A 'Seamless Transition' for TD Ierlan; Denver Faceoff Guys 'All In'

TD Ierlan will wear No. 60 with the Pios.

The last piece of Denver’s roster is finally set to take the field.

TD Ierlan, who transferred from Yale, joined the Pioneers at practice over the weekend and is expected to make his Denver debut Saturday at Providence. Ierlan, who began his career at Albany, owns the Division I career records for ground balls (810), faceoffs won (1,159) and faceoff winning percentage (.753).

He’ll join a rotation in the Mile High City that already features Alec Stathakis, who ranks 13th in Division I with a .644 faceoff percentage.

“It’s been a pretty seamless transition,” Ierlan said. “You have Brett [Boos] and Alec, who are two of the better faceoff guys in the country. Then wing-wise, Danny Logan, it seems like he’s been on the wing for 20 years. It’s been super-easy to get accommodated. They’ve been super helpful to me, just showing me things they’ve noticed.”

Ierlan was hopeful to spend his extra year of eligibility at Yale but opted to transfer as the Ivy League inched toward a decision to shelve its spring sports season (it would eventually do so in mid-February). That left Ierlan to navigate a mid-year transfer process.

The presence of former Yale teammates Lucas Cotler and Jackson Morrill was appealing to Ierlan. But Denver’s academic calendar — with autumn, winter and spring quarters, as well as a summer session — also made the Pioneers a feasible choice given the timing of his move. The final day of the winter quarter was Friday; Ierlan was out at practice the next day.

The biggest question is just how much this helps a team that’s already doing commendable work at the X. The next biggest question is how the work gets divvied up.

“We’ve had very interesting and in-depth talks with Brett and Alec and TD well before this happened,” coach Bill Tierney said. “As TD arrived and as we went through the ups and downs of the NCAA process, TD has handled this extremely well. It’s just three great guys. I think the best day was when we had Alec and Brett together and I said, ‘What do you guys think?’ And both looked at me and said, ‘Coach, if it helps make our team better, we’re all in.’”

It won’t be a full season for Ierlan, who joins Denver as it begins its second round through the Big East. If the Pioneers (6-2) make up last weekend’s postponed game at Villanova and reach the Big East final, they will play eight more games prior to the NCAA tournament. Toss in the postseason, and Ierlan will play a maximum of 12 games with the Pioneers.

That’s certainly better than the none he was looking at before his trek west.

“Obviously, it kind of sucked to watch everyone else play for six-to-eight weeks,” Ierlan said. “You’re just sitting there hoping you’ll get to play soon. I’m excited. It’s really cool to see everyone playing. If the Ivy League isn’t playing, I’m glad all the other conferences are playing. I guess it made me a little anxious to get out there and get going. This week’s been awesome. I’ve looked forward to practice, because it’s the first time I’ve been able to practice in a year.”

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