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MEN'S HOCKEY: Still a rivalry

For many in Grand Forks, the painful memories seem fresh. Denver swept UND in Grand Forks 4-2 on back-to-back nights. A month later, the Pioneers knocked UND out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five with an overtime goal - a ga...

For many in Grand Forks, the painful memories seem fresh.

Denver swept UND in Grand Forks 4-2 on back-to-back nights.

A month later, the Pioneers knocked UND out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five with an overtime goal - a game that is remembered for Denver forward Geoff Paukovich's illegal check of Sioux defenseman Robbie Bina, leaving Bina with a broken neck.

Just weeks after that incident, the season ended with the Denver topping UND for the national championship.

"For the juniors and seniors, there's definitely some bad blood between the clubs," UND junior goaltender Philippe Lamoureux said.

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"It still burns in me," Sioux senior forward Erik Fabian said. "I still think back to that day. We could have won that game."

The UND-Denver rivalry may have reached its high point during the 2004-05 season, but has that carried over to this season?

Although it was just two years ago, only seven players on the current UND roster were on that team. And only three of those players saw the ice during that national championship game - seniors Fabian, Chris Porter and Scott Foyt, who suited up as a forward.

Lamoureux and Kyle Radke dressed but did not play. Bina and Rylan Kaip were out because of injuries. The other 17 players on this year's team weren't playing college hockey yet. But to them, the rivalry still exists.

"I think the returning guys, along with the coaching staff, have done a great job instilling that rivalry with Denver," Sioux sophomore forward Ryan Duncan said. "We seem to always play big games against them. This weekend, we want to go out there and do the best we can."

Bina, Paukovich

to be on the ice

Bina spent last season working his way back from the broken neck injury and he made his return to the ice this fall.

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Tonight will be the first time Bina and Paukovich are on the ice together since the incident. Bina, who has 18 points in his last 18 games, declined to speak about it this week.

Last season, Mike Prpich hit Paukovich between the legs with his stick off a faceoff, sparking Denver coach George Gwozdecky to stand on top of the dasher boards, protesting the action.

Gwozdecky was ejected from the game and Prpich repeatedly said he was just trying to tie Paukovich up off the draw.

Corbin declines

medical redshirt

Denver senior forward J.D. Corbin, who has missed the last 30 games with an injury, has decided to return to the Pioneers' lineup for the final weeks of the regular season instead of applying for a medical redshirt.

Corbin broke his right leg and tore ligaments and tendons in his ankle just four games into the season. He practiced with contact last week and is expected to be back in the lineup.

As a junior, Corbin scored five goals and added 15 assists for 20 points in 38 games. He had three assists in four games this season.

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His reasons for returning include wanting to graduate with his class and wanting to shoot for a third national championship ring.

Notes

-- Denver freshman forward Brock Trotter is bidding to become the first rookie to lead the Pioneers in scoring since Dave Shields in 1987. Classmates Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger are in second and third on the team in scoring.

-- UND is 9-2-1 in its last 12 games at Denver.

-- Duncan now has 40 goals in his first two seasons at UND. The only other players to do that in the past 10 years are Brandon Bochenski, Zach Parise and Ryan Bayda. All three are in the NHL.

-- Porter is three games shy of tying UND's record for most games played. Porter has played in 164. Quinn Fylling holds the record.

Reach Schlossman at 780-1129, (800) 477-6572 ext. 129 or bschlossman@gfherald.com . Read his hockey blog at areavoices.com/undhockey .

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