Ice Hockey Wiki
Denver Pioneers Men's Ice Hockey
Current season
Denver Pioneers Men's Ice Hockey athletic logo
University University of Denver
Conference NCHC
First season 1949–50
Head coach David Carle
3rd season, 45–21–11 (.656)
Captain Ian Mitchell
Alternate captain(s) Tyson McLellan
Michael Davies
Arena Magness Arena
Capacity: 6,315[1]
Surface: 200' x 85'
Location Denver, Colorado
Colors Crimson and Gold
NCAA Tournament championships
1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004, 2005, 2017
NCAA Tournament Runner-up
1963, 1964, 1973
NCAA Tournament Frozen Four
1958, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1986, 2004, 2005, 2016, 2017, 2019
NCAA Tournament appearances
1958, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1986, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Conference Tournament championships
1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1986, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2014, 2018
Conference regular season championships
1957–58, 1959–60, 1960–61, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1967–68, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1977–78, 1985–86, 2001–02, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2016–17
Current uniform

The Denver Pioneers men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the University of Denver. The Pioneers are a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). They play at Magness Arena in Denver, Colorado. The Pioneers are tied with North Dakota for second in all-time NCAA National Hockey Championships with eight (1958, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1969, 2004, 2005, 2017) trailing only Michigan with nine. Since the creation of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 1959, the Pioneers have won 9 WCHA Regular Season Championships (now the recipients of the MacNaughton Cup) and 14 WCHA Playoff Championships (now the recipients of the Broadmoor Trophy). About 75 Pioneers have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including Keith Magnuson, Kevin Dineen, Matt Carle (2006 Hobey Baker Award winner), Paul Stastny and Will Butcher (2017 Hobey Baker Award winner).



Early years

In 1949 the DU Arena, a former WWII surplus drill hall from Idaho was reassembled in Denver with an ice plant, giving the university the ability to properly field an ice hockey team for the first time. Before the end of the year Vern Turner, the rink manager for the Broadmoor Ice Palace and a former semi-professional goaltender was hired as the team's first coach and the Pioneers hit the ice for their first game in December, losing to the University of Saskatchewan, 17–0. Denver would, unsurprisingly, lose its first 9 games before recording the first victory against Wyoming on January 27. The following season saw much improvement with the team as it finished with an 11–11–1 record and when Turner stepped down after the year it gave Neil Celley the opportunity to build the program. When Celley assumed the reins he was the youngest head coach in the history of college ice hockey at 24[2] and had won a national title with Michigan the year before, as a player.[3] The team responded to Celley by raising their record to 18–6–1 and finishing tied for second in the inaugural MCHL standings. Unfortunately, Celley's old team was selected ahead of Denver for the NCAA tournament due to a better overall record. The Pioneers would continue to play well under Celley but their winning percentage dropped every year until 1956 when they finished just a hair above .500. Celley resigned after that season and turned the team over to ex-NHLer Murray Armstrong.

Armstrong era

Armstrong came to DU and guaranteed an NCAA title within three years, and did it in his second year. The team, using Armstrong's coaching pipeline to ex-Junior players in Canada, took a year to get going, but by 1958 the DU team started firing on all cylinders. Denver won its first conference title (tying with North Dakota) and received the second western seed for its first NCAA tournament bid. Denver did not let the bright lights stun them as they rolled through the competition, winning both games 6–2 and taking their first NCAA National Title in Minneapolis. The next season, an argument between conference members over the recruitment of Canadian players who had played junior hockey, caused the WIHL to collapse and left Denver without a conference.[4] Denver struggled to fill out its schedule and though DU finished with the best record of any western team (22–5–1) their competition was so paltry that the Pioneers were passed over in favor of North Dakota (who had taken three of four matches between them) for the NCAA tournament with Big Ten champion Michigan State receiving the other bid. After that disaster, all teams that had been in the WIHL restarted the conference under a new name (WCHA) and instituted a playoff among other reforms. Because the matter of recruitment was left unchanged, Denver was able to take full advantage and build their program into the dominant power for the duration of the decade.

Early 60s

Denver kicked off its first season in the WCHA by winning the regular season title and being WCHA tournament co-champions along with Michigan Tech. The WCHA had arranged its tournament to take advantage of the NCAA bid policy that would give automatic bids to tournament champions and because there was no rival western conference the WCHA could guarantee that both of its co-champions would make the frozen four. Denver won both of its NCAA games and captured the 1960 National Title. The Tournament MOP was split for the first time that year and while it was given to three separate players, none of them wore Denver sweaters. The Pioneers followed up their second championship by thoroughly dominating the competition in 1961. In what is typically ranked among the best seasons ever,[5] the squad began with five victories before dropping a match to Michigan Tech on the road and then never lost another game. The '61 Pioneers scored 242 times in only 32 contests for a rate of just over 7.5 goals per game. Additionally, they allowed just 59 goals against in that time (1.84). While neither marks were records, the average scoring differential of +5.72 is still an NCAA record. Denver had the second-and third-leading scoring in the nation who were only topped by Phil Latreille scoring an all-time NCAA record of 80 goals in 21 games. Not only did the Pioneers post the first 30-win season in NCAA history but, by playing in every game, George Kirkwood set an NCAA record for wins in a season (30). Denver made sure they also did their damage when it counted the most; in the four playoff games they played (2 conference, 2 NCAA) the Pioneers won each by at least 5 goals and won all four matches by a total of 35–6. In the NCAA championship game against St. Lawrence Denver surrendered the first goal but ended the night by scoring the final nine (an NCAA record) and won the game by 10 goals, 12-2 (also an NCAA record) and were one short of tying the NCAA record of 13 in the championship game.[6] Denver tied the record by placing 5 players on the All-Tournament Team[7] and set the record with 5 players on the All-WCHA First Team[8] as well as the AHCA All-American Team[9] and swept all 5 individual awards offered that year. Three of the players from that team eventually played in the NHL, a rare occurrence for NCAA teams at the time.[10]

