Friday, October 28, 2016

Omaha vs. UMass Lowell: Oct. 28-29, 2016 at Baxter Arena

Well, last weekend didn't really go how we thought it might. Mavs were ranked in the Top 20 in one of the major polls, but surrendered two goal leads both nights to end up with a tie (the goal by Jake Randolph in the second overtime period didn't count officially as a win) and a 5-2 loss.

I chalk it up to overconfidence. We saw this last season a bit too (and in previous seasons). The team just doesn't play as well when they think they're better than the opposition. So this weekend's contest should be better -- but UMass Lowell is going to be tough. Ranked fifth in the nation, the River Hawks are 3-1-2, coming off a split last weekend. However, the Mavericks have traditionally played better when they're up against tough competition. The Mavs and the River Hawks have only faced each other twice previously -- both were single games within tournaments. The Mavs won both match-ups. It will be interesting to see back-to-back games between the two teams.

Working against the Mavs is that fact that they haven't officially won a game at Baxter Arena since Feb. 13. Once almost unbeatable on home ice, the Mavs have struggled as of late at home, so a win (or a couple of wins) this weekend is a must before beginning conference play next week.

Penalties have also been a significant issue through the first four games, and Tony Boone's Omaha World-Herald article (linked below) describes how the Mavericks are working to change their style of play to avoid making as many trips to the box.

There are a couple of activities going on this weekend. It's the first weekend of homecoming week, so expect more students than usual (although the actual HOMECOMING game will be next Friday, Nov. 4). Students are being encouraged to wear costumes to Friday night's game. It's also supposed to be a "Pink Out," although that hasn't been well publicized.

Media Roundup Leading to the Series:
Omavs series preview:

River Hawks series preview:

Tony Boone's Omaha World-Herald series preview (with an emphasis on penalties):

OMavs game notes:

There are plenty of tickets available to this weekend's series.

Friday tickets on Ticketmaster ($20-$27):

Saturday tickets on Ticketmaster ($20-$27):

Ticket Express has a handful of Saturday tickets still available: ($6-$10):

And there are tickets available for sale within the MavPuck Group on Facebook (must be approved for group membership to see the posts):

We're also giving away three tickets to the Saturday night game on our MavPuck Facebook page. Comment to win; a winner will be selected at 6:45 p.m. tonight:

Radio/TV Coverage:
Friday and Saturday night's games will be available by subscription ($) on

Radio coverage begins with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Dave Ahlers will have the play-by-play, Terry Leahy will give color commentary and analysis, and Lester St. James will report from ice level.

Live Audio and Stats: 
Live audio link here.
Live stats (Friday) here.
Live stats (Saturday) here.

Next Weekend:
The Mavs wraup up their three-weekend home stand -- and start NCHC conference play -- with a series against Colorado College at Baxter Arena on Nov. 4-5. Both games will begin at 7:07 p.m. Central.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wrapping Up The Weekend: Vermont Series

Well, that was a less-than-awesome start to the three weekend home series at Baxter Arena. Friday's game officially went down in the books as a tie, and Saturday, the Mavs lost 5-2.

Fans got to see a little "free" hockey on Friday. Following the 5-on-5 overtime, the game was officially classified as a tie. However, the Mavs and Catamounts played a brief sudden death 3-on-3 that ended when Jake Randolph buried the puck. This gave the Mavs a symbolic "win" and culminated in the first post-game lobby celebration of the year:

Saturday night, the Mavs had a stellar first period, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. However, they surrendered the next five goals to the Catamounts, losing 5-2. Chalk it up to the Parent's Night curse (players and their parents were recognized during the first intermission).

The Mavs dropped out of the weekly USCHO poll following the tie and loss. They were number 20 last week. This week, they're "receiving votes."

The Mavs didn't even receive votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine weekly poll:

Media Roundup:
Here's the Omavs story about Friday night's tie:

Tony Boone's Omaha World-Herald story from Friday:

Check out Mark Kuhlman's photos from Friday night here.

Here's the Omavs story from Saturday night:

And Tony Boone reviews Saturday night's action:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Omaha vs. Vermont: Oct. 21-22, 2016 at Baxter Arena

Coming off the win of the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament last weekend (the first team from the lower 48 states to win the coveted "golden bowl"), the Mavs are ranked in the poll (#20) and "receiving votes" in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine College Hockey poll.

They take on the Vermont Catamounts of Hockey East, who are making their first trip to Omaha. (UNO also played Vermont for the first time last year, sweeping them in Burlington.) Vermont comes into the series 1-1-0 after a split with Clarkson last weekend to open the year. The Mavs are 2-0-0. (The exhibition loss to the University of Alberta does not factor into their record.)

