The announcement came, and a groan went up among those who had gotten to The Broadmoor World Arena on time — after an hour’s worth of delays, the Gold Pan rivalry game between Colorado College and Denver was officially postponed because the bus carrying the Denver team wasn’t able to complete the weather-gnarled trip to Colorado Springs.
The Tigers took the opportunity to practice, and the concession stands stayed open for anyone who wanted to make the most of a frustrating situation.
“It was kind of fun watching them practice because we don’t get to see that very often,” CC fan Emy Keebaugh, there with her family, said.
Outside, Denver seniors Rebecca Leroux and Kelsey Drake hurried toward the arena, thinking they were about to miss the puck drop before the news came.
“I’m just really disappointed that we drove three hours to get here, but it’s pretty understandable because we almost got stuck,” Leroux said.
Brandi Barlau and Todd Roper tested the arena doors, then found that not only was hockey not on the agenda, but they could have stayed later at a company party.
“I could have had my dessert!” Barlau lamented.
The Denver bus set out an hour and a half earlier than scheduled and nearly made it to Monument before getting stuck on Highway 83 behind a jack-knifed semi-trailer truck.
“What if that was them?” Leroux said, realizing they probably went around the Denver bus.
The Pioneers stayed there for more than an hour before it was determined in a call between the league, both coaches and both athletic directors to postpone. The earliest the game could have started would have been 9:30. The National Collegiate Hockey Conference allows a delayed game to start as late as 11 p.m., but didn’t know how long the Pioneers would be stuck.
“And it wouldn’t have been fair to them after sitting three hours on a bus,” NCHC director of communications Michael Weisman said.
Ideas of what is fair, however, vary depending on which city you’re in.
“NCHC should have made DU forfeit the game when they couldn’t make it,” Will Keebaugh said.
The Pioneers — like Leroux and Drake — decided to turn around and headed back to Denver. Tomorrow’s game at Magness Arena is on schedule, with sun and temperatures in the 40s expected.
A makeup date is set for February or March, and Friday’s tickets will be honored.
“We’ll definitely be here,” Roper said.
“We’ll see, it all depends. We have our schedule set,” James Keebaugh said, noting they’ve purchased Air Force tickets in advance.
The Tigers, mired in a slump, lost home-ice advantage this weekend, but there’s a chance they’ll have gotten their feet back under them by the time the rescheduled date arrives. One Denver fan isn’t worried.
“We’re not gonna lose the Gold Pan, so,” Leroux said.