Friday, December 6, 2019

Series Preview: Omaha vs. Minnesota Duluth, Dec. 6, 2019


The Mavs return to action versus the two-time defending national champion this weekend at Baxter Arena after a Thanksgiving week off.

When we last caught up with the team, they had suffered a tie and a loss to Miami of Ohio on Parent’s Weekend at home.

The Mavs are 6-4-2 overall and 1-2-1-0/0 in conference play, currently in seventh place in the NCHC. UNO is still in 18th place in the USCHO poll this week. Their opponent, Minnesota Duluth, is #14 in the USCHO poll and is 7-6-1 overall and 4-1-1-0 in the NCHC (second place). The Bulldogs were swept by the Mankato Mavericks last weekend.


Series preview articles:


Minnesota Duluth hockey:
When:
> Friday, 7:07 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT

Radio:
Both games will be broadcast live on 1180 AM (Zone 2). Donny Baarns will provide play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide analysis and Lester St. James will report rinkside. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

You can also hear game coverage on 90.7 FM HD2 or mavradio.fm (student broadcast) or on the TuneIn Radio app (Learfield broadcast and student broadcast are both available).

TV:
> Friday and Saturday's games will be streamed on NCHC.tv ($)

Saturday night’s game will feature “enhanced coverage” by the new Maverick Digital Network (for NCHC.tv viewers only).

Live Audio and Stats:
Live Audio: Click here
Live Stats: Click here



Also check out episode eight of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” This episode features Jon and Jason talking about the series with Miami, expectations for the rest of the season, and their predictions about Mavericks vs. Bulldogs.



Next up: 
The Mavs head to St. Cloud, Minnesota to take on the SCSU Huskies in the last conference matchup of the year. Friday night’s game will start at 7:37 p.m., and Saturday’s game will begin at 6:07 p.m.


Friday, November 22, 2019

Series Preview: Omaha vs. Miami, Nov. 22-23, 2019


After a split in Kalamazoo to start NCHC play, the Mavs return home to Baxter Arena for the first home conference series. The Mavs are 3-1-0 on home ice so far in the 2019-20 season.

UNO moved up to #18 in the USCHO poll this week. The Mavs are 6-3-1 overall and 1-1-0--0/0 in the conference. It’s early, but the Mavs are currently in a tie for fifth place overall with 3 points with Miami and Denver(!).



The team now has 66% of the wins they had last season, two months in.

Isaiah Saville was in net for the Mavs on the road last weekend. UNO lost 3-2 on Friday night with goals from Chayse Primeau and Taylor Ward but had a solid outing on Saturday night, winning 6-3, led by a hat trick from Kevin Conley and goals from Primeau, Ward, and Josh Boyer.

For his efforts, Conley was named Bauer NCHC Forward of the Week, and Ward made the NCHC’s Top Plays of the Week highlight reel.

The Mavs are averaging 3.70 goals a game (currently 8th place in the NCAA).

Miami is 3-6-2 overall and 1-3-0-0/0 in the NCHC following a split with defending national champions Minnesota Duluth last weekend in Oxford, Ohio. 

The RedHawks have a new coaching staff this year with the firing of Enrico Blasi after last season. Chris Bergeron is a 1993 graduate of Miami and spent the previous nine seasons coaching at Bowling Green. He's assisted by Miami alum Barry Schuette and Colorado College alum Eric Rud. 


Series preview articles:


Miami RedHawks Hockey:
When:
> Friday, 7:07 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT

Radio:
Both games will be broadcast live on 1180 AM (Zone 2). Donny Baarns will provide play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide analysis and Lester St. James will report rinkside. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

You can also hear game coverage on 90.7 FM HD2 or mavradio.fm (student broadcast) or on the TuneIn Radio app (Learfield broadcast and student broadcast are both available).

TV:
> Friday and Saturday's games will be streamed on NCHC.tv ($)

Saturday night’s game will feature “enhanced coverage” by the new Maverick Digital Network (for NCHC.tv viewers only).

Live Audio and Stats:
Live Audio: Click here
Live Stats: Click here



Also check out the most recent episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” This episode features Jon and Jason talking about the split with Western Michigan, hockey slang, and a preview of the Miami series.



