DENVER — DU hockey is getting ready to head to their 15th Frozen Four on Thursday after defeating Penn State 6 to 3 last weekend.
So this week, the number one Pios have been preparing for their next opponent, Notre Dame.
The Pios are obviously no stranger to the final four, since they were just there last year and lost to North Dakota.
While DU is excited to make it to the semi-finals they have bigger goals than just making it. They are focused on getting another chance to win it all -- something they haven’t done since 2005.
“Just being number one this year, we definitely have a target on our back,” forward for the Pioneers, Troy Terry, said.
A target that the Pios used to their advantage last Sunday night against the Nittany Lions, leading DU to punch their ticket to their second Frozen Four in two years.
While the team celebrated the victory, they kept it short because for the most part, the Pios know what to expect this time around.
“We know it’s a big stage and we know what’s coming and I think we are ready for it,” Terry said.
However, some of the players on this top-ranked hockey team are still holding on to some emotions from last year’s semifinal finish.
“The feeling of losing that game is [a] terrible feeling, one of the worst in my career and I don’t want to feel it again,” said defenseman Will Butcher.
In the meantime, the players are focusing on one thing, beating Notre Dame, a team they are kind of familiar with.
“We played them last year, and I think it was one of our better games of the year, actually. They are a good team, and I think the biggest thing is their goalie. They’ve got a good goalie. The big thing for us is, if [we] aren’t scoring... just don’t get frustrated. Just keep sticking to what’s given us success, I think if we just stick to our game plan, our biggest enemy right now is ourselves and if we play the right way, I think we will be fine,” Terry said.
“I don’t think we need to make adjustments, per say, we just need to stick to Denver hockey,” Butcher said.
There will be an official Frozen Four send off for the Pioneers on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at the Daniel Richie Center.
Fans will have a chance to wish the Crimson and Gold good luck before they travel to Chicago for the national semifinal.
That game is on Thursday April 6 at the United Center. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.