Denver wins its ninth NCAA hockey championship
By beating Michigan in overtime in the semifinals on Thursday, Denver ticked off its first goal of this Frozen Four: ensuring the Wolverines wouldn’t become the first team to win 10 titles.
The Wolverines were a formidable opponent, with 13 NHL draft picks, including seven first-rounders and four of the top five picks in last July’s draft. The Pioneers trailed 1-0 in that game as well, but fought back to win on Carter Savoie’s goal in overtime. Carle’s quest to get Denver that ninth title stayed alive.
“Winning Thursday against Michigan, the team at nine, was a huge step in that direction,” Carle said.
Carle, 32, is only seven years older than Barrow. A former Denver rookie, Carle has never hidden from his players the importance of winning a ninth championship.
In 2008, after playing at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota, Carle was to follow his older brother – NHL player Matt Carle – and become a star player in Denver. It never worked. At an NHL scouting meeting before David Carle’s freshman year, doctors discovered he had an enlarged heart muscle. He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and he stopped playing.
But the university honored his scholarship and George Gwozdecky, the coach at the time, appointed him assistant coach while he was a student. After graduating in 2012, David Carle went to Green Bay to be an assistant coach in the USA Hockey League, one of the top junior ice hockey leagues, then returned to Denver two years later. as an assistant to new Pioneers coach Jim Montgomery. When Montgomery left to coach the Dallas Stars in the NHL in 2018, Denver took a chance on a confident and exceptionally experienced 28-year-old.
“This responsibility does not fall to me lightly,” David Carle said of why it was so important to be tied for most championships. “I owe a lot of what I have in my life to college.”