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Denver vs Michigan Frozen Four Matchup Perplexing Problem For Red Wings Fans

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Carter Mazur, Detroit Red Wings propsect
Carter Mazur is among three Red Wings prospects playing for the Denver Pioneers against Michigan in today's NCAA Frozen Four semifinals. (Photo courtesy U Denver Athletics)

Carter Mazur recognizes the dilemma he and his Denver Pioneers teammates are presenting to Detroit Red Wings fans . . .  and he couldn’t be more delighted.

In Thursday’s NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four, the Pioneers, with three Red Wings prospects in their lineup, are clashing with the Michigan Wolverines, a squad many Red Wings supporters hold dear to their hearts.

While Mazur, from Jackson, Michigan, understands the passion for Michigan that pulsates through the veins of many Michiganders.

“Being from Michigan, I know that,” Mazur said.

However, it is not a condition he shares. The Great Lakes State may be well-populated with Michigan men but Mazur never counted himself among them.

“No, I was a Michigan State fan growing up, actually,” Mazur said. “I never really liked Michigan. I’ll be honest with you.”

There’s good reason for that. His mom is a Spartan. Mazur’s brother is a Spartan.

The trajectory of Mazur’s hockey path took him to Denver for the chance to experience days just like this one.

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“This is what I wanted to do, it’s why I came to Denver to win trophies and get to the Frozen Four and especially to have a chance to win a national championship,” Mazur said. “That’s the whole reason why I came to Denver, so it really does feel like a dream.

“It’s unbelievable that we’re in this situation right now.”

Trio Of Future Red Wings

Left-winger Mazur was selected 70th overall by the Red Wings in the 2021 NHL entry draft. In that same draft, the Wings also selected Pioneers defenseman Shai Buium 36th overall. Denver rearguard Antti Tuomisto was tabbed 35th overall by Detroit in the 2019 draft.

Currently, though, it’s their shared present that occupies the minds of these budding future Red Wings. The potential for a shared future in Detroit is reserved for future discussion.

“We don’t really talk about that too much,” Mazur said. “We’re here at Denver right now, so that’s kind of all we have on our mind.

“Detroit is kind of in the back of our mind right now because we’re kind of going after something bigger than that in the national championship for our university.”

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