Photo Credit: Ken Papaleo
(below) Photo of Mannino's stick. “I just simply said I’d like to share a piece of history as a Denver Pioneer and thanks for the support,” Mannino said before practice Wednesday. [click on photo to enlarge]
by: Pat Rooney
As anyone involved with sports knows, records are made to be broken.
Gerry Powers is quite accepting of this fact. The only thing that makes him wonder is why it took so long for one of his most enduring marks to come under assault.
Powers, a goaltender who helped the University of Denver to national championships in 1968 and 1969, has watched the success of his alma mater this decade slowly erase his accomplishments from the DU record book.
First, former goaltender Adam Berkhoel pulled into a tie with Powers for the most shutouts in a season (seven) when he led DU to the 2004 national championship, the program's first since Powers' 1969 team.
Now, one of Berkhoel's successors, senior Peter Mannino, is on the brink of eclipsing Powers' career record of 13 shutouts.
"Quite honestly, it has blown me away that the record has lasted as long as it did," Powers said.
"Records are meant to be broken, and I think this (DU) team can go all the way. One of the professors at DU recently told me about how Pete is just so well-respected and such a nice kid. It is nice to see it passed along. Hopefully, his mark will last almost 40 years, too."
Mannino matched Powers' career mark of 13 with a 5-0 win against Sacred Heart on Dec. 28, his fourth shutout of the season. Both goaltenders seem to be unlikely candidates to share such a prestigious record for a perennially successful program such as DU.
Powers played in an era when freshmen were ineligible for varsity play and compiled his 13 shutouts in three seasons. Mannino helped DU to the 2005 national championship as a freshman but pretty much split time with Glenn Fisher during his first three seasons, finally taking over full-time duty this season.
While Mannino has played one more season than Powers, he still has logged 12 fewer games than Powers.
"I've been fortunate to play on some really good teams," said Mannino, who will aim to take over the all-time shutout record when DU hosts league rival Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday.
"You practice to be perfect. You try to be as perfect as you can in the games. That's kind of my mind-set when I get out on the ice. Sometimes you just get in that rhythm in a game, and you've got the guys in front doing everything they need to make the game easier for the goaltender. And I've had some great players in front of me to help me out."