After such unparalleled dominance, it was expected that Denver would decline the following year, especially with so many of the players graduating, but the team still finished 3rd in the WCHA. One year later they won both WCHA conference titles and again made the NCAA tournament. After dropping Clarkson in a relatively easy 6–2 semifinal match Denver faced off against North Dakota for a rematch of it first title in 1958. The Fighting Sioux scored three times before 8 minutes had elapsed and, while Denver responded with two quick goals, North Dakota tacked on two more in the first to finish with a 5–2 lead. When they added another 5 minutes into the second it looked as if they were going to walk to a national title but the Pioneers did npt quit and scored twice to cut the lead in half entering the third. North Dakota closed ranks and set up a wall in front of Rudy Unis in the final frame but still could not stop Denver from scoring, however, the Pioneers could only notch one goal and lost their first NCAA tournament game, 5–6.[11] The team's streak of seven consecutive tournament wins from the start is still an NCAA record.

Denver followed up that disappointment with a second-place finish despite playing only 10 games and a WCHA tournament championship over Michigan. In the NCAA tournament DU produced a very similar result to the year before by dropping their semifinal opponent easily, then allowing the team they defeated in the WCHA championship to score the first three goals. This time it was the Wolverines who would take the title and send the Pioneers home disappointed.[12] The next season Denver finished with a record of 18–8–2, one of the best in the nation, but because they only played 12 conference games and won only 4 matches they finished 6th in the WCHA and were left out of the conference playoffs. The following season Denver increased their conference schedule to 20 games but because the WCHA added Minnesota–Duluth as a member, the conference tournament now included all 8 teams. Denver was given a regional matchup against the dismal Colorado College Tigers and took the game easily to give them a shot against arch-nemesis North Dakota for an entry to the NCAA tournament. Despite being the lower seed the game was played in Denver's home stadium due in part to a terrible blizzard that dropped more than two feet around Grand Forks.[13] The home game may have given Denver just enough of an advantage and the Pioneers edged UND, 5–4 in overtime to return to the NCAA tournament. Once there Denver faced Clarkson for the third time in the semifinal but the Golden Knights were able to avenge their earlier losses and send DU to its first consolation game. Though they won the match the Pioneers and their fans were far from satisfied with the result. The following season Denver rose to 2nd in the conference but because the WCHA tournament was still arranged for regional matchups the Pioneers had to play top seed North Dakota in the second round and the Fighting Sioux were able to redeem themselves with a win.

Late 60s

While many programs may have been happy with the results Denver achieved in '66 and '67 the Pioneers were decidedly nonplussed. When the team began 1968 season slowly, losing three out of their first five games, they were taken to task and responded by winning every remaining game except for a stretch in late December when they played four Olympic squads. Denver finished the season atop the WCHA and with the regional restrictions abolished they were able to take full advantage of their top seed and demolish their competition 27–7 in the three games. In the NCAA tournament Denver faced Boston College for the first time[14] and swatted the Eagles away with a 4–1 victory despite sloppy play. The final brought North Dakota and DU together for a rubber match and the two teams fought a tough defensive battle through two periods before the floodgates opened and Denver scored four times in the final frame while Gerry Powers earned the first shutout in a championship game.[2] The next season was much the same; after a slow start the Pioneers ran through most of their competition, finishing second in the WCHA and taking down much weaker opponents in the conference tournament to return to the NCAA playoff. For this 1969 championship they dissected Harvard 9–2 in the opening match before facing Ken Dryden-led Cornell. The Pioneers did not have any problems scoring against the seemingly impregnable Big Red defense, building leads three times while the final one stuck and Denver won its fifth NCAA national title, 4–3.

Dynasty's end

Despite losing many players from the dual national title teams due to graduations Denver did not lose much footing and finished second in the WCHA but lost to new entry Wisconsin in the conference tournament. The next season, Denver finished second for the third straight year and were able to win another league co-championship and receive the top western seed. The Pioneers had to settle for a third place NCAA finish after losing only their second semifinal game in nine opportunities. The next season, Denver won both conference titles for the fifth time in their history but were stunned by a 2–7 loss to Cornell in the semifinal, the team's worst loss to a college team in over six years.[2] As if their recent tournament collapses needed a concrete symbol, the DU Arena roof failed in 1972 and forced the team to play most of their remaining home games at the Denver Coliseum.[15] While the Pioneers were able to overcome that difficulty and win the WCHA yet again and finish as the NCAA runner-up it was a battle off the ice that would eventually cost them dearly.