Next up: The Mavs have a bye next weekend before returning to Baxter Arena on Dec. 6-7 to face defending national champion Minnesota Duluth. Both games will begin at 7:07 p.m.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Series Preview: Omaha at WMU, Nov. 15-16, 2019




Here we are, in mid-November, and it’s time to start NCHC conference play!

UNO and St. Cloud are the only two teams that haven’t played a conference game yet. Here’s a look at conference standings heading into this weekend:



Your #19 (USCHO poll) UNO Mavericks start the NCHC season against the #20 (USCHO) Western Michigan Broncos.

I have to tell you, Kalamazoo is a fun place to watch a hockey game. If we didn’t have some work projects that needed to be done before next week, we would have hopped in the MavPuckMobile™ and headed to Michigan. We’ve experienced some memorable moments at Lawson Arena — from Krutov’s “promise” (you had to be there for the MavPuck Bus Trip to get this one) to the moment when the #Playfor13 hashtag was born as Zahn Raubenheimer’s teammates helped him off the ice after he blocked a shot and had a career-ending injury on the play. 

The Mavs have had quite a bit of non-conference success, most recently splitting with top 20-ranked Wisconsin last weekend at Baxter Arena, losing 5-2 on Friday night before coming back to beat Wisconsin by the same score, 5-2, on Saturday night.

The games versus Western Michigan will begin at 6:05 p.m. both nights, and we’ll be live tweeting the action on our Twitter account (@Mavpuck).

One player to watch this weekend is freshman Joey Abate, who has a NCAA-leading FOUR game-winning goals. We expect to see Isaiah Saville in goal, although Mike Gabinet mentioned that he hopes to get Austin Roden in the rotation as the season continues.

Omaha is 5-2-1 on the season so far (0-0-0 in NCHC play), while WMU is 5-3-2 overall (1-0-1-0/1 in the NCHC). Last weekend, the Broncos swept in-state rivals Ferris State. UNO is 26-19-6 all-time against WMU, and is just under .500 at Lawson (11-12-4). Last year, the Mavs were 2-2-0 against the Broncos.

There was no Weekly Media Availability posted again this week. 

When:
> Friday, 6:05 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 6:05 p.m. CT

Radio:
Both games will be broadcast live on 1180 AM (Zone 2). Donny Baarns will provide play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide analysis. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

TV:
> Friday and Saturday’s games are available on NCHC.tv ($). 

Note: If you had subscribed to FloHockey.tv for the Ohio State and Alaska Anchorage series, be sure to cancel the subscription this week to avoid ongoing charges!

Live Audio and Stats:
Live Audio: Click here
Live Stats: Click here

Friday TV($): Click here
Saturday TV ($): Click here



Check out the sixth episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” 




Next up: The Mavs are back at home for the first conference series of the 2019-20 campaign at Baxter vs. Miami Nov. 22-23, 2019. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Recruit Profile: Michael Abgrall (F) - Powell River Kings (BCHL)



Abgrall’s verbal commitment continues a trend of younger recruits committing to Coach Gabinet & Co. during the 2019 calendar year (he turned 16 on Oct. 25, 2019).

In the 2017-18 season, Abgrall played for the Seafair Islanders (Bantam A1-T1 PCBHL). According to the Richmond News, he helped the team capture the Western Canadian Bantam AAA championships. 

This highlight video of Abgrall during his time playing for Seafair shows a player with good puck handling skills and solid on-ice awareness: 


Abgrall played at the “academy level” in the 2018-19 season for the Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite-15 program. He had 22 goals and 22 assists in 29 games. 

He was drafted 67th in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft. The Western Hockey League (WHL) is “major junior” hockey in Canada. As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, playing major junior hockey is something akin to playing pro hockey as it regards NCAA eligibility. 

As a result, U.S. college hockey programs that actively seek the best young Canadian players try to gain a foothold before those players suit up for major junior clubs. 

Instead of going the major junior route, Abgrall is playing in the BCHL for the Powell River Kings. (He played five games for the Kings last season as an affiliate player and chalked up a pair of assists.)

Many of the best players to have worn the crimson-and-black for the UNO Hockey program have come from the BCHL ranks. 

