January 2, 2014 PRINT Bookmark and Share

A Moore Perfect Union

Denver Freshman Is Breaking Out

by Avash Kalra/Senior Writer

Prior to arriving on campus for the Denver Pioneers, freshman forward Trevor Moore had every reason to be anxious. After all, the head coach who recruited him – two-time national title winner George Gwozdecky – was suddenly fired, and despite six consecutive NCAA tournament berths, there was plenty of uncertainty within the program he would soon be joining.

“I was nervous,” admits Moore, a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif. “You’re always nervous there [in that situation], thinking maybe the coach won’t like you. Once I got past that though, I was really excited. [Coach Jim] Montgomery has had a lot of success everywhere he’s gone.”

Montgomery, who won a national championship with Maine in 1993 on the strength of a hat trick in the title game, had more recently led the USHL’s Dubuque (Iowa) Fighting Saints to a league championship, the Clark Cup, for the second time in three seasons.

Once Montgomery was named the new Denver head coach, Moore’s anxiety began to fade. Moore, who tallied 95 points in two seasons with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm (Kearney, Nebraska), was already familiar with his new coach, having played against Montgomery’s championship-winning teams.

So the two of them would make the transition from the USHL to Denver, in some ways, together.

“Playing against his team, they were always a great team to play against,” says Moore. “So I was excited to be a part of that kind of team.”

Despite the coaching change, there was never any doubt that Moore would be coming to the Mile High City.

Said Moore, “Being from the west coast, Denver was the closest school that anyone talked about for hockey. I always followed them growing up, so it was kind of a dream to be able to go to Denver.”

Moore, who didn’t score a goal in his first 10 games, then erupted for six goals in his next five, and the freshman now leads the Pioneers in goals scored (8), points (16), plus/minus (plus-7), and game-winning goals (3). Denver’s resurgence of late has also paralleled Moore’s production, as the Pioneers have lost just once in their last 11 games, going 7-3-1 in that stretch.

And notably, showing improved poise in close games, Denver is unbeaten in its last four overtime games, after losing its first four early in the season.

“I think we’re just coming together as a team now, hitting our stride, understanding what Monty wants of us,” said Moore. “We’re starting to figure it out now.”

Moore has spent most of his rookie campaign playing alongside junior forwards Ty Loney and Daniel Doremus, and the trio has combined for 38 points already. In Denver’s final game of 2013, Moore, Loney, and Doremus scored four goals in a 5-3 Pioneers win at Massachusetts.

“They really took me under their wing to be honest,” said Moore. “I was struggling in the beginning and couldn’t really find the net. Doremus told me to stay calm and keep working. They’re two great hardworking players.

“[My first goal] was a huge weight off my shoulders.”

Moore – who hopes to bring the same type of success to Denver that fellow California-bred players like Gabe Gauther, Rhett Rakhshani, and Beau Bennett have in the past – has more points than any other freshman in the NCHC.

“I think I’m kind of a tenacious skilled forward that likes to get to the net but can also go to the dirty areas,” says Moore. “I’m just going to keep working on playing better defensively and to play the systems that [Montgomery] wants to play.”

And for now, despite the initial apprehension, it seems Montgomery’s systems have suited Moore just fine.

Perhaps more importantly, the benefit – so far – has been mutual.

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