Throughout the 1960s, the matter of recruiting Canadian major junior players was becoming an issue again, and by the 1970s, Minnesota coach John Mariucci was pushing the NCAA for change. Mariucci did not like his teenage American players, who grew up playing locally in Minnesota, playing against older Canadian players that Denver recruited, due to Denver's lack of local players to recruit. Minnesota even refused to schedule the Pioneers for years in the 1960s, which spurred the NCAA to support Minnesota's position. In 1974, the NCAA asked all schools that rostered major junior Canadian players to declare these students ineligible and in recompense, the current players would have their NCAA eligibility restored as a grandfathering ploy, with all future major junior players remaining ineligible.[15] While most universities acceded to the NCAA demand, Denver did not. The school refused to call its own players 'cheaters', and ended up paying the price. The university had its trip to the 1973 tournament vacated and with its pipeline from Canada cut, the team began to falter in the standings. 1974–75 saw Denver post its first losing season since Armstrong's first year and while the team was slowly recovering, DU would not make another tournament appearance until long after his retirement in 1977.


Armstrong's assistant Marshall Johnston took over and the team jumped up in the standings as the nation's top-ranked team, winning the WCHA regular season crown and breaking the school record for wins with 33 (albeit in 40 games) but DU was stopped in the WCHA second round by an upstart Colorado College team, after finding out that Denver's appeal to be eligible for the 1978 NCAA tournament was denied by the NCAA. After declining to 6th place the following season. Denver ended 1979–80 dead last in the WCHA and missed the playoffs entirely. The team rebounded the next season but afterwards, Johnston returned to the NHL and the program was given to a third-straight former pro, Ralph Backstrom. Backstrom's entry coincided with four WCHA members bolting for the CCHA leaving the conference with only 6 schools. The co-championship format was abolished and though Denver provided some glimpse of hope in Backstrom's first season, the team slipped towards the bottom of the division for three seasons. By the end of the 1984–85 season Denver had lost eight consecutive playoff games and was in danger of becoming an afterthought in the WCHA. The 1985-1986 team provided a surprising start the following campaign, winning seven of their first eight-game en route to the WCHA regular season and playoff championships over Michigan Tech, Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota, followed by a home NCAA 7-6 total goal series win over Cornell to make it to the Frozen Four. Denver played a school record 48 games that year, and won 34 contests (also a DU record) despite losing in the NCAA semifinal, 5–2 to Harvard in Providence. The stark turnaround garnered Backstrom the Spencer Penrose Award. The highlights were short-lived, however and over the succeeding four years Denver returned to being a middling team in the WCHA.

Backstrom left in 1990 and was replaced by Frank Serratore. While he would later achieve a great deal of success with Air Force Serratore's time in Denver was the darkest period in the history of the program. In his first season, the Pioneers won only 6 games, losing a school record 30 of 38 matches. The following season brought only marginal improvements but when the team rose above .500 in 1992–93 it looked like Serratore's job may be saved, but after slipping back to 9th in the conference the year after he was out as coach and replaced by Wisconsin alumnus George Gwozdecky.

Gwozdecky era

When Denver hired Gwozdecky they hoped they were getting the same coach that had won back-to-back CCHA Coach of the Year awards and in his first season he delivered by getting the Pioneers to win 10 more games than they had the year before and jump from 9th in the conference to a tie for second place. After a disappointing opening round loss in the WCHA playoffs the following year Denver finally returned to the NCAA tournament in 1997 and beat a very strong Vermont squad in the first round. In 1999 the Pioneers were able to a dominant North Dakota to take their first conference championship in thirteen years but lost their first NCAA tournament game to Michigan in the first meeting between the two since the Wolverines left the WCHA.[16] Denver stumbled over the next two years before winning their first WCHA regular season title under Gwozdecky as well as a second conference championship. Unfortunately the Pioneers found themselves pitted against Michigan in the first game and lost to the Maize and Blue yet again. The pioneers lost in the first round of the WCHA tournament each of the next two years but their record in 2004 was good enough to get them a #2 seed despite the loss.[17]

Back-to-back titles

DU was able to defeat Gwozdecky's previous team, Miami, in a close game before advancing to face North Dakota in the West Regional Final. The top team in the nation held Denver off the scoresheet and out shot the Pioneers 23–13 in the opening two periods but the Fighting Sioux could not get the puck past Adam Berkhoel. The two teams remained scoreless until just 2:29 remained in regulation when Luke Fulgham deflected a puck into the net and sent the Pioneers into the frozen four for the first time in 18 years.[18] Denver met Minnesota–Duluth in the semifinal and looked like were outmatched when the Bulldogs scored twice in the first five minutes of the game. Even when Denver cut the lead in half a second power play goal by 2004 Hobey Baker winner Junior Lessard followed soon thereafter. The Pioneers, however, were not deterred and came out firing in the third, tying the score in less than four minutes and adding another two goals before the period was half over. Duluth was so stunned by the comeback that they could only muster 6 shots in the period as Denver took the game to make their first national championship since their vacated appearance in 1973.[19] With Maine as the only obstacle left in their path, Denver put up in front of Adam Berkhoel and allowed only 24 shots to reach their goalie, including none during a 6-on-3 power play advantage in the last minute and a half of the game. Berkhoel earned the shutout, making the lone goal from Gabe Gauthier in the first as the winner.[20]

After winning their first title in 35 years Denver raised their game, tying Colorado College for the WCHA crown and producing the #2 offense in the country. In the WCHA tournament, however, it was their defense that led the way. With rookie goaltender Peter Mannino standing on his head for two shutouts, the Pioneers allowed only two goals in four games, winning three one-goal games to take the conference championship. DU earned the #2 overall seed and had to survive a scare from Bemidji State in their first game. After allowing 3 to the much weaker Beavers, Glenn Fisher was benched in favor of Mannino for the remaining three games and the Pioneers cruised to the championship game with 4–2 and 6–2 wins. In the Final Denver met North Dakota for the fourth time, matching the record for championship meetings with Michigan and Colorado College. The two teams exchanged goals in the first but future NHLer Paul Stastny put the Pioneers into the lead with a power play marker just after the midpoint. With their season on the line North Dakota began an onslaught on the DU net, firing 23 shots in the third but Mannino was equal to the take and kept everything out. The Pioneers scored twice in the third to put the game away and take their seventh national championship.[21]

