DU hockey opens NCAA regionals against Cornell, Carter Mazur’s scorer
The first bite? Carter Mazur hated it. Lose in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff Semi-Finals. Say goodbye to another trophy.
Then he remembered the aftertaste. And how sweet it was back then a year ago.
“Yeah, I feel like it’s exactly the same (vibe) as last March,” DU Pioneers top scorer Mazur said earlier this week at Magness Arena ahead of the first Test of 30 -9 Pios in the NCAA men’s hockey regionals, Thursday at 3:30 p.m. against Cornell (20-10-2).
“It really is a kind of blessing in disguise. (We) have extra rest because of it, but it (stinks) to lose the trophy. But we are kind of focused on the big goal: winning the national championship. So it’s nice to have this bitter taste in your mouth before these (regional) games.
DU will look to bounce back from a 1-0 loss on March 17 to challenge Colorado College in the NCHC semi-finals. The Pios suffered the same fate at Frozen Faceoff in March 2022, then followed that taste to the program’s ninth national title.
And this spring, coach David Carle hopes a bitter Mazur will make a better Mazur. The Pios are 42-5-0 since the start of the 21-22 season when the nimble sophomore registers at least one point in a game. They are 19-11-1 in the 31 games the Michigan native was held to a goose egg in the box score.
“We fought through adversity a lot throughout the year,” Mazur said. “And I feel like it’s just another step. I felt like every game we… lost, we took a good step forward in the next game. So it’s a good thing somehow (the loss of Frozen Faceoff) happened, but it’s just hard to happen at the time.
In what the Pios faithful hope is a harbinger of good things to come, No.1 goalkeeper Magnus Chrona trained at Magness on Tuesday before the team flew east.
The 6ft 5in senior’s playoff performances last spring have become DU legend – stopping at least 90.7% of opposition shots in all appearances after March 18 and recording 27 saves in a 5–1 win over Minnesota State in the National Championship Game.
“It’s a unique situation, the goalkeeper is huge,” said Carle. “I know George Gwozdecky said it in 2004 about (goalkeeper) Adam Berkhoel, like, ‘It’s a goalie tournament. We have the best goalkeeper in the tournament and I think that’s how we feel with Chrona in goal.
“He has experience in big games. He rises to the occasion (and has) throughout his career. And, you know, we expect the same from him here (at regionals) this weekend.
Concerns about his health?
“No worries at all,” replied Carle.
Is it totally 100%?
“No worries at all,” Carle deadpanned, this time with a smile.
The DU-Cornell winner is set to face Boston University or Michigan West for the regional crown and a spot in the Frozen Four on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“I feel like we kind of have the feeling of last year,” Mazur continued. “So we kind of want to bring it into the (NCAA) tournament this year. We want to have the same result and we want to have the same feeling, for sure.