Abgrall has 10 points (6 goals and 4 assists) in 24 games for the Kings at the time of this writing (Nov. 13, 2019). He is currently sixth on the team in total points. 

Jared Thomas (@BCHLJThomas — Business Operations Manager of the Merritt Centennials) pointed out on Twitter that three of Abgrall’s six goals this season came in the BCHL Showcase Festival. 

The BCHL Showcase was held on Oct. 2-5, 2019. Each team in the BCHL played two games in the four-day event (the games counted in the overall league standings). 

You can see highlights from Abgrall’s three goal performance here:


Abgrall is playing in Powell River with fellow UNO recruit Davis Pennington. Pennington, a defenseman, has 10 assists in 24 games this season. UNO freshman forward Ryan Brushett played with Powell River last season (and led the team in scoring). 

“Michael’s a really quiet, intelligent hockey player and his game is very similar to his personality,” Kings Head Coach and General Manager told PowellRiverKings.com. “He was a light, young player last year that was able to outsmart his opponents and get the puck back from bigger players by using his brain and his feet. We see him as a high-end, highly skilled player that can really skate.”

That description seems to fit the type of player that UNO Hockey Coach Mike Gabinet has been targeting the past two years. There is little doubt that the 12-man freshman class for the 2019-20 Mavericks features a number of those “high I.Q.” players Gabinet is seeking. 

It’s early, but that recruiting strategy seems to be paying dividends for Omaha this season.  

According to Cawlidge Hockey Insider (@CHInsider) on Twitter, Abgrall’s projected enrollment at UNO is the 2022-23 season.  

PowellRiverKings.com reports that Abgrall was first approached by UNO coaches after the Burnaby Winter Club Elite-15 team played in the Omaha Lancers USHL Showcase last season. UNO was the first team to reach out to him. 

“They’ve been after him for about a year,” Coach Kunitz told PowellRiverKings.com. “They did a great job trying to develop a relationship with him. Michael (Abgrall) has done his part as being a really good hockey player, and it fits both parties.”

“I’ve found loyalty with them,” Abgrall told PowellRiverKings.com. “I just love their facility and the coaching staff was great. As soon as I met them, I got the sense that they really wanted me.”

We published our first “UNO Hockey Recruiting Update” of the season on Nov. 6. We’ll add Abgrall to the list for the next update in that series. 

Until then, be sure to follow MavPuck.com for the latest UNO Hockey recruiting news.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Series Preview: Omaha vs. Wisconsin, Nov. 8-9, 2019


It’s a big series for UNO Hockey this weekend as #12 Wisconsin comes into Baxter Arena to take on your #20 ranked Mavericks.

The Mavs are coming off a win and a tie at Alaska Anchorage last week in a Thursday-and-Friday series. UNO is 4-1-1 on the season, including 2-0-0 at Baxter Arena this year. The four wins are almost half of the total wins the Mavs had during the entire 2018-19 season.

Wisconsin is 4-4-0 overall. The Badgers were swept by Penn State last week in Big 10 conference play.

UNO is 4-8-1 all-time against Wisconsin, including 2-4-0 in home games. However, the Badgers have never played at Baxter Arena. (The last time the two teams met was in Madison, Wisconsin, when the Mavs won and tied on the road).

There are several connections between Omaha and Wisconsin. Current Badgers associate head coach Mark Strobel was an assistant coach with UNO from 2002-2004 (while UNO Hockey Head Coach Mike Gabinet was a player). In addition, Mike Kemp, former UNO Hockey coach (and current senior associate athletic director for events and facilities), was an assistant coach at Wisconsin from 1981-82 and 1983-1996 before he was hired as UNO's first head coach.

It’s Military Appreciation weekend too. Omaha Athletics is saluting veterans and active members of the military and fire responders during the series. Fans can use the code THANKYOU at Omavs.com/tix for a 25 percent discount on tickets for Friday and Saturday’s games.

Season tickets holders also received a special offer via email to purchase additional discounted tickets to Friday and Saturday night’s games. With this offer, tickets are $5 for the upper bowl and $10 in the lower bowl.

