Denver loses its third underclassman this offseason

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • April 15, 2012 - 2:00 AM

Coach George Gwozdecky of Denver keeps losing underclassmen.

Sophomore forward Beau Bennett is the latest to leave the Pioneers. Bennett, of Gardena, Calif., has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins drafted him in the first round -- 20th overall -- in the 2010 NHL draft. The 6-1, 190-pound Bennett played only 10 games in 2011-12 because of a wrist injury and finished with four goals and nine assists.

He had nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points as a freshman.

"We are happy for Beau that he is realizing his life-long dream to become a professional hockey player," said Gwozdecky in a DU news release. "Beau is a big-time talent, who would have put up big numbers for us last season if it wasn't for his injury."

Two other DU forwards with eligibility left turned pro earlier since the Pioneers' season ended. Drew Shore, a junior center, signed with the Florida Panthers and sophomore winger Jason Zucker with the Wild.

This is the second time in three years that the Pioneers have lost three underclassmen in the offseason. Here is a list of the 17th underclassmen who have signed pro contract in Gwozdecky's 18 seasons as head coach:

2011: Matt Donovan

2010: Marc Cheverie, Joe Colborne, Patrick Wiercioch

2009: Tyler Bozak 

2008: Chris Butler, Brock Trotter

2007: Geoff Paukovich, Ryan Dingle

2006: Paul Stastny, Matt Carle

2005: Brett Skinner

2000: Mark Rycroft

1999: Matt Pettinger

* The U.S team beat the Czech Republic, the host team, 5-0 in the under-18 IIHF men's world championships. Goalie Collin Olson of Apple Valley made 17 saves for his second shutout in two games. He and U.S. beat Finland 4-0 on Thursday.  The Americans outshot the Czechs 37-17. Next the U.S. team plays Denmark on Sunday and Canada on Tuesday.

* Former Gopher Gigi Marvin scored two unassisted, power-play goals but the U.S. team lost 5-4 to Canada in the gold medal game of the IIHF women's world championships in Burlington, Vt. Amanda Kessel and Megan Bozek, two present Gophers, each had one assist.

* Inside College Hockey named North Dakota's Dave Hakstol its national coach of the year. The Fighting Sioux were 26-13-3 and won their record third Broadmoor Trophy in a row. The Fighting Sioux lost 110 games because of injuries to eight players. UND played 14 games with one or more skaters under the 18 permitted. The Sioux were 11-3 in this short-handed games.


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