DU Pioneers advance to the Frozen Four after win against Penn State and being named No. 1 overall seed, making this their 10th consecutive appearance in the NCAA hockey tournament.
For the 10th year in a row, the DU Pioneers have started on the road to the NCAA hockey tournament. The nationally No. 1 ranked Pioneers (26-4-6 record) were announced last week as the NCCA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed, but they have yet to make it through the tournament since their first national championship in 2005.
Despite the struggle the Pioneers faced in the National Collegiate Hockey Tournament, their hard work and efforts during the regular season were rewarded by those who created the NCAA hockey tournament bracket, hence the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. In fact, they face the easiest path to the Finals of any club.
It’s a bittersweet victory for the seniors on the team, however. They all joined the program when head coach Jim Montgomery took over and this tournament will be the final opportunity for those seniors to play with the coach that helped mold the program into what it is today.
Will Butcher, the team captain, said, “We came in this with Monty, our class, so it’s bittersweet because we built this program for his liking… And it comes with the emotion of, ‘We’re not going to be here to experience that anymore with Monty.'”
Jim Montgomery has taken the Pioneers deeper and deeper into the tournament each year, but they always come up short. This year, the entire program believes, is the best chance they have of winning it all. With the amount of talent at DU’s disposal, it’s no surprise that they’ve made it this far. One can only hope they’ll come out on top.
The Frozen Four will be held April 6th to the 8th in Chicago. HERE is the full bracket and schedule.
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Featured photo courtesy of BSN Denver.