CC-DU hockey copy.jpg

Freshman forward Hunter McKown, right, skates ahead of Denver’s Jaakko Heikkinen on Friday at The Broadmoor World Arena. McKown had a goal and two assists in the win over the Pioneers.

A surprise weekend with no games Jan. 7-8 got even crazier as this week evolved.

But it also turned into a time to celebrate when several DU Pioneers ended up on a list to win college hockey’s most prestigious award.

While the Pioneers were able to rest and practice with no games last weekend, the team found itself again climbing the USCHO.com rankings.

Denver Pioneers climb into hockey top 10

The idle Pioneers (12-5-1, 5-3 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) climbed from No. 7 to No. 6 in this week’s rankings after having games Jan. 7-8 canceled when No. 15 Omaha had to reschedule due to COVID protocols.

That series at Omaha was originally rescheduled for Feb. 4-5. But wait, there’s more. This weekend’s big NCHC showdown with No. 5 St. Cloud State was moved to Feb. 4-5 because of COVID and the series with Omaha was moved up to Jan. 15-16. Confused yet?

What you need to know is: Denver will host Omaha (14-6, 4-4) on Saturday and Sunday, a change from the regular Friday-Saturday combo. The games at Magness Arena are both slated for 6 p.m. starts. Omaha’s series against North Dakota was canceled due to COVID protocols.

Now that we’ve got that straightened out (for the time being), the Pioneers can get back to focusing on their game plan they were working on last week. The Pioneers are third in conference with 15 points. Omaha is seventh out of eight teams, but only four points behind DU with 11 points.

Like DU, the Mavericks haven’t played since a Dec. 31-Jan. 1 series with St. Lawrence. Omaha split that series and is 3-3 in its last six.

At least two Colorado Avalanche players set to attend NHL All-Star Weekend

Denver is still unbeaten on home ice, though the Pioneers tied Alaska Fairbanks in their last appearance at Magness Arena, their only blemish on an otherwise perfect home season.

The Pioneers are 8-1-1 over their last 10 games.

DU will need to rely on its depth against Omaha as the Pioneers have done throughout the season. That depth has three Pioneers on the Hobey Baker Award list, which was announced Thursday.

After the team’s win over Alaska Fairbanks on Dec. 31, Pioneers coach David Carle summed up his team’s talent.

“We have good players, that’s first and foremost,” Carle said then. “They can make plays … There are things you can’t teach that are done.”

The Hobey Baker Award, college hockey’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, goes to the NCAA’s top hockey player.

Pioneers senior Cole Guttman, junior Bobby Brink and sophomore Carter Savoie are among 77 players up for the biggest individual honor in college hockey. Fans can have their say in the balloting by casting votes at https://www.hobeybaker.com/vote.

COVID-19 cases prompt Colorado College to postpone this weekend's series vs. Western Michigan
Load comments