David Carle relishes DU hockey return to Frozen Four in Boston – The Denver Post

DU hockey coach David Carle was a teenager when the Pioneers last traveled to Boston for the Frozen Four.

Back in 2004, his older brother, Matt, was a freshman on the DU team that won a national title. But the younger Carle wasn’t in attendance when the Pioneers hoisted the trophy after a dramatic 1-0 victory over Maine.

“I remember as a 14-year-old that I was very disappointed because my parents did not bring me to Boston to watch the game,” Carle said. “I was watching at home with family and friends. … An unbelievable year. I think a championship that put Denver back on the map in the modern college hockey landscape.”

Carle won’t miss this next DU flight to Beantown. The 32-year-old head coach has an opportunity to write another proud chapter of Pioneer hockey history next week. The Pioneers (29-9-1) face Michigan (31-9-1) inside Boston’s TD Garden for a spot in the NCAA title game.

Wolverines coach Mel Pearson and Carle previewed the matchup on Tuesday during a teleconference with reporters. It marks the first meeting between the pair of traditional college hockey powers since 2002.

“I’m really impressed with their team,” Pearson said. “They’ve got a nice blend of skill, older guys, younger guys. They know what it takes to win. They’ve got a lot of winning under David Carle there. He’s done a fabulous job, he and his staff.”

The respect is mutual. Michigan’s talent-heavy roster includes seven first-round NHL draft picks.

“They’re dynamic,” Carle said. “You don’t have to look very far to find really good hockey players in their lineup. … Very different style from the teams that we played last weekend. That will be our job as coaches, our leadership group, and our players to get prepared.”

DU returns to the pinnacle of college hockey after failing to qualify for the national tournament a year ago. The Pioneers are now on the cusp of tripling their win total — from 10 to 29 — in re-establishing championship expectations. Junior forward Bobby Brink is among 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award.

“I give our guys credit,” Carle said. “We quickly turned the page last year in the summer session. Got a lot of people back here in Denver, training and skating. Our incoming class was able to come out here and operate in a normal summer … That’s been the biggest difference for us. We’ve actually been able to build that foundation this year and it’s led to the successes.”

Source: Read Full Article