The Gold Pan rivalry lives on this weekend


The Gold Pan Battle lives on in Colorado, even after 70+ years. With a rivalry dating back to 1949–50, there is a rich history in the series. The University of Denver leads the series over Colorado College 192–122–23, winning the last eight matches in the regular season.

“It’s a great thing for our fans that we get to play them four times every year,” coach David Carle said. “Their program is on the rise, they’ve done an excellent job with their new staff and recruiting and are becoming more competitive and play more of a 200-foot game, making life harder on us. So we expect a really good battle this weekend.”

In the NCHC playoffs, Colorado College secured a close victory against their opponent. But every game last season was a “tightly contested game,” as Carle put it.

The Pioneers played a split series last weekend against a fierce Augustana University and another against in-state rival, Air Force. While Denver got ahead in the game against the Vikings, Augustana fought hard to earn a tie. Air Force, on the on the other hand, saw all of the corrections from the night before and freshman goaltender Freddie Halyk. The Pioneers came out in the end with a shutout 4–0.

“It certainly feels like they are closing the gap within the rivalry and we expect nothing different this year,” Carle told the media on Wednesday.

Freshman Boston Buckberger, who was just named conference rookie of the month, hopes a victory is in play for this weekend.

Buckberger has nothing but steller since coming to Denver. He has racked up seven points in only six games with the Pioneers, claiming all the credit goes to his teammates.

“Just to hold it up, hopefully,” Buckberger said with a smile. “I actually don’t even know exactly what it looks like. But hopefully I get that in our possession pretty quick here.”

Senior McKade Webster has a lot of experience with the series himself.

“It’s a big deal,” Webster said. “Especially for our young guys that have never participated in this event and won a Gold Pan before. So for them just understanding what it means for our program going forward, it’s a big deal. It is the first trophy that we can win this weekend if we get a sweep, so that’s what we are looking to do.”

The hallways were filled with excitement from the players and staff. Not a nervous energy, but a confident energy. The Pioneers, with a 4–1–1 record, are ranked No. 2 in the nation, so they have reason to be confident. Colorado College may be a little more of a challenge than previous opponents, as they boast a 5–1–0 record, losing only to Augustana. Expect a fierce battle with the state’s top team prevailing.

Puck drop on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. MDT, with Saturday’s tilt scheduled for 6 p.m. MDT.

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