With One Of The Nation’s Best Players, DU Hockey Seeks National Championship

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Photo: DU Frozen Four
University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher is a candidate for the 2017 Hobey Baker award, presented to nation's best college hockey player.

One year after coming up short in the national semifinals, the University of Denver men's hockey team finds itself playing for its eighth national championship. After beating Notre Dame 6-1 on Thursday, the Pioneers will face Minnesota Duluth on Saturday at the United Center in Chicago. Also, tonight, the team's captain, defenseman Will Butcher, will find out if he's the winner of the Hobey Baker award, given to college hockey's outstanding player.

The combination is a familiar one for DU assistant coach David Carle.. Besides being Butcher's position coach, he's the brother of Matt Carle, the last Denver player to win the Hobey Baker. Matt Carle also played for the Pioneers' in 2004 and 2005, when the team won back-to-back national championships.

David Carle's budding athletic career was cut short when he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart defect and a leading cause of sudden death for young athletes. Undaunted, David Carle worked as a volunteer coach while an undergraduate at DU. A year after his graduation, he was hired as a full-time assistant by new Denver coach Jim Montgomery.

David Carle spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.