NCAA Frozen Four
How would the 2005 champs stack up against
Ohio – Nobody in this year's WCHA playoffs or NCAA Tournament
proved that they could beat this year's Denver Pioneers. We wondered
aloud after the game if the team that could do the job was last
year's Denver Pioneers.
The 2005 National
Champions were a much deeper, focused team that had to face high
expectations set by the 2004 club. That team's key to success
was to deflect expectations and pressure with a laid-back approach.
Most of the
opinion around the Denver club is that this year's team is a better
team. We asked three senior forwards about it in the immediate
aftermath of their second straight national championship.
took a diplomatic approach.
say we're equal, that's the safe way," he said. "I'll
call of those boys that were here last year and they were a huge
part of our success."
reflected on this squad's consistency and high level of play throughout
the season in giving the nod to the 2005 edition.
have to say this year. We really had a confident year. We really
played to our standard and our ability all year long and didn't
slip up one bit.
showed his short-term memory was sharp and understandably said
that this year's team would win, but knew he'd hear about it from
the likes of Ryan Caldwell, Max Bull, Conner James, and Greg Keith.
a tough question," Ulanski said. "It's two different
teams, and I don't know. Now that I'm on this year's team I have
to say this year's team. The seniors last year will kill me."
up with Adam Berkhoel, who was on the team bus after the Gwinnett
Gladiators defeated the Augusta Lynx 3-2 in ECHL action. He was
given a chance to defend the honor of the 2004 Pioneers.
to say last year's team, because I was on that team," Berkhoel
said. "We were a defensive team and this year's team was
a more offensive team."
by the way, made 20 saves in the Gladiator win (the second-most
important sporting event in Augusta, Ga., this weekend). He'd
be a difference maker in this hypothetical matchup, squaring off
against Peter Mannino between the pipes. The 2005 Pioneers would
need to find a way to get some pucks past the red-hot veteran
get to put these teams on the ice against each other, which leaves
the debate to be continued by these special Pioneer groups for
years to come over beers on barstools. When that happens, nobody