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Pioneers Headed To The Frozen Four; Repeat Of 2022 Coming?

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Denver pioneers du

This is Colorado Hockey Now, not just Colorado Avalanche Hockey Now, so it’s time to take a second to recognize another powerhouse hockey team in the state – the Denver Pioneers.

On Saturday, the Pioneers beat the Cornell by a score of 2-1 to advance to the Frozen Four, which will take place in St. Paul Minnesota over the weekend of April 11-13. Cornell is actually the team that eliminated the Pioneers in the regional semi-finals last year to send them home, so DU was able to exact a bit of revenge.

Just two days prior, DU got a bit of a scare, as UMass took them to double overtime in their matchup, but the Pioneers were able to advance thanks to the overtime winner from Tristan Broz. One can only assume Logan O’Connor and Cale Makar had a bit of a friendly wager going in the Avalanche locker room for that game.

The star of both games was goaltender Matt Davis, who stopped 70 shots over the two games. His biggest stop came in the final 15 seconds on Saturday, when he slid over to rob Ryan Walsh with his right pad on a one-timer.

This will be the 19th time that DU has made it to the Frozen Four, as they look to win their 10th National Championship.

The last time they won the National Championship was just two years ago, when they beat Minnesota State by a score of 5-1 in the final game.

If you’re the Colorado Avalanche, you’re probably rooting for the Pioneers to get the job done in two weeks. After all, the last time DU won the National Championship, Colorado’s NHL team followed it up with a Stanley Cup parade just two months later. Another natty from the Pios could be a good omen for the Avalanche.

There is another reason to watch the Pioneers if you’re an Avalanche fan, and that’s to keep an eye on one of their top prospects, Sean Behrens. Colorado’s second round draft pick from 2021 is having another strong season on the top pair for DU, paired with Zeev Buium, who could very easily be a top 10 pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Because he plays with Buium, he doesn’t touch the puck as much as you’d like, but he’s a really strong defender, despite being a little undersized. He uses his stick a lot like Devon Toews, and for most of the year, he’s played his off-side, so he has some versatility too. Colorado is hoping to get him signed after this season, which is his Junior year, because if he goes back to college, all bets are off on whether or not he’d sign or enter free agency after next season. I haven’t gotten a clear indication on what will happen one way or the other after talking to a few people, so it’s something to watch.

Behrens is a top five prospect in the Avalanche system, and could easily play professional hockey right now.

Stay tuned to CHN, as we’ll keep an eye on how the Pioneers do in the Frozen Four, as well as what happens with Behrens afterwards.

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hockeyhead

Good article Evan, yeah those were some nail biter cardiac games for sure. They were not easy to watch……..

Bob Neal

I hope the Pios get their 10th title. Is there another team that is even close to this many national titles? BTW, Zeev looks like a pretty solid NHL prospect.

slicknick

Yes, Michigan is tied with DU for national titles (9). This Frozen Four is the tale of blue bloods with DU and UM at 9 titles and BC and BU at 5 titles. Let’s go DU!

Jim Stick

Zeev Buium was amazing for team USA in the a World Juniors this past year.

Jeffrey Anderson

Go Pios, and CMac, pls sign Behrens!

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