Series preview articles:


Wisconsin Badgers Hockey:
When:
> Friday, 7:07 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT

Radio:
Both games will be broadcast live on 1180 AM (Zone 2). Donny Baarns will provide play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide analysis and Lester St. James will report rinkside. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

You can also hear game coverage on 90.7 FM HD2 or mavradio.fm (student broadcast) or on the TuneIn Radio app (Learfield broadcast and student broadcast are both available).

TV:
> Friday and Saturday's games will be streamed on NCHC.tv ($)
> Saturday night’s game is also available on CBS All Access ($)

Saturday night’s game will feature “enhanced coverage” by the new Maverick Digital Network (for NCHC.tv viewers only).

Live Audio and Stats:
Live Audio: Click here
Live Stats: Click here



Also check out the most recent episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” This episode features Jon and Jason talking about the Maverick games in Anchorage, the idea of streaming press conferences, and the state of the NCHC, along with a preview of the Wisconsin series.



Next up: The Mavericks open conference play next weekend, traveling to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on the Western Michigan Broncos Nov. 15-16. Both games begin at 6:05 p.m. Central Time (CT).

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

UNO Hockey Recruiting Update (Nov. 2019)


The last time we put together a recruiting update for MavPuck.com it was Feb. 14, 2019 (nothing is more romantic than a blog post about future recruits!)

The University of Nebraska at Omaha Hockey staff has been busy in the intervening months. 

Since that “roundup” post in February, UNO received verbals from several new recruits for future seasons. 

I wrote individual profiles of Nolan Krenzen (D), Kaden Bohlsen (F), Joaquim Lemay (D), Brayden Stannard (F), and Ty Mueller (F) several months ago, after the Feb. 2019 update. 

(I also wrote profiles of Brock Bremer (F), Vincent Nardone (F), Matt Miller (F), and Tyler Rollwagen (F) earlier in the 2018-19 season). 

Since the conclusion of UNO’s 2018-19 campaign, the program has received verbal commitments from Jacob Guevin (D), Tanner Ludtke (F), William Rousseau (G), Matthew Maltais (F), Cam Mitchell (F), Victor Mancini (D), Alex Van Houtte-Cachero (F), and Myles Hilman (F).

When you combine all of these commits with players who “pledged their allegiance” to UNO prior to the 2018-19 season, there is a lot to sift through.  

Note: Our list is “culled” from Chris Heisenberg’s exhaustive college hockey recruiting spreadsheets and the information offered on EliteProspects.com

As a result, things are still very much up in the air at this point.

A word of caution as we proceed...

Having followed UNO’s recruiting over the past 22 years, you can’t take anything for granted as it regards “verbal commits” — especially those scheduled to come three to four seasons out. Some might play for UNO. Others might end up elsewhere. 

Until a National Letter of Intent is signed, anything can happen. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s break down the recruits.

LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS

Statistically speaking, here is what the 2020-21 recruits look like (at the time of this writing at 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2019):

2020 RECRUITS

Forwards

Kaden Bohlsen - Fargo Force (USHL) - 3 goals, 3 assists (in 9 games) 

Brock Bremer - Lincoln Stars (USHL) - 3 goals, 8 assists (in 12 games) 

Oliver MacDonald - Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) - 9 goals, 6 assists (in 12 games) 

Matt Miller - Lincoln Stars (USHL) - 4 goals, 5 assists (in 12 games) 

Cam Mitchell - Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) - 7 goals, 11 assists (in 20 games) 

Vincent Nardone - Penticton Vees (BCHL) - 4 goals, 4 assists (in 20 games)

Tyler Rollwagen - Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) - 2 goals, 4 assists (in 12 games) 

Lukas Sillinger - Penticton Vees (BCHL) - 8 goals, 13 assists (in 20 games) 

Blaine Warnert - Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) - 2 goals, 1 assist (in 11 games) 

Defensemen

Greg Japchen - Brooks Bandits (AJHL) - 5 assists (in 19 games)  

Nolan Krenzen - Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) - 4 assists (in 10 games)

Davis Pennington - Powell River Kings (BCHL) - 10 assists (in 22 games) 

NOTE: It is readily apparent that there are *more* 2020 recruits listed than there are available roster spots in the 2020-21 season. It’s debatable if we'll see all these players next season. For example, some sites have Nolan Krenzen listed as a 2020 recruit, while others have him listed as a 2021 recruit.  

