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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The mystery surrounding the original Gold Pan Trophy, missing since 2004, persists in the DU-CC hockey rivalry.

Adrian Weideman last saw the original Gold Cup in 2004 when he drank from a rusty relic of the legendary hockey rivalry between the University of Denver and Colorado College.

This trophy, a modified gold pan once used for exploration in Cripple Creek, was never seen again. At least in public. The mystery still remains ahead of Friday night’s DU-CC match at Magness Arena. Where is Golden Pan located?

“I not only saw it and held it in my hands. We had some apple juice if you like,” said Weideman, a four-year-old DU player (2003-07). “My last recollection is drinking from it and the illness I suffered in the following days. It was a rusty old frying pan and it was chipped. This was an unhealthy move.

“But we don’t know what happened to him. It’s not until five or six years after release that these stories start popping up with theories about who has it and where it’s located.”

The DU-CC hockey rivalry dates back to 1949, but it wasn’t until 1993 that the Golden Bowl was introduced. The trophy was awarded annually to the winner of the series for the next two decades. The mystery of his disappearance began after DU won the 2004 national championship.

Former Pioneers head coach George Gvozdetsky (1994–2013) accurately recalled the moment he learned the Golden Cup was missing.

“It was early September when the players started coming back and making plans for the upcoming season,” said Gvozdetsky, now head hockey coach at Valor Christian High School. “Our equipment manager told me that he couldn’t find a tray of gold. He looked everywhere. We gave him a little more time because we were sure he would pop up somewhere. I remember talking to the players and no one had any idea where it might be.”

In 2007, the schools introduced a new rivalry prize with a 20-pound bronze sculpture that is still in use today. But there are endless theories as to how the previous Golden Pan disappeared and where it is now. Ron Graham, DU hockey legend and retired school administrator, suggested it was an inside job.

“I feel like it was a DU player who decided he wanted to keep him forever,” Graham said.

But it is quite possible that none of the pioneers has a trophy. The spring after their national title was filled with public appearances, autograph sessions and media inquiries. Gvozdetsky recalled one particular occasion when a trophy could have been raised.

“Two weeks after the national championship, we completely cleared the dressing room area to make room for tables with all sorts of things that the guys had to sign. So many things were placed in temporary storage to make room,” Gvozdetsky said. “About that time, some things might have gone missing. Either they were just out of place, or someone deftly walked by and said, “You know what, this would be a nice trophy for my room,” and grabbed it.

“But I am still convinced that no one took him. That he was lost and is somewhere in the bowels of the Magness Arena. It lies in some warehouse where they haven’t looked, or somewhere in a box.

Others believe the trophy may have returned to Colorado Springs. Peter Mannino played four seasons at DU (2004-08) and is now an assistant hockey coach at Colorado College.

“I heard it was at a nursing home on the Denver campus at some point somewhere in Springs,” Mannino said. “It makes the rivalry more fun because you’re pointing your finger at where the original trophy is today.”

According to Weideman, the location of the first Gold Pan was widely discussed in 2019 at the 70th anniversary celebration of the DU hockey program. He also recently asked his text group chat of former DU players to speak up.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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