Playoff disappointments

The next season brought Denver its first Hobey Baker winner in Matt Carle but the team floundered in the first round of the WCHA tournament and this time their record was not good enough to get them into the championship. After another first round exit the following year Denver righted the ship and won the WCHA tournament in 2008. In the first round they found themselves facing conference rival Wisconsin, only the second time in NCAA history that two teams from the same conference met in the opening round. Despite being favored in the game the Pioneers were beaten 2–6 and sent home disappointed. The pioneers would return to the tournament each of the next five seasons but the results were much the same, losing in the first round four times and thoroughly dismissed by North Dakota in the 2011 regionals. Despite the regular season success the early playoff exits, coupled with a contract structure dispute, led Denver to fire their head coach in 2013, only 17 wins away from tying Murray Armstrong's program record.[22]

New coach, new conference

Gwozdecky's firing coincided with the founding of the NCHC, a power conference that was created due to Wisconsin and Minnesota leaving to restart the Big Ten hockey division. Denver was accompanied by all of its traditional rivals and began its tenure under Jim Montgomery but finishing 6th in the 8-team conference. Despite their lackluster start the Pioneers were provided with an opportunity by facing weaker-than-expected opposition in the final two games and were able to win the inaugural championship, as they had done with the WCHA 54 years earlier. The Pioneer's NCAA run was predictably short-lived but the team seemed to have found new life under Montgomery's watch which they demonstrated by increasing their win total in each of the next three years. In addition they won progressively more tournament games, reaching the frozen four in 2016 before taking the crown the next season along with getting their second Hobey Baker Award, this one going to Will Butcher. After the team won its second NCHC tournament title in 2018 Montgomery left to join the Dallas Stars as head coach, continuing the recent trend of NHL teams hiring college head coaches. DU replaced Montgomery with his Denver assistant, 28-year-old David Carle. Carle took Denver to the 2019 Frozen Four in his rookie season, after first and second round NCAA wins over Ohio State and American International, but the Pioneers fell in the Frozen Four semi-finals to Massachusetts, 4–3 in overtime in Buffalo, New York.

Season-by-season results


Denver/Colorado College rivalry

Game between the Denver Pioneers and Colorado College Tigers (Magness Arena – December 2016)

Of all the rivals that the Denver Pioneer's hockey program play against the most intense rivalry is that from Colorado College. Since Denver's hockey program started in 1949 the two schools have played at least four times a season. In the 1993–94 season a gold pan trophy was added as a reward for the winning team thus the rivalry has been dubbed the Battle for the Gold Pan.[23]

Head coaches

David Carle is the current head coach of Denver hockey, hired in May 2018.

As of the end of the 2019–20 season[16]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1949–1951 Vern Turner 2 15–24–1 .388
1951–1956 Neil Celley 6 81–43–6 .646
1956–1977 Murray Armstrong 21 460–215–31 .674
1977–1981 Marshall Johnston 4 89–63–7 .582
1981–1990 Ralph Backstrom 9 182–174–14 .511
1990–1994 Frank Serratore 4 49–92–9 .357
1994–2013 George Gwozdecky 19 443–267–64 .614
2013–2018 Jim Montgomery 5 125–57–26 .663
2018–Present David Carle 2 45–21–11 .656
Totals 9 coaches 71 seasons 1,489–958–169 .601

Awards and honors

Hockey Hall of Fame


US Hockey Hall of Fame



Individual Awards

Hobey Baker Award

Spencer Penrose Award

Tim Taylor Award

Mike Richter Award

NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Scoring Champion

Tournament Most Outstanding Player


AHCA First Team All-Americans

AHCA Second Team All-Americans


Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player/Player of the Year

Defensive Player of the Year

Goaltender of the Year

Student-Athlete of the Year

  • Dave Shields, C: 1990
  • Brian Konowalchuk, C: 1994
  • Petri Gunther, D: 1997
  • Connor James, C: 2004
  • Ted O'Leary, F: 2006
  • J. P. Testwuide, D: 2009

Sophomore/Freshman/Rookie of the Year

Coach of the Year

Most Valuable Player in Tournament



Second Team All-MCHL/WIHL/WCHA

Third Team All-WCHA

WCHA All-Rookie Team


Individual Awards

Player of the Year

Rookie of the Year

Goaltender of the Year

Forward of the Year

Defenseman/Defensive Defenseman of the Year

Offensive Defenseman of the Year

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

  • Gabe Levin; 2016

Tournament MVP


First Team All-NCHC

Second Team All-NCHC

NCHC All-Rookie Team


This is a list of Denver hockey alumni who were a part of an Olympic team.[26]