DOWN THE ROAD... 

2021 RECRUITS

Forwards 

Cameron Berg - Omaha Lancers (USHL) - 2 goals, 1 assist (in 11 games) 

Zach Michaelis - Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) - 2 goals, 4 assists (in 14 games) 

Brayden Stannard - Maryland Black Bears (NAHL) - 2 goals, 9 assists (in 14 games) 

Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero - Lac St-Louis Lions (QMAAA) - 5 goals, 8 assists (in 12 games)

Defensemen

Joaquim Lemay - Mount St. Charles Academy - N/A 

Griffin Ludtke - Minnesota Blizzard 16U - N/A

Victor Mancini - Fröelunda HC - 5 goals, 1 assist (in 16 games) 

Goaltender 

William Rousseau - Trois-Rivières Estacades (QMAAA) - 1.64 GAA and a .938 Save % (in 5 games) 

NOTE: There are certain discrepancies as to where some of the 2021 class will be playing this season. We will update the progress of these players as the season progresses. 

2022 RECRUITS

Forwards

Ty Mueller - Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) - 5 goals, 13 assists (in 22 games)

Defensemen

Jacob Guévin - Northwood School (Prep) - 4 assists (in 5 games) 

2023 RECRUITS

Forwards

Tanner Ludtke - Minnesota Blizzard 15U (Midget) - Minnesota Blizzard 15 U - N/A 

Matthew Maltais - Saint-Hyacinthe Gaulois (QMAAA) - 5 goals, 1 assist (in 6 games) 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Gabinet & Co. are reportedly bullish on the upcoming recruiting classes. Looking at the numbers so far this season, you can see why. 

Those listed in 2020 class are putting up solid numbers. 

Keep an eye on Tyler Rollwagen, Kaden Bohlsen, Matt Miller, Brock Bremer, and Oliver MacDonald this season. We had the opportunity to see Miller, Bremer, and MacDonald in person last season and think they’ll have solid seasons with their respective USHL teams. 

As the season progresses, I will work to profile the recruits I haven’t yet covered individually. 

I mentioned earlier that there is a considerable amount of uncertainty as it regards recruits a few seasons out. Things will be in flux as the next 24 months progress. 

Stay tuned to MavPuck.com for future updates.  

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Series Preview: Omaha at Alaska Anchorage, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2019



#HockeyHalloween! Following a bye week, the Mavericks made the long trek to Alaska on Tuesday to prepare for their unusual Thursday/Friday series versus Alaska Anchorage. Both games begin at 10:07 p.m. Omaha time.

The Mavs last played Ohio State University Oct. 18-19, splitting the series with the 12/13 OSU. The Mavs lost in a close Friday game 3-2 but won Saturday night’s game 2-1. Isaiah Saville had a stellar weekend, making 24 saves Friday and 37 saves Saturday. 

Omaha is 3-1-0 on the season so far, while Alaska Anchorage is 1-3-0. Last weekend, the Seawolves split a series with in-state rival Alaska. The Mavs have a long history with Alaska Anchorage — UNO is 8-2-1 all-time against the team. UNO swept Alaska Anchorage last December in a series in Omaha. The team is 3-1-1 in Anchorage.

Two Mavs will be returning to play in their home state: Saville is from Anchorage and freshman forward Josh Boyer is from Wasilla, Alaska.

There was no Weekly Media Availability posted again this week. 

When:
> Thursday, 10:07 p.m. CT
> Friday, 10:07 p.m. CT

Radio:
Both games will be broadcast live on 1180 AM (Zone 2). Donny Baarns will provide play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide analysis. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

TV:
> Thursday and Friday's games are available on FloHockey.tv subscription ($). (Just be sure to cancel the subscription after the series to avoid ongoing charges.)

Live Audio and Stats:
Live Audio: Click here
Live Stats: Click here
Thursday TV($): Click here
Friday TV ($): Click here



Check out the third episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” 




Because of the bye week, you can also enjoy an interview with a former Air Force hockey player who played in the opening series at Baxter Arena. (S2, Ep. 4)


Next up: The Mavs are back at home at Baxter vs. Wisconsin Nov. 8-9, 2019.