DU students celebrate in the streets after Pioneers win national hockey title

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DENVER -- The national University of Denver men's hockey team returned home to many students likely nursing champion-sized headaches.

But apparently, there are no regrets.

Saturday night's win led to celebrations in the streets that forced the Denver Police Department to shut down several roads and bring out riot gear.

It had all the makings of a riot: Fires in the streets, rowdy students -- some fueled by alcohol -- and officers in riot gear ready if the situation deteriorated.

But when it comes to celebrating a national championship, this one was tame in comparison.

The streets around DU returned to normal with just tell-tale signs of what happened the night before.

"Ha. Ha. I was there," DU junior Henry Wurst said.

"It's just something. You want to run get there as fast as you can to be a part of it," said another DU junior.

They wanted to be part of students celebrating the school's eighth national hockey championship.

"We're on the streets. We're going crazy," sophomore Ashley Gerken said.

"Congrats guys. Look what you have done. Everyone is out here," student Cordelia Cordova said.

Students danced around a mattress bonfire in the middle of University Boulevard and Evans Avenue. Police rushed in in full riot gear and closed off several intersections in the area.

"(The) No. 1 school in the nation," one student around the bonfire yelled.

There was violence and damage at Ohio State in 2015 after the Buckeyes won the college football national title, and there was chaos when the Broncos won the Super Bowl in 1998.

But Saturday, students didn't fight the police. Instead, they took selfies with them and even offered thank-yous.

"Shout out to the police who are protecting us," one unidentified celebrator said.

By Sunday morning, the reality of a joyous night gone slightly rogue was apparent as a burned-out mattress sat on the sidewalk near University and Evans.

"Somebody's sleeping on ground. But they’re not too worried right now," one student said.

It’s an aftermath of a celebration most everyone says was a win, like their hockey team’s grand victory.

"So it's good when you hear your own college can have self-control in situations like that," Wurst said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to experience that when you are in college."

Police said the outcome was very good. They made no arrests and no one was injured. And there was no property damage other than the mattress.

The roads reopened about 11 p.m. The team arrived home Sunday from Chicago with some very precious cargo.

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