Name Position Denver Tenure Team Year Finish
Glenn Anderson Right Wing 1978–1979 Flag of Canada Canada 1980 6th
Ken Berry Right Wing 1978–1979, 1980–1981 Flag of Canada Canada 1980 1988 6th, 4th
Kevin Dineen Right Wing 1981–1983 Flag of Canada Canada 1984 *2014 4th, *11 Gold
Marshall Johnston Defenseman 1960–1963 Flag of Canada Canada 1964 1968 4th, 3Bronze medal icon.svg Bronze
Antti Laaksonen Forward 1993–1997 Flag of Finland Finland 2006 2Silver medal icon.svg Silver
Derek Mayer Defenseman 1985–1988 Flag of Canada Canada 1994 2Silver medal icon.svg Silver
Ronald Naslund Forward 1962–1965 Flag of the United States USA 1972 2Silver medal icon.svg Silver
Craig Patrick Right Wing 1966–1970 Flag of the United States USA 1980, 2002 11 Gold, 2Silver medal icon.svg Silver
Craig Redmond Defenseman 1982–1983 Flag of Canada Canada 1984 4th
Paul Stastny Center 2004–2006 Flag of the United States USA 2010, 2014 2Silver medal icon.svg Silver, 4th
Troy Terry Right Wing 2015–2018 Flag of the United States USA 2018 7th
David Tomassoni Forward 1972-1975 Flag of Italy ITA 1984 9th

† Craig Patrick was an assistant coach for the 1980 team and the general manager for the 2002 team. * Kevin Dineen was head coach of the Gold Medal Winning Canadian women's team at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Statistical leaders


Career points leaders

Player Years GP G A Pts PIM
Gaume, DallasDallas Gaume 1982–1986 145 78 188 266
Mathiasen, DwightDwight Mathiasen 1983–1986 123 90 108 198
McMillan, JohnJohn McMillan 1983–1987 152 69 127 196
Masterton, BillBill Masterton 1958–1961 89 66 130 196
Berens, RickRick Berens 1987–1991 159 94 86 180
Berry, DougDoug Berry 1975–1978 119 65 115 180
Shields, DaveDave Shields 1986–1990 146 71 108 179
Hayes, EdEd Hayes 1969–1973 140 74 103 177
Woods, GregGreg Woods 1975–1979 161 51 125 176
McNab, PeterPeter McNab 1970–1973 105 78 92 170

Career goaltending leaders

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Minimum 30 games

Player Years GP Min W L T GA SO SV% GAA
Cooley, DevinDevin Cooley 2018–Present 32 1,708 15 9 4 55 6 .927 1.93
Jaillet, TannerTanner Jaillet 2014–2018 135 7,560 82 27 16 257 9 .925 1.94
Cowley, EvanEvan Cowley 2013–2017 52 2,469 23 15 3 79 6 .933 2.04
Dubielewicz, WadeWade Dubielewicz 1999–2003 85 4,629 44 26 6 170 8 .923 2.20
Kirkwood, GeorgeGeorge Kirkwood 1959–1961 66 57 5 4 6 .904 2.20

Statistics current through the end of the 2019–20 season.

Denver Athletic Hall of Fame

The following is a list of people associated with the Denver men's ice hockey program who were elected into the Denver Athletic Hall of Fame (induction date in parenthesis).[27]

Current roster

As of September 2, 2020.[28][29][30]

# S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
3 Flag of Finland Tuomisto, AnttiAntti Tuomisto Freshman D 6' 4" (1.93 m) 194 lb (88 kg) 2001-01-20 Pori, Finland Ässät U20 (Nuorten SM-liiga) DET, 35th overall 2019
4 Flag of British Columbia Mendel, GriffinGriffin Mendel (A) Senior D 6' 4" (1.93 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1999-02-18 Kelowna, British Columbia Penticton (BCHL)
6 Flag of Missouri Webster, McKadeMcKade Webster Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 2000-07-28 St. Louis, Missouri Green Bay (USHL)
7 Flag of British Columbia Stapley, BrettBrett Stapley Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 177 lb (80 kg) 1999-02-23 Campbell River, British Columbia Vernon (BCHL) MON, 190th overall 2018
8 Flag of Alberta Savoie, CarterCarter Savoie Freshman F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 2002-01-23 St. Albert, Alberta Sherwood Park (AJHL) EDM, 100th overall 2020
10 Flag of Finland Heikkinen, JaakkoJaakko Heikkinen Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 189 lb (86 kg) 1997-03-17 Helsinki, Finland Jokerit U20 (Nuorten SM-liiga)
11 Flag of British Columbia Jandric, StevenSteven Jandric Senior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 1997-08-18 Prince George, British Columbia Alaska (WCHA)
12 Flag of British Columbia Olischefski, KohenKohen Olischefski (C) Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1998-02-01 Abbotsford, British Columbia Chilliwack (BCHL)
14 Flag of Idaho Hanson, BoBo Hanson Senior D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1997-11-13 Boise, Idaho St. Lawrence (ECAC)
16 Flag of California Durflinger, JakeJake Durflinger Senior F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 169 lb (77 kg) 1997-10-06 Walnut Creek, California Bloomington (USHL)
17 Flag of California Demin, SlavaSlava Demin Junior D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 194 lb (88 kg) 2000-04-04 Cypress, California Wenatchee (BCHL) CHI, 99th overall 2018
18 Flag of Alberta Barrow, RyanRyan Barrow (A) Senior F 6' 2" (1.88 m) 184 lb (83 kg) 1997-02-15 Banff, Alberta Langley (BCHL)
19 Flag of California Guttman, ColeCole Guttman Junior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1999-04-06 Los Angeles, California Dubuque (USHL) TAM, 180th overall 2017
20 Flag of Alberta Benning, MikeMike Benning Freshman D 5' 10" (1.78 m) 174 lb (79 kg) 2002-01-05 St. Albert, Alberta Sherwood Park (AJHL) FLA, 95th overall 2020
21 Flag of British Columbia Irwin, ReidReid Irwin Freshman D 6' 1" (1.85 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1999-03-01 Victoria, British Columbia Sherwood Park (AJHL)
22 Flag of Tennessee Caponi, ConnorConnor Caponi Freshman F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 181 lb (82 kg) 2000-03-20 Nashville, Tennessee Waterloo (USHL)
23 Flag of Minnesota Krenzen, LaneLane Krenzen Sophomore D 5' 9" (1.75 m) 183 lb (83 kg) 1998-02-21 Twig, Minnesota Austin (NAHL)
24 Flag of Minnesota Brink, BobbyBobby Brink Sophomore F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 164 lb (74 kg) 2001-07-08 Minnetonka, Minnesota Sioux City (USHL) PHI, 34th overall 2019
26 Flag of Colorado Doremus, JackJack Doremus Senior F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-04-15 Aspen, Colorado Lincoln (USHL)
27 Flag of California Mayhew, KyleKyle Mayhew Junior D 5' 7" (1.7 m) 154 lb (70 kg) 1997-12-25 Anaheim Hills, California Fairbanks (NAHL)
28 Flag of Alberta Edwards, BrettBrett Edwards Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 196 lb (89 kg) 1998-09-10 Grande Prairie, Alberta Drumheller (AJHL)
30 Flag of Sweden Chrona, MagnusMagnus Chrona Sophomore G 6' 6" (1.98 m) 216 lb (98 kg) 2000-08-28 Skellefteå, Sweden Skellefteå J20 (J20 SuperElit) TAM, 152nd overall 2018
31 Flag of Missouri Caruso, JackJack Caruso Freshman G 5' 11" (1.8 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1999-06-07 St. Louis, Missouri Fairbanks (NAHL)
32 Flag of Manitoba Lee, JustinJustin Lee Sophomore D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 182 lb (83 kg) 2000-03-14 Waskada, Manitoba Fargo (USHL)
33 Flag of Michigan Kaczperski, CorbinCorbin Kaczperski Senior G 6' 3" (1.91 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1996-03-02 China Township, Michigan Yale (ECAC)
37 Flag of Texas Crone, HankHank Crone Junior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 152 lb (69 kg) 1998-02-19 Dallas, Texas Fargo (USHL)

