The city of Denver had its hockey moment last spring. Now it’s about to have another.

With ticket demand on the rise for the top-ranked DU Pioneers, the university opted to move the opening game of its Gold Pan hockey rivalry series with Colorado College from its on-campus home to Ball Arena.

The contest, set to start at 7 p.m. Jan. 27, will mark the first time the Pios have played a regular-season game at the home of the Colorado Avalanche. It will also be the 333rd meeting between the Pios and CC Tigers, second only to Michigan-Michigan State as the most contested rivalry in college hockey.

“The Denver-Colorado College rivalry is one of the most-played series in college hockey, and we’re looking forward to showcasing our two historic programs at the home of the Avalanche,” DU coach David Carle said in a news release announcing the game.

“We are thrilled to host this game at Ball Arena to give the great hockey fans of Denver and our program an opportunity to see us in an NHL venue. The goal is to provide our players with an experience that will be similar to the “Battle on Blake” in 2016, the Loveland Regional last season, and ultimately a taste of what the Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida, this April will be like.”

DU has won the Gold Pan each of the past three seasons, including a four-game series sweep last year. The Pios later won their NCAA record-tying ninth national title in April, months before the Colorado Avalanche claimed the Stanley Cup to mark the first time in 50 years that the NHL and college hockey titles were won by teams from the same city (Boston, 1972).

Denver East High School and the Avalanche Pee-Wee Team also claimed national championships — igniting a campaign to declare Denver as Hockey Capital USA.

“Denver has always been a great hub for hockey and this matchup between two of college hockey’s long-standing rivals in a setting like this only further validates that,” DU athletic diretor Josh Berlo said in a release. “This game will not only showcase Denver and Colorado College’s programs, but NCAA Division-I hockey on a larger scale in our state, region and beyond.”

Those who had tickets for the Jan. 27 game at Magness Arena should have been notified by the school, and will receive seats in a comparable location inside Ball Arena. Tickets starting at $25 are on sale at DenverPioneers.com/tickets and can also be purchased by contact the DU Ticket Office at 303-871-4625 or [email protected]

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