You guessed it right, it's a 2-for-1 Monday here on the MTB College Sports Bucket List as we bring you the greatest games and events that any real college sports fan should want to see, well at least according to our staff, that is.
Up 2nd on the docket today is one of the grandest and oldest rivalries in all of college hockey, yet it's a game that often gets buried by some. Of course we're talking about the Battle for the Gold Pan, a.k.a Colorado College vs. Denver.
Ask players from either side and this is easily the most intense game on either schools calendar any season, some have even compared it to USA vs. Canada in terms of it's intensity. Part of that is due to the fact that it's been played for so long.
It's the 2nd most played rivalry in college hockey, dating back to 1950, trailing only Michigan vs. Michigan State for the most played overall. Both teams are charter members of the WCHA and will become charter members of the NCHC in 2013-14.
The trophy - a gold pan (obviously) - was not around for the first 40 or so years, but was introduced in the '90's by a meeting of the minds between the coaches of the Tigers and Pioneers.
Every year these two find each other four times, one weekend at CC and another at DU. With the rivalry being so important it's often the first and last series of their seasons. Currently the overall record between these teams stands at 157-111-15 in favor of the Pioneers of Denver. However, since the inception of the Gold Pan to the rivalry it's been advantage CC, as they lead 11-8 in winning the season series'.
It's such an intense and long standing rivalry that back in the 2007-08 season College Hockey News ranked it the 4th best in the sport, beating out the likes of Minnesota vs. North Dakota and Cornell vs. Harvard and that's saying a lot for where this rivalry is.
Of course what makes any good rivalry better is both teams competing at high levels and that's what CC and DU have done in stretches in their history. Denver has won seven NCAA titles to the Tigers two. Denver also leads in Frozen Four appearances (14-10), MacNaughton Cups (15-10) and WCHA Playoff Titles (15-1). So both have their fair share of being pretty good in their histories.
It just wouldn't be an intense rivalry without some fan shennanigans which have included DU students releasing rats on to the ice and CC students releasing a black swan in retaliation.
Anyway you slice it, these two Colorado schools flat out don't care for each other and are very competitive institutions and we say that that makes seeing a weekend series between these two must see for any true college sports fan.