Pioneers in the NHL

= NHL All-Star Team = NHL All-Star[31] = NHL All-Star[31] and NHL All-Star Team = Hall of Famers

Player Position Team(s) Years Stanley Cups
Bruce Affleck Defenseman STL, VAN, NYI 1974–1984 1^
Glenn Anderson Right Wing EDM, TOR, NYR, STL 1980–1996 6
Erik Andersson Left Wing CGY 1997–1998 0
Ed Beers Left Wing CGY, STL 1981–1986 0
Beau Bennett Right Wing PIT, NJD, STL 2012–2018 1
Adam Berkhoel Goaltender ATL 2005–2006 0
Doug Berry Center COR 1979–1981 0
Ken Berry Left Wing EDM, VAN 1981–1989 0
Henrik Borgstrom Center FLA 2017–present 0
Tyler Bozak Center TOR, STL 2009–present 1
Lyle Bradley Center CAL, CLE 1973–1977 0
Rick Bragnalo Center WAS 1975–1979 0
Mike Busniuk Defenseman PHI 1979–1981 0
Will Butcher Defenseman NJD 2017–present 0
Chris Butler Defenseman BUF, CGY, STL 2008–2019 1&
Ryan Caldwell Defenseman NYI, PHO 2005–2008 0
Matt Carle Defenseman SJS, TBL, PHI, NSH 2005–2017 0
Mike Christie Defenseman CAL, CLE, COR, VAN 1974–1981 0
Joe Colborne Center TOR, CGY, COL 2010–2017 0
Paul Comrie Center EDM 1999–2000 0
Ed Cristofoli Right Wing MTL 1989–1990 0
Kevin Dineen Right Wing HFD, PHI, CAR, OTT, CBJ 1984–2003 1@
Kevin Doell Center ATL 2007–2008 0
Matt Donovan Defenseman NYI, NSH 2011–present 0
Wade Dubielewicz Goaltender NYI, CBJ, MIN 2003–2010 0
Dylan Gambrell Center SJS 2017–present 0
Dallas Gaume Center HFD 1988–1989 0
Gabe Gauthier Left Wing LAK 2006–2008 0
Ron Grahame Goaltender BOS, LAK, QUE 1977–1981 0
Danton Heinen Center BOS 2016–present 0
Blake Hillman Defenseman CHI 2017–present 0
Lex Hudson Defenseman PIT 1978–1979 0
Connor James Center LAK, PIT 2005–2009 0
Marshall Johnston Defenseman MNS, CAL 1967–1974 1#
Chris Kenady Right Wing STL, NYR 1997–2000 0
George Konik Defenseman PIT 1967–1968 0
Cliff Koroll Right Wing CHI 1969–1980 0
Antti Laaksonen Left Wing BOS, MIN, COL 1998–2007 0
Mike Lampman Left Wing STL, VAN, WAS 1972–1977 0

