DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Pioneers will face North Dakota Fighting Hawks in the Frozen Four national semifinal this Thursday in Tampa and forwards Grant Arnold and Gabe Levin say they are ready.

Arnold and Levin stopped by CBS4 studios to talk about the big game. They say the nearly two-week wait to play has been good for the team to work on their preparation for the Fighting Hawks.

“Anytime you’re facing a team as good as North Dakota in a game as big as this you want to make sure that you have your game plan in place and that you’re prepared going in,” Levin said. “So I think it’s nice for us to get healthy, get a little bit of rest and make sure that we have the proper preparation going in.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Pioneers have been on a roll since the beginning of the year so there is a concern they might have lost some of that momentum by not playing last weekend.

“I think in some ways you want to keep it rolling, but at the same time I think the week off is great to kind of come down from that emotional high from winning the west regional,” Arnold said.

Arnold and Levin has seen some playoff runs come up short of the Frozen Four in their time at DU. As seniors they’re elated they was able to get there.

“It was incredibly special. I actually remember hugging Gabe right when we got that sixth goal,” Arnold said. “Just a lot of emotions. It’s so hard to get to a Frozen Four and to do it as seniors and captains it’s extremely special for us.”

Grant Arnold and Gabe Levin on CBS4's All Access (credit: CBS)

Grant Arnold and Gabe Levin on CBS4’s All Access (credit: CBS)

Coach Jim Montgomery earlier this week told CBS4’s Mark Haas he thinks North Dakota is probably DU’s biggest rival. They played five times during the regular season going 2-2-1. Arnold and Levin agree with their coach.

“It’s huge, yeah, coming in when I was a freshman I remember I always knew about (Colorado College), but all the older guys, juniors and seniors, when we played North Dakota for the first time, they were like, ‘This rivalry is just as big, if not bigger.’ And it’s definitely been true throughout my four years here,” Levin said. “We don’t like each other very much; every game is really intense.”

The puck drops at 6:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on ESPN2, or listen to it on 104.3 The Fan.