The University of Denver Pioneers hockey team might be the most exciting team in Colorado right now. The Pioneers are coming off of a pair of wins against the No. 1 team in the nation, the St. Cloud Huskies, which allowed the Pioneers to reclaim the top ranking themselves. In their previous two games, the Pioneers lost to the Western Michigan Broncos and dropped from the top spot.

The Pioneers will now prepare to face the third-best team in the nation and their NCHC rival, the North Dakota Fighting Hawks.

Longtime play-by-play announcer and hockey analyst Norm Jones joined Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to preview the Pioneers recent performance and their preparation for the Fighting Hawks.

“They were high scoring games,” Jones said, going back to DU’s losses at Western Michigan. “That’s a little unusual for the Pioneers. DU was really good defensively last year. This year they are not quite as strong defensively. They are pretty good offensively, but the Western Michigan scores were a little bit lopsided. They lost 6-5 — and gave up a lot of goals — and 7-4.”

Jones blames late-game lapses for those losses. “It was just one of those goofy weekends where they just stopped playing in the third period. That’s where they lost the games against Western.”

The Pioneers rebounded against St. Cloud at home thanks to the upperclassmen.

“You’ve got to admire the leadership that the Pioneers have from senior and junior guys this year to really get the mindset of team back to where it needed to be, because there’s a lot of young guys on the Pioneers as well that are trying to learn how to play at a division one level.They really got them focussed last weekend.

“I think that really was one of the keys that the leadership of the team turned the team in the right direction to sweep St. Cloud. They have to maintain that against North Dakota this weekend,” Jones said.

“North Dakota is a team that is always in the mix in the NCHC and they are always a tough opponent in the league. DU has some big test early in the season. They took care of business last weekend, but now they face North Dakota.

“If they are able to sweep North Dakota that would be a big boost for the Pioneers. They have been off to a good start for the most part other than that sweep at Western Michigan. So they are a team that will be in the mix all season long and this is a big weekend against North Dakota.”

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Catch Anything’s Possible with Gil Whiteley and Mark Jackson every weekday from 11a-1p on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 or stream live any time for the best local coverage of Colorado sports from Denver’s biggest sports talk lineup. Download the all-new free Mile High Sports Radio mobile app forApple or Android.