Player Position Team(s) Years Stanley Cups
Jim Leavins Defenseman DET, NYR 1985–1987 0
Pete LoPresti Goaltender MNS, EDM 1974–1981 0
Aaron MacKenzie Defenseman COL 2008–2009 0
John MacMillan Right Wing TOR, DET 1960–1965 2
Keith Magnuson Defenseman CHI 1969–1980 0
Peter Mannino Goaltender NYI, ATL, WPG 2008–2012 0
Tom Martin Left Wing WIN, HFD, MNS 1984–1990 0
Bill Masterton Center MNS 1967–1968 0
Dwight Mathiasen Right Wing PIT 1985–1988 0
Derek Mayer Defenseman OTT 1993–1994 0
Scott Mayfield Defenseman NYI 2013–present 0
Peter McNab Center BUF, BOS, VAN, NJD 1973–1987 0
Dakota Mermis Defenseman ARI, MIN 2017–present 0
Paul Messier Center COR 1978–1979 0
Tom Miller Center DET, NYI 1970–1975 0
Gavin Morgan Center DAL 2003–2004 0
Trevor Moore Forward TORLAK 2018–present 0
George Morrison Left Wing STL 1970–1972 0
Logan O'Connor Forward COL 2018–Present 0
Rob Palmer Forward CHI 1973–1976 0
Craig Patrick Center CAL, STL, KCS, WAS 1971–1979 2†
Matt Pettinger Left Wing WAS, VAN, TBL 2000–2010 0
Lynn Powis Center CHI, KCS 1973–1975 0
Rich Preston Center CHI, NJD 1979–1987 0
Rhett Rakhshani Right Wing NYI 2010–2012 0
Craig Redmond Defenseman LAK, EDM 1984–1989 0
Mark Rycroft Right Wing STL, COL 2001–2007 0
Jim Shires Left Wing DET, STL, PIT 1970–1973 0
Drew Shore Center FLA, CGY, VAN 2012–2017 0
Nick Shore Center LAK, OTT, CGY, WPG 2014–2018 0
Brett Skinner Defenseman NYI 2008–2009 0
Wayne Smith Defenseman CHI 1966–1967 0
Paul Stastny Center COL, STL, WPG, VGK 2006–Present 0
Troy Terry Right Wing ANA 2017–present 0
Brock Trotter Center MTL 2009–2010 0
Vic Venasky Center LAK 1972–1979 0
Patrick Wiercioch Defenseman OTT, COL 2010–2017 0
Jim Wiste Center CHI, VAN 1968–1971 0
Jason Zucker Left Wing MIN, PIT 2011–present 0

† Patrick won two Stanley Cups as the general manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. @ Dineen won his Stanley Cup as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. # Johnston won his Stanley Cup as an executive for the Carolina Hurricanes. ^ Affleck won his Stanley Cup as an executive for the St. Louis Blues. & Butler won his Stanley Cup as player for the St. Louis Blues. He did not play enough NHL games to merit engraving his name on trophy that year, but he did get to skate with the Cup in uniform after the final game. He then retired from hockey.

Retired NHL players stats

Note: This is a partial list of NHL players who attended DU (75 DU players have played in the NHL)

Name Seasons GP G A P PIM
Bruce Affleck 7 280 14 66 80 86
Glenn Anderson 16 1,129 498 601 1,099 1,120
Erik Andersson 1 12 2 1 3 134
Ed Beers 5 250 94 116 210 256
Matt Carle 12 704 44 231 275 245
Mike Christie 7 412 15 101 116 550
Kevin Dineen 19 1,188 355 405 760 2,229
Marshall Johnston 7 251 14 52 66 58
Cliff Koroll 11 814 208 254 462 376
Antti Laaksonen 8 483 81 87 168 152
Keith Magnuson 11 589 14 125 139 1,442
Peter McNab 14 954 363 450 813 179
Bill Masterton1 1 38 4 8 12 4
Craig Patrick 9 401 72 91 163 61
Rich Preston 8 580 127 164 291 348
Craig Redmond 5 191 16 68 84 134
Mark Rycroft 4 226 21 25 46 113
Vic Venasky 7 430 61 101 162 66

Active players stats

Active as of the end of the 2017–18 season[32]

Name Seasons GP G A P +/– PIM
Paul Stastny 12 824 220 426 646 19 384
Tyler Bozak 9 594 136 229 365 −78 182
Joe Colborne 7 295 42 72 114 −38 144
Chris Butler 7 394 13 71 84 −30 187
Jason Zucker 7 330 97 75 172 33 124
Patrick Wiercioch 6 268 16 58 74 -5 138
Scott Mayfield 5 83 5 17 22 -14 98
Henrik Borgstrom 1 4 1 0 1 -1 0
Troy Terry 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
Beau Bennett 6 200 24 40 64 -2 52
Blake Hillman 1 4 1 0 1 -1 0
Will Butcher 1 81 5 39 44 1 8
Nick Shore 4 236 15 38 53 -15 78
Danton Heinen 2 85 16 31 47 7 18
Dylan Gambrell 1 3 0 0 0 -1 0


  • 1 Masterton suffered severe head trauma on January 13, 1968, during an NHL game when he fell to the ice and hit his head. He died two days later and became the first player to die as a direct result of an injury during an NHL game. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who best personifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of ice hockey.


Several players also were members of WHA teams.