The Catamounts are without four of their captains (two captains and two assistant captains), who are serving suspensions related to their involvement in a player hazing in September. They were suspended for five games, which began with last Friday's game -- and continues through this weekend's series. The players could practice with the team but could not travel for this weekend's series. You can't help but feel optimistic that the loss of these players will be beneficial for the Mavs, but scoring remains a big question mark, despite last weekend's wins. If Jake Randolph can continue feeding his linemates this weekend, though, it bodes well for the Mavs.

Media Roundup Leading to the Series:

Here's the Omavs preview of the weekend:

Tony Boone of the Omaha World-Herald talks about the impact of Austin Ortega and Jake Randolph in his series preview:

And UNO's Maverick Maniacs got a profile by WOWT:

(Fact check, though: Billy Pugliese didn't score the first UNO goal. James Chalmers did.)

A limited number of tickets are available for the weekend's series.

Friday night ($20-$27):

Saturday night ($20-$27):

Blue Line Club Member Update:
Blue Line Club members will have access to the arena before it officially opens. The area located near the Blue Line Bar will be open from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. just for BLC members. To gain entrance to the arena before 6 p.m., show your BLC membership card at the MAIN ENTRANCE (by the Baxter Arena Team Shop). After 6 p.m., the arena is open to all. Free popcorn for BLC members will be available at the counter, however, popcorn must be consumed within the BLC area.

BLC members will be on hand to address questions about the One Fund and joining the Blue Line Club. When you submit your application to the One Fund, you must mark "HOCKEY" as one of the recipients of your donation. If you do not select hockey, you will not be considered a BLC member.

Radio/TV Coverage:
Friday night's game will be televised live on American Sports Network, which is available on Channel 42.2 (over the air), Cox Channel 6 (UPDATED INFO!), Centurylink Channel 43 and DirecTV channel 628. Joel Goldberg will have the play-by-play action and Pat Micheletti will provide color commentary. Both games will also be available by subscription ($) on

Radio coverage will begin with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Dave Ahlers will provide play-by-play, Terry Leahy will give color commentary and analysis, and Lester St. James will report from ice level.

Live Audio and Stats:
Live audio link here.
Live stats (Friday) here.
Live stats (Saturday) here.

Next Weekend:
The Vermont series begins a three weekend homestand for the Mavericks at Baxter Arena. The Mavs welcome UMass Lowell (also of Hockey East) next weekend, Oct. 28-29. Both games will begin at 7:07 p.m. Central.

Friday, October 14, 2016

First "Real" Games of the Year: Brice Alaska Goal Rush (Oct. 14-15, 2016)

In a week filled with highs and lows, the Mavs start the "real" 2016-17 season with the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament tonight, taking on Alaska Anchorage tonight at 7:07 p.m. Central time. The Mavericks will play Alaska on Saturday at 10:07 p.m. Central.

The lows from last week were the loss to the University of Alberta in the exhibition, and a very interesting Tom Shatel article featuring Coach Blais.

Before that article, Tony Boone actually had a really nice interview with Blais in which (as I put it), Blais "called his shot" and said the Mavs are going to win the Goal Rush. We'll see.

Alaska Anchorage is 0-2-0 on the season, getting swept at home by Minnesota last Friday night, and Alaska on Saturday night. Alaska, meanwhile, is 1-1-0, having beaten Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, but losing to Minnesota on Sunday.

One interesting note: The Mavericks left for Alaska on Wednesday, one day earlier than normal, after having encountered significant travel difficulties in their last trip up North. We'll see if getting acclimated to the time change makes a difference for the Mavs this time around.

Here's a roundup of articles leading up to the tournament:

Tony Boone post-exhibition Omaha World-Herald article (featuring the infamous Blais quote about winning the tournament):

Tony Boone Omaha World-Herald Goal Rush tournament preview: Goal Rush tournament preview:

TV Coverage:
Friday and Saturday night's games are available on A one-day "Alaska" pass is $8.99:

(The monthly pass is $19.99, so you may be tempted to buy that instead of two one-day passes, but if it works like it used to, you will be auto-renewed for November if you don't cancel after this weekend's series, so I don't recommend that.)

Dudley's Pizza and Tavern in Aksarben Village will also be showing this weekend's games.

Radio Coverage:
The games will be broadcast on 1180 AM (1180 The Zone 2). Dave Ahlers will provide radio play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide color commentary and analysis. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show, and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

Live Audio & Stats
Live Audio Link here.
Live Stats here.

