Denver Prepares for NCAA Without Zucker, Others
by Dan Myers/CHN Staff
ST. PAUL, Minn. Not only did Denver lose 4-0 to North Dakota here Saturday night in the championship game of the WCHA Final Five, the Pioneers may have suffered a more long-term loss in the form of yet another injury to a high-profile player.
This one is to forward Jason Zucker, who left the game midway through the third period Saturday and did not return. The Pioneers were losing 3-0 at the time of the injury, so the fact he did not return wasn't a complete shock — the Pioneers had all but locked up a place in the NCAA Tournament and playing a nicked up player at that point in the contest would have been pointless.
Zucker became tangled with a North Dakota player near the benches before landing awkwardly on his left arm. Television replays appeared to show his arm being pinned behind him and landing on it. He went back to the locker room and did not make it back to the bench. Named to the All-Tournament team, Zucker was not on the ice to accept his plaque.
The Denver Post's Mike Chambers reported after the game that Zucker had been taken to a Twin Cities hospital for additional tests.
DU coach George Gwozdecky confirmed those reports this afternoon, and said Zucker flew back to Denver with the rest of the team this morning. His availability for this weekend's Midwest Regional in Green Bay is still up in the air, although Gwozdecky said the Pioneers will prepare as though Zucker, as well as teammates Paul Phillips, Josiah Didier, David Makowski, Chris Knowlton and Beau Bennett, will be unavailable.
Gwozdecky said all six are considered day-to-day at this point and will be re-evaluated Monday. The Pioneers practice Tuesday in Denver before flying to Green Bay on Wednesday. DU opens NCAA Tournament play Friday afternoon against CCHA regular season champ, Ferris State.