Player Position Team(s) Years Avco Cups
Doug Berry Center EDM 1978–1979 0
Tom Gilmore Right wing LAS, EDM 1972–1975 0
Ron Grahame Goaltender HOU 1973–1977 1
George Konik Defenseman MFS 1972–1973 0
Brian Morenz Left wing NYD, NYG, JK, SDM 1972–1976 0
George Morrison Left wing MFS, CAC 1972–1977 0
Craig Patrick Center MFS 1976–1977 0
Lynn Powis Center CAC, IND, WIN 1975–1978 1
Rich Preston Right wing HOU, WIN 1974–1979 2
Cal Sandbeck Defenseman EDM 1977–1979 0
Jim Wiste Center CLC, IND 1972–1976 0


University of Denver Arena (1948–1997)

University of Denver Arena (DU Arena) was a 5,237-seat multi-purpose arena in Denver. In addition to serving as the Pioneers' home rink, it hosted several Frozen Fours. It was razed in 1997 to make room for the $75 million Magness Arena, (part of the Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness) which opened in 1999.

Originally a Naval Drill Hall built during World War II in Farragut, Idaho, the DU Arena was donated to the University after the war and reassembled on the Denver campus in 1948–49 to house the University's then-new ice hockey program. The arena was refurbished in 1972–73 when the roof needed repairs, and 14 seven-ton steel trusses were added to shore up the roof. Additional patchwork renovations were added in the 1990s, prior to razing in 1997.

The best known features of the arena were the steep bleacher balcony at the south end, and the 1970s rainbow painted on the north end wall. Famous hockey games held there include the NCAA ice hockey finals in 1961, 1964 and 1976.

Magness Arena (1999–present)

Magness Arena is a 7,200-seat multi-purpose collegiate sports arena in Denver, Colorado. It was built from 1997 to 1999 as part of the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports & Wellness, an $84 million, 400,000-square-foot (37,000 m2) sports complex at the University of Denver. It is home to the University of Denver Pioneers ice hockey and basketball teams. The Ritchie Center replaced the former DU Arena and DU Fieldhouse, which were razed in 1997 to make way for the Ritchie Center. The basketball team also plays smaller games at Hamilton Gymnasium, located in the Ritchie Center.

The arena is named after cable television pioneer Bob Magness, who donated $10 million towards construction costs.

Other Colorado Arenas

When the DU Arena roof was being fixed between 1972 and 1973, the Pioneers played home games at the Denver Coliseum.

When Magness Arena was under construction from 1997 to 1999, Denver played its home games at four different arenas around the state: Denver Coliseum, McNichols Arena, Colorado Springs World Arena and at the Air Force Academy's Cadet Ice Arena.

DU has also played a 2012 home exhibition game at Denver's Pepsi Center against the University of British Columbia.

Denver's all-time record hockey crowd was the 2016 regular season outdoor NCHC game against Colorado College, called "The Battle on Blake" before over 35,000 fans at Denver's Coors Field baseball stadium, the most fans to ever see a home DU sporting event in Denver.

DU's indoor record home crowd was the 1995 Denver Cup final at McNichols Arena, where Denver defeated Colorado College before over 16,000 fans.

Magness Arena looking northwest

Magness arena looking north/northeast

The Ritchie Center is home to many DU Pioneers athletics programs


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Denver Pioneers men's Hockey 2004-05 Media Guide", Denver Pioneers. 
  3. "Univ. of Michigan 1950-51 roster and statistics", EliteProspects. 
  4. "History of the WCHA", College Hockey Historical Archive. 
  5. The 10 Greatest College Hockey Teams of All Time.
  6. "Denver Pioneers 2007-08 Hockey Yearbook", Denver Pioneers. 
  7. "NCAA Frozen Four Records", 
  8. "All-WCHA Teams", College Hockey Historical Archives. 
  9. "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners", 
  10. "Alumni report for U. of Denver", Hockey DB. 
  11. "North Dakota 2015-16 Hockey Yearbook", North Dakota. 
  12. "Michigan 2009-10 Hockey Yearbook", Michigan Wolverines. 
  13. "50th Anniversary, Reliving the Historical March 2-4, 1966 Blizzard", NOAA. 
  14. "Tourney Time: First Round Preview vs. Denver", Boston College Eagles. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Denver Pioneers: 55 Years of Overcoming Obstacles",, 2004-04-20. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Denver hockey 2018-19 Media Guide. Denver Pioneers.
  17. Final Bracketology: 2003-2004. (March 21, 2004).
  18. Berkhoel, Bull, Fulghum Send Denver To Boston. (March 27, 2004).
  19. Thursday, April 8, 2004 Denver (DEN) vs Minnesota-Duluth (MND). College Hockey Stats.
  20. Berkhoel, Pioneers Whitewash Black Bears For NCAA Title. (April 10, 2004).
  21. The Road Less Traveled-Pioneers Repeat as NCAA Champion. (April 9, 2005).
  22. "George Gwozdecky fired as Denver Pioneers hockey coach after 19 years", April 1, 2013. 
  23. David Kensa, "College Hockey's Top 10 Rivalries," College Hockey News, February 8, 2006
  24. Legends of Hockey. Hockey Hall of Fame.
  25. United States Hockey Hall of Fame. Hockey
  26. Alumni report for U. of Denver. Hockey DB.
  28. 2019–20 Men's Ice Hockey Roster. Denver University.
  29. Kohen Olischefski Named Captain for 2020-21 Season. Denver University.
  30. Ian Mitchell Signs with Chicago Blackhawks. Denver University.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Players are identified as an All-Star if they were selected for the All-Star game at any time in their career.
  32. 2017-2018 Alums In The NHL.

External links

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Denver Pioneers men's ice hockey. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).