>Denver Update: Pioneers Now In Minneapolis
>Mike Chambers, of The Denver Post has been keeping tabs on the hometown Pioneers this week in practice and checks in with some updates on George Gwozdecky’s squad. Here they be…
– University of Denver captain J.P. Testwuide missed practice again Tuesday and could be a spectator Friday when the Pioneers open the NCAA Tournament against Miami (Ohio) at the West Regional in Minneapolis. Testwuide, a rugged senior defenseman who leads the team with a plus-17 rating, will nevertheless make the trip in the Pioneers’ 23-player traveling party.
– Junior center Tyler Ruegsegger surprisingly participated in some practice drills Tuesday, donning full equipment and an orange “no crush” sweater. Ruegsegger’s season was deemed over when he partially tore a ligament in his right knee on March 13 against Alaska-Anchorage. Ruegsegger is doubtful, at best, for Friday, but the Lakewood native said he will pay his own way to Minneapolis if he’s not included in the team’s travel party. “I’m definitely making the trip. I couldn’t miss this,” he said.
– Bozak ready. DU standout center Tyler Bozak, who had a team-leading 21 points before he suffered a knee injury in the 18th game of the season, is practicing on a line with the team’s top two scorers, Anthony Maiani and Rhett Rakhshani. Bozak will return from a 21-game absence Friday.
(Here is a feature on what Bozak’s return to Denver lineup brings to the team. A 23 year old sophomore, Bozak is considering a plethora of NHL teams in competition for his potential services next season. These games could be his last in maroon and gold.)
“It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat,” Rakhshani said. “The intensity of a game is a little different, but I would imagine he’ll step right in from where he left off, with the athlete he is and the skill set he has.”
– DU (23-11-5) is 8-1 in its past nine NCAA Tournament games. . . . Miami is 2-4-1 in its past seven games. The RedHawks (20-12-5), who began the season 12-3-3, were idle last weekend after being eliminated from the CCHA playoffs by Northern Michigan in a three-game series.
– Chambers also has a short piece about former Pioneer captain and current Miami Volunteer Assistant Coach Bryan Vines. Check it out at this link.