“Denver is a place where you can expect to have chance to win a national championship and winning your conference every year,” first-year Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery said during the program’s annual media day press conference. “That’s why I wanted this job. I don’t know in the last five years that they’ve won enough championships.I know that if my next five years are comparable to the last five years I will view it as a disappointment.”
Montgomery did not put much stock in not making the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine preseason poll, which ranks the top 15. The Pioneers did receive votes.
“I think it’s a slight of a rookie head coach, is he going to be able to handle the next step,” Montgomery said. “I think more importantly preseason polls mean nothing.”
USCHO.com will release its preseason poll next week. The NCHC media poll had Denver placing fourth, good for home playoff ice in the eight-team league
Senior goalie Sam Brittain leads the netminders, said Montgomery, who gave a quick rundown of his new team.
“In goal, we are led by our senior Sam Brittain, who I think is in the best shape of his life right now,” Montgomery said. “He’s going to be leading the way with our two freshmen who he’s taken under his wing. “On defense, we return four defensemen who I’ve seen in practice already are 200 foot hockey players that can get it done at the defensive and offensive end that really excites me. They’re supported by three very talented freshmen. I’m really excited about our d-corps.”
“Moving on to our forwards, we are led in our forwards by our junior class. Our sophomore and freshman are going to have to be relied upon to contribute for us in that depth throughout our forward line in order to play Pioneer hockey.”
The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers is reporting that freshman forward Brad Hawkinson injured his shoulder in captain’s practice and may need surgery and a medical redshirt season.