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Around The Rinks (Final NCAA Edition): Anchorage’s David Carle is just 34, and he’s already coaching legend after leading Denver to 2nd NCAA title in 3 years

by | Apr 13, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

David Carle is just 34, and already a coaching legend.

The Anchorage native on Saturday guided the University of Denver to its second NCAA Division I men’s hockey championship in three years with Saturday’s 2-0 textbook victory over No. 1-ranked Boston College in St. Paul, Minn.

The Pioneers (32-9-3) closed the season with nine straight wins and they handed the Eagles (34-6-1) their first shutout of the season and snapped their 15-game winning streak. In four NCAA tournament games, the Pioneers permitted just three goals and were backstopped by goaltender Matt Davis, who throughout the regional and Frozen Four played like a man from another planet.

David Carle also coached the Pioneers to the 2022 championship and he was an assistant under current Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery when the Pioneers seized the 2017 championship.

David Carle also coached Team USA to the World Junior Championship in Sweden in January.

It’s simply a matter of time until NHL teams come calling, whether to lure Carle into the professional minor leagues or into the assistant coaching ranks. Hell, who knows? Maybe some NHL team takes a chance on him and makes him bench boss.

Saturday’s title was the NCAA-record 10th for Denver, breaking a tie with Michigan.

And consider this: Of those 10 national titles, the Carle Clan has its fingerprints on five of them.

David’s older brother, Matt, the former NHL defenseman, won NCAA titles with Denver as a freshman and sophomore in 2004 and 2005 under coach George Gwozdecky, the man who gave David Carle his start in coaching. All Matt Carle did as a junior was win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s best player. He then signed with the San Jose Sharks, who drafted him, scored in his NHL debut and enjoyed a long career in the world’s best league.

David Carle isn’t the only Alaska connection in Denver’s dominance. Two of his assistants are former UAF stars and head coaches Dallas Ferguson and Tavis MacMillan, who were also on Carle’s staff for the 2022 NCAA title.

David Carle was thought to be a potential second-round NHL draft pick at 18, but a physical prior to the draft found he suffered a heart abnormality and he was told he’d never play hockey again. He immediately retired. Gwozdecky honored his scholarship and made him a student assistant coach for four seasons.

You know the rest of the story.

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Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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