Next Series:
After the trip to Alaska, the Mavs will return to Baxter Arena for the first home seires of the year, facing Vermont (Hockey East) on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22. Both games will begin at 7:07 p.m.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Alberta Beats Omaha 3-2

The good news is, the last time the Mavs lost an exhibition game, they ended up going to the Frozen Four.

The bad news is, the two times they lost an exhibition game before that, they didn't.

What kind of season will this be?

The game started well for the Mavericks, with goals from Fredrik Olofsson and Mason Morelli sparking the Mavs to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Evan Weninger took the first shift in goal (as is tradition, each of the goalies played a period in goal), but he allowed two goals. The score was tied 2-2 after one.

The score remained 2-2 after two periods. Alex Blankenburg had a good second period in goal, stopping eight shots, including a couple of solid Alberta attempts.

New goalie Kris Oldham was solid in net until late in the third period, when Austin Ortega lost the puck and Alberta turned it into a goal.

Final score: Alberta 3, UNO 2.

Catch the game highlights from Omaha Video:
Here's the OMavs writeup from the game:

Here's the Omaha World-Herald article ($):

And photos from the Omaha World-Herald:

And here's what Coach Blais had to say in the post-game press conference:
Next up:
UNO heads up to Alaska next weekend for the Brice Alaska Goal Rush tournament. The Mavs take on Alaska Anchorage in the Friday game, which will begin at 7 p.m. Omaha time. We'll have a blog post for you later this week with all the game info.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

And So It Begins … UNO vs. Alberta -- Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016


That's UNO Hockey's all-time record in games versus Canadian schools.

Let's hope it's 18-3-0 after tonight's game versus Alberta, the first time these two schools have met on the ice.

Are you ready?

Here's the details:

Game time -- 7:07 p.m. from Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.

Mav record: 0-0-0 (the Mavs went 18-17-1 last season, finishing in sixth place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference).

Golden Bears: 5-3-0 so far in the 2016-17 season

Series preview from Omavs:

Preview article from the Omaha World-Herald ($):

TV Coverage:Saturday night's game will be on

Radio Coverage:The games will be broadcast on 1180 AM (1180 The Zone 2). Dave Ahlers will provide radio play-by-play and Terry Leahy will provide color commentary and analysis. Lester St. James will report from the ice level. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show.

Live Audio & Stats:
Live Audio Link here.
Live Stats here.

Next Weekend:The Mavericks head north for the Brice Alaska Goal Rush hosted by Alaska on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15. They will play Alaska Anchorage on Friday at 4:07 p.m. Alaska time and then take on the host Nanooks on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. Alaska time from the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Big News for the Baxter Arena Team Store

As of Friday, Sept. 30, the UNO Bookstore has taken over management of the Baxter Arena team store ("The Mav Locker Room") said Eric Hager, manager of the UNO Bookstore. The arena team store was run by the UNO Athletic Department in its first year of operation.

One of the biggest advantages for fans is that the apparel that the team (players and coaches) wear will now be available for purchase by the public.

The Team Store will open two hours before game time, and remain open after the end of the game. (“We’ll close when we get kicked out,’ Hager joked.) A common complaint from fans last season was that the store was often closed.

Other improvements:

  • There will be a phone number for the team store. (Believe it or not, it didn’t have a separate phone number previously.)
  • Hager expects that gift cards for the team store will be available for purchase before Christmas. (A great gift for the Mav Hockey fan in your life!)

Hager says fans can expect to hear more about the team store during games, especially hockey games. They are planning a “pop up” store in the concourse, and will be doing in-game promotions, including possibly using the MavX app.

The UNO Bookstore is located on the main campus in the Milo Bail Student Center.

While I was at the UNO Bookstore, I checked out some of the new merchandise. Here's a quick roundup of some key items:

Omaha Mavericks License Plate Holder – $16.99
UNO Hockey License Plate Holder – $16.99
Alumni license plate holder: $24.99
Keepsake Ticket Display Holder – $15.00
Wooden Sign – $30.00
Youth Under Armour All Season Tech Sweatshirts (Youth Small to Youth XL/Adult Small) – $49.99
Infant Fleece Footed Romper (0-3 months) – $26.99
Toddler Dimpled Fleece Jacket (2T to 4T) – $36.99
Adidas Performance Shirt (up to XXL sizing – "runs bigger") – $24.99
UNO Pride T-Shirt (up to XXXL sizing) – $24.99

The UNO Bookstore hours are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The bookstore is closed Saturdays and Sundays. You can also shop the bookstore online here: