Sunday, May 17, 2020

Former Mav Lawson McDonald is on YouTube... and You Should Watch


By Jon Brooks

Our friend and fellow UNO Hockey fan Jason Combs (my co-host on the Mavpuckcast podcast) texted me at 11:43 p.m. last night with a YouTube video by former UNO Hockey defenseman Lawson McDonald. 

McDonald left the UNO Hockey program after the 2018-19 season (his sophomore campaign) and is currently playing for the Division III University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets. 

As someone who has followed all the minutiae around the UNO Hockey program the past 23 years, it’s an odd feeling when players are no longer on the roster. Fans rarely get to know the reasons behind those departures, and rarely hear from those players again.  

When you spend so much of your life cheering on the exploits of these athletes, it sucks when their tenure at UNO comes to an abrupt end. 

The video Jason sent me is titled “The D1 Recruiting Process” and is one of 20 videos currently on McDonald’s YouTube channel


McDonald’s videos offer a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a college hockey player. Bridget and I were immediately impressed with his content and production value. He has a great presence on camera. 

UNO Hockey fans will particularly enjoy the video titled “D1 College Hockey Gameday Vs D3 College Hockey Gameday,” which compares the Division I hockey experience with the Division III experience (and features UNO players Taylor Ward and Chayse Primeau): 


Over the years I’ve talked about how I’d like to learn *more* about the UNO Hockey players. Fans rarely get to interact with the coaches and players, and much of the feature content produced by the university (and local media outlets) lacks personality — and can feel sterile. 

It’s hard to truly understand an athlete’s experience when everything you know is based on in-game performance, stat sheets, and an occasional pull quote in a news story. 

As I’ve been working my way through Lawson McDonald’s videos, I’ve developed a greater appreciation for McDonald specifically — and college hockey players in general. 

For example, his video titled “D1 Vs D3 (Hockey Equipment)” compares the “tools of the trade” used at UNO and at Wisconsin-Superior (McDonald still wears the helmet he wore at UNO because it’s a newer model): 


Years ago, the UNO Hockey program hosted “Hockey 101” events where coaches and players broke down game film and gave equipment demonstrations for fans. Some of McDonald’s content reminds me of those programs. 

Since the hockey season was cut short — and since we don’t know when we’ll get to watch hockey in person again — you might want to subscribe to Lawson McDonald’s YouTube channel to tide you over. 

He seems like a really good guy, and I wish we’d had the opportunity to interact with him more while he was in Omaha.

College hockey needs more of this type of content. Big shoutout to Lawson McDonald for telling his hockey story. It’s a lot of fun!


Friday, March 6, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha vs. North Dakota, March 6-7, 2020


The other team, besides Western Michigan, in the scheduling “pod” with UNO this year, is North Dakota. This means the Mavericks face the Fighting Hawks four times this season. In January, the Mavs split a series in Grand Forks. The final two games — in fact, the final two home games of the 2019-20 season — will be this weekend at Baxter Arena.

UNO will honor five seniors on Saturday night, Senior Night.


Both games will be televised locally on YurView, with #oldbull Alex Blankenburg providing color commentary. They will also be available on MidcoSN in the Grand Forks TV market.


The Mavs were swept by Miami in Oxford, OH last weekend and are 2-6-0 in their last 8 games. UNO is 13-16-5 overall and 7-12-3-0/0 in the NCHC. UNO is 12-23-1 all-time against UND, but are 6-7-3 at home during the 2019-20 season.


The Mavs are currently in sixth place in the NCHC, but home ice is no longer a possibility. Omaha can finish in sixth or seventh place in the conference after this weekend’s games.


North Dakota is 25-4-4 this season and 16-3-3-1/1 in the NCHC. The Fighting Hawks have already secured at least a portion of the Penrose Cup, which they were awarded last weekend in Grand Forks. The Fighting Hawks swept Western Michigan in the series (Saturday's game was an OT win). UND is 7-3-4 on the road this year. In contrast to the Mavs, the Fighting Hawks are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.



Series preview articles:

UND 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. 

TV:
Both games will be televised locally on Cox Yurview Channel 1013. Dave Ahlers will provide play-by-play and former Maverick goaltender Alex Blankenburg will provide color commentary. Both games will also be streamed on NCHC.tv ($)

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


Also check out episode 19 of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” This episode features Jon and Jason talking about the sweep at Colorado College, an update about some #futurebulls (recruits), and their predictions about Mavericks vs. the Fighting Hawks.


Next up: 

The first round of conference playoffs begins next weekend with a best-of-three series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary), March 13-15. The opponent and site of the series will be determined at the end of play on Saturday.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha at Miami Ohio, Feb. 28-29, 2020



The injury-plagued Mavs are headed to Oxford, Ohio for the last road series of the 2019-2020 regular season. Last weekend, the Mavericks split with 7th place Colorado College, but lost team-leading goal scorer Taylor Ward to a season-ending lower body injury. Freshmen Joey Abate and Nolan Sullivan were also dinged up in the series.

There are only 12 more conference points up for grabs before the NCHC playoffs. Currently, Omaha is in sixth place in the NCHC with 24 points, six points behind fifth place St. Cloud. Home ice is extremely unlikely as Denver has 34 points and only needs to get two points from their series this weekend with St. Cloud and a home-and-home with Colorado College to end the regular season to keep the Mavs at bay.

Last-place Miami was swept by Denver 7-3 and 7-0 last weekend. The RedHawks are 2-10-3 at home this season and are 0-8-2 in the last 10 games. 

UNO is 13-14-5 overall and 7-10-3-0/0 in the NCHC. The Mavs are 7-7-2 on the road and 4-4-2 in the last 10 games. There will be a group of UNO students at the series, led by Bill Pickett.

The games will be at 6:05 p.m. local time on both Friday and Saturday night.

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 ($).

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




Check out the 18th episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.”


Next up: The Mavs return to Baxter Arena for the final home series of the 2019-2020 season versus North Dakota on Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha at Minnesota Duluth, Feb. 7-8, 2020


The Mavericks got a much-needed win (and a split) versus Western Michigan last weekend at Baxter Arena, capped off by a Taylor Ward empty net goal that gave him a hat trick on the night.

Hopefully that momentum will carry forward in a critical conference series against the second-ranked team in the NCHC. Omaha needs at least three points to stay in the race for home ice in the playoffs. (UNO has 21 points and is in a tie for fifth place with St. Cloud State; Western Michigan and Denver each have 28 points and are tied for third place in the conference.)

Duluth is ranked #6 in the nation and is coming off a sweep of Denver last weekend in Colorado. The Bulldogs are 15-9-2 overall and 10-4-2-0/0 in the NCHC. 

UNO is 12-11-5 overall and 6-7-3-0/0 in the NCHC. The Bulldogs have had the Mavericks number for a while, having won seven straight games, dating back to March 3, 2018. In December, UNO was swept by UMD at Baxter Arena. However, the Mavs are 7-5-2 on the road this season and are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games.

The games will be at 7:07 p.m. local time on both Friday and Saturday night.

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. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

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

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




Check out the 16th episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon” featuring special guest Bridget! 



Next up: The Mavs have a bye weekend before returning to action at Baxter Arena with a home series vs. Colorado College on Feb. 21-22.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha vs. Western Michigan, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020



Western Michigan is in a scheduling “pod” with UNO this year, meaning the Mavericks face the Broncos four times this season. In November, Omaha split a series in Kalamazoo. The last two games will be this weekend at Baxter Arena. Note the later game time for Friday’s night's matchup due to the game being televised on CBS Sports Network.

The Mavericks are riding some momentum coming into this, as Jon noted on the MavPuckCast, “pivotal” NCHC conference series. UNO is unbeaten in its past four games (2-0-2), and swept Colorado College in Colorado Springs last weekend after tying Denver twice at Baxter Arena the weekend before.

UNO is just above .500 overall (11-10-5) and is just below .500 in the NCHC (5-6-3-0/0), currently in fifth place in conference standings.

UNO is 27-20-6 all-time against Western Michigan, including 15-7-2 at home. (Fun fact: UNO swept WMU at the CenturyLink Center in October 2004 on the weekend that Jon and I got married.)

The Broncos are also riding a high — they swept St. Cloud twice last weekend, 6-2 in both games. WMU is unbeaten (4-0-1) in their last five games. Western is 11-9-4 on the season and 7-5-2-0/2 in the NCHC. (Seven points ahead of Omaha in the standings.)

The Broncos will be without junior forward Paul Washe, who is serving a two-game suspension for confronting NCHC officials. Washe is the #2 points producer on the WMU roster this season with 9 goals and 9 assists. 

UNO Gateway reporter Jordan McAlpine reports the Mavs are a bit banged up heading into the series. The link to his series preview is below.

Series preview articles:

WMU Hockey:
When:
> Friday, 7:36 p.m. CT (late start due to CBS Sports Network coverage)
> 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. 

TV:
> Friday night’s game will be aired nationally on CBS Sports Network (and will not be available on NCHC.tv). For the TV broadcast, Ben Holden will provide play-by-play, Dave Starman will give analysis, and Shireen Saski will report rinkside. Saturday’s games will be streamed on NCHC.tv ($)

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


Also check out episode 15 of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” This episode features Jon and Jason talking about the sweep at St. Cloud, a recent article that sparked controversy among Mav fans, and their predictions about Mavericks vs. the Broncos.


Next up: 
The Mavs travel to face Minnesota Duluth in Duluth next weekend. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha at Colorado College, Jan. 24-25, 2020


Even the “easy” series in the NCHC aren’t sure wins. This weekend’s hockey action features a pair of pretty evenly-matched teams meeting up.

After tying No. 4 Denver in both games at Baxter Arena last weekend (with scores of 1-1 and 2-2), UNO travels to Colorado Springs, Colorado to take on the Colorado College Tigers. On paper — and especially considering how well the Mavericks have played against top-4 teams North Dakota and Denver in recent weeks — the Mavs should have a chance to get six conference points.


But nothing is guaranteed in NCHC conference play. Both teams have similar overall and conference records. 

UNO Hockey is 9-10-5 overall and 3-6-3-0 in the NCHC (tied for sixth place with Miami). Colorado College is 8-11-1 this season and 3-8-1-0 (eighth place). Omaha is 15-9-5 all-time against Colorado College. (Last year, the Mavs faced the Tigers only once, in a series at Baxter Arena that Colorado College took with a win and a tie.)

CC was swept last weekend at Western Michigan. 

The games will be at 8:37 p.m. local time on Friday night and 5:07 p.m. on Saturday night.

When:
> Friday, 8:37 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 4:07 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:
> Friday and Saturday’s games are available on NCHC.tv ($).

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



Check out the 14th episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” 




Next up: The Mavs return home to face Western Michigan at Baxter Arena next weekend, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2020.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Series Preview: Omaha at North Dakota, Jan. 10-11, 2020


The temperatures are plunging, but the NCHC conference race is heating up.

The Mavericks traveled up to Grand Forks for the first conference series of the new year. Omaha is currently 8-9-3 on the season (2-5-1-0 in the NCHC, good for seventh place, tied with Colorado College). The Mavs suffered a tie and a loss in a non-conference road series in Maine last weekend.

The games will be at 7:37 p.m. on Friday night and 7:07 p.m. on Saturday night.

The Mavs are taking on a surging Fighting Hawks team that is 16-1-2 this season (including 11-0-0 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena). UND is in first place in the NCHC (7-0-1-1/0). North Dakota swept Alabama Huntsville in a home series last weekend. The Mavs are 11-22-1 all-time against UND, including a record of 6-11-1 at the REA.

UND won 3 out of the 4 games last season against UNO, its travel partner. This included a sweep at The REA that started its current 15-game home unbeaten streak (which dates back to the 2018-19 season).

Isaiah Saville is expected back in net for UNO on Friday night. Austin Roden had been in goal for the Mavs for the previous two series as Saville made the roster for Team USA in the World Junior tournament in the Czech Republic. He returned to the U.S. last weekend.

When:
> Friday, 7:37 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. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off. 

TV:
> Friday and Saturday’s games are available on NCHC.tv ($) and will also be broadcast on Cox’s YurView: Channel 13/1013 (HD).

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



Check out the 12th episode of the second season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason & Jon.” 


Next up: The Mavs return home to face Denver at Baxter Arena next weekend, Jan. 17-18, 2020.