, New York Giants)
Red Hay, NHL Player and administrator
Peggy Fleming, US Gold Medalist Figure Skater

The City of Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado. At 372,437, it is the second most populous city in the State of Colorado behind Denver and the 47th most populous city in the United States. In 2007. the Colorado Springs area had population of 609,096. The city is situated near the base of one of the most famous American mountains, Pikes Peak, at the eastern edge of the southern Rocky Mountains.

While noted for its exceptional natural beauty and climate, Colorado Springs is not exempt from the problems that typically plague cities that experience tremendous growth: overcrowded roads and highways, crime, sprawl, and government budget issues. Many of the problems are indirectly or directly caused by the city's difficulty in coping with the large population growth experienced in the last 20 years.

It is a well known as a conservative city, as it is dominated by large military installations including Fort Carson, NORAD and the United States Air Force Academy, which make up the largest employers in the city. Also, a large percentage of Colorado Springs' economy is also based on high tech and manufacturing complex electronic equipment, second to the military in terms of total revenue generated and employment.

Additionally, a large number of religious organizations such as Focus on the Family and churches make their headquarters here, particularly Evangelical Christians, as well as serving as the headquarters for the US Olympic Committee and many national sports governing bodies.
Colorado Springs was founded in August 1871 as a residential community by General William Palmer (who also founded CC and co-founded the Denver and Rio Grand Railroad), with the intention of creating a high quality resort community to benefit from the mountain location, the railroad and the proximity to mining affluence from a previous gold strike at nearby Colorado City. The flow of gold and silver ebbed as the decades passed, and Colorado City's economic fortunes faded with it; the miners and those who processed the ore left or retired. Because of the healthy natural scenic beauty, mineral waters, and extremely dry climate, Colorado Springs became a tourist attraction and popular recuperation destination for tuberculosis patients.

Famous Colorado Springs Residents
* Silent film star Lon Chaney
* Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage
* Focus on the Family founder James Dobson
* Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark)
* Automobile racer Bobby Unser
* Former British ice dancer Christopher Dean

The Series:
The Pioneers and Tigers tangle for the last time in this regular season in what promises to be an exciting single season-ender at Magness Arena. With DU clinching at least a second place in the league with 35 points and still with a remote shot at first place (requiring North Dakota to stumble this weekend) with a DU NCAA berth a near certainty, DU still has a lot to play for this weekend.

Likewise, CC is sitting third with 30 WCHA points and is fighting for its NCAA life on the PWR bubble, and depending on other games, could finish anywhere from third to seventh in the WCHA. The Tigers would love to avoid the play-in game of the WCHA tourney and stop DU from having a chance at the MacNaughton Cup.

This year has been something of an exercise in frustration for both teams against each other. If you are a Denver fan, you hate that DU has put up more than 40 shots per game in each of the three CC games badly outshooting the opponent, and the DU team has not yet produced a win over the rival, allowing CC to retain the Gold Pan trophy again.

And if you are a CC fan, you probably hate the last game these two teams played, when CC coughed up a 3-1 lead with a minute left and ended up tying the Pioneers on home ice in Colorado Springs. Joe Colborne’s second goal of the game at 19:13 of the third period helped DU to a 3-3 overtime tie at Colorado College on Feb. 13

Rhett Rakhshani (2-5--7) and Tyler Ruegsegger (3-4--7) have each tallied seven points in 11 career games against the Tigers. Patrick Wiercioch (0-4--4) leads DU with four points against CC this season, while goaltender Marc Cheverie is 0-1-2 with a 2.22 GAA and .913 Sv% in four career games against CC. For CC, Chad Rau is the principal Pio killer, with 21 points in 15 career games against Denver.

DU is better than CC this in nearly every statistical category – offense, defense, goaltending and win percentage, while CC may have a slight edge in overall special teams, CC also seems to have the better goaltending against DU, as Bachman carries a .940 saves percentage against DU in his two seasons as the Tigers’ primary goaltender.

For Denver to win, the Pioneers will need to likely need to be leading or tied heading into the third period, as CC is undefeated this year when carrying a lead into the third period (12-0-6).

Denver is overdue for a victory against CC considering how much they’ve outplayed CC this year in about 80% of the game time, and CC seems to be a team that is all about ties this year, with 9 overall and two against DU. Either DU gets a win, or its another sister kisser.

I think DU sneaks out a 3-2 win this time.