DENVER - All business.
You almost have to remind the University of Denver hockey team that being at the Frozen Four is exciting.
"It is. But it's not as exciting as last year. That's the maturity of our group," head coach Jim Montgomery said.
The Pioneers will play Notre Dame on Thursday at the United Center in Chicago. The winner advances to the National Championship game. Denver had this opportunity a year ago and lost in the semifinals to North Dakota.
"Last year we got caught up in all the distractions and it was such a big event and I think this year we really just have to play hockey is our thing. We're on a mission so we really are just excited to get going," sophomore Troy Terry told 9NEWS.
Denver and the other three Frozen Four teams took to the ice at the United Center on Wednesday. The Pioneers are determined not to be astonished by the bright lights of the big stage. Which is exactly why they came to the building all the way back in December.
"It was more, this is where we want our season to end, this is where we believe it's going to end," Montgomery said. "So it was more of a confidence booster and a little visualization."
Denver stopped in Chicago on their way out to play Providence during Christmas Break. The team spent sometime inside the United Center and also took in a Blackhawks game.
"I think it was to see the arena and get over it but also to give us a little fire to be motivated to get here," senior Matt VanVoorhis said. "This is obviuosly an awesome place and an awesome building and I think guys got to see what it's all about, the atmosphere, the excitment, the tradition, so I think that was the meaning of the trip."
The Pioneers got to be fans on that trip back in December, with the idea that they would be nothing but hockey players when they returned to Chicago in April.
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