Wells Fargo Denver Cup
Magness Arena • Denver, Colo.
Friday, December 30
Ferris State vs. Boston College, 6:07
Princeton at Denver, 9:07 p.m. ET
Saturday, December 31
Third-Place Game, 6:07 p.m. ET
Championship Game, 9:07 p.m. ET
On TV: Fox Sports Net
Rocky Mountain will carry Denver's opening-round game
and both of Saturday's games live.
Denver won its fifth straight Denver
Cup title and its 11th in 13 years, as Paul Stastny
racked up three goals and three assists in wins over
Air Force (9-4) and Northeastern (4-0). The Huskies
reached the title game with a surprising 5-1 win over
Colgate, but couldn't beat freshman goaltender Peter
Mannino in the nightcap.
INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACT
If Denver and Boston College meet for
the championship, it will mark the third time the
two schools have squared off with the Denver Cup on
the line. Denver won both previous meetings, most
recently in 1998 on a Mark Rycroft overtime goal.
The Pioneers entered that tournament with a 7-7-0
record but went 19-6-2 the rest of the way and won
the Final Five before falling to Michigan in the NCAA
WHO TO WATCH
The biggest names to watch –
Matt Carle, Gabe Gauthier, Paul Stastny, Ryan Dingle
and other Pioneer leading men – are no surprise,
either to the home crowd or to a national audience
which has seen them star on the Frozen Four stage.
Turning our attention to the other participants,
fans will be treated to a trio of sharpshooters. Colorado
is home to many a California-bred star – like
Gauthier and Colorado College's Brett Sterling. Princeton's
Grant Goeckner-Zoeller, then, should feel almost at
home. The Los Angeles native leads the Tigers in scoring
with 10 points in 14 games after averaging over a
point per game last season.
The other semifinal features the second-
and third-leading goal scorers in the field, behind
Dingle's 14. Boston College's Chris Collins, who was
snakebitten for long stretches last season, has 12
goals already. Another senior, Ferris State's Greg
Rallo, has 10 goals for the Bulldogs.
HOW WE SEE IT
Denver has the talent, home-ice advantage
and knack for tournament success that gives the Pioneers
a significant edge heading into this tournament. They've
also won six out of seven games, steadying things
after a rocky start for the two-time defending champs.
What's more, Denver's losses to the World Junior Championship
– Chris Butler and Geoff Paukovich – aren't
as significant as Boston College's, and the Eagles
figure to be the primary challengers this weekend.
With Cory Schneider, Nathan Gerbe and Dan Bertram
in British Columbia, the junior event hit the Eagles
are one of four teams missing three or more players,
and the only one without their No. 1 goaltender.
Princeton and Ferris State are both
improved over last season, but would need to elevate
their games to win twice here. The Tigers have been
good enough to keep every game close, but have only
pulled out four wins. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are
8-6-4, but could face the two toughest opponents of
their schedule thus far this weekend.