Friday, November 3, 2023

Series Preview: Omaha vs. Western Michigan, Nov. 3-4, 2023

Omaha Hockey opens up NCHC conference play on Nov. 3-4 after a disappointing tie (shootout loss) and loss to Ohio State at Baxter Arena on Oct. 27-28. Omaha (2-1-1) has dropped out of the top 20 in the weekly poll, although the team is still receiving votes. WMU is currently ranked 11 in the poll.

In the weekly press conference, Head Coach Mike Gabinet said the team was excited to open up conference play against the no. 11 team in the nation. “Guys get up for every game, but especially against ranked teams.”

Gabinet said the Broncos are “big, heavy, and fast” and have a high potent offense. “They like to forecheck hard.”

He added that the Mavericks “deserved a win” out of last weekend’s games, but that they would “keep progressing and keep going.” He said the team’s motto is “Keep showing up and doing the work.”

Assistant Captain Jack Randl said the team is excited to get into conference play. “We want to get off to a good start,” he said. “Every point is so huge, and we definitely want to finish as high as we can.”

He echoed Coach Gabinet’s statements about the team’s resilience. “We’re going to battle some adversity this year. We played two pretty good games, but didn’t get the results. We’re going to keep playing our game.”

The Mavericks are hoping to get graduate defenseman Dom Vidoli back in the lineup this weekend after he was out for the Ohio State series. 

Western Michigan is 3-0-1 on the season and is scoring just under five goals on average per game (4.8 GPG). The Broncos also have a top-ranked power play (44.4%), while Omaha’s is ranked 52nd in the nation. The Mavericks have been perfect on the penalty kill, however, holding opponents to no goals on 13 penalties.

Omaha and Western met four times during the 2022-23 season, with Omaha sweeping Western in Omaha and splitting in Kalamazoo. WMU advanced to the NCAA tournament last season for the second year in a row.

The all-time series is 34-25-6 in favor of Omaha, and 18-8-2 in games in Omaha.

>> Since this is UNO’s first NCHC series of the season, we encourage you to read Jason Combs’ NCHC Preview from Sept. 2023 — click here to read

For Fans Attending the Games in Person:

The west lot outside Baxter, Lot 25, is now open to donors only and parking passes are required to park in that lot. The north lot, Lot 27, offers free parking on a first-come, first-served basis, as is Lot 26 (west of the arena, across the creek).

Fans should arrive early to avoid crowds, especially at the west entrance. Have digital tickets ready to scan in the Mavericks app (or add them from your MyMavs account to your phone’s wallet app). If you have questions, stop by the box office at Baxter Arena before the game or call 402-554-MAVS.

The clear bag policy remains in effect at Baxter Arena, and metal detectors are now at all entrances. All concession stands are card only (no cash).

Theme Nights:

It’s Homecoming weekend! And Friday night is “Vintage Night,” so wear your retro gear! The students will have milk jugs, and fans are invited to bring their own.

Saturday night is the UNO Alumni Association’s Maverick Fan Fest on Holland Ice from 5-6:45 p.m. Stop by the MavPuck table and pick up some candy! (If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, here’s the link.

Also, #oldbull Greg Zanon will be honored at the game on Saturday night. According to the athletic department’s Twitter account, the former UNO Hockey defenseman will be inducted into the 2023 Hall of Fame — the names of other inductees will also be announced.

Series preview articles:

Western Michigan Hockey:
> Friday, 7:07 p.m. CT
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT 

Both games will be broadcast live on 1290 AM and on The Varsity Network app. Pre-game coverage begins 30 minutes prior to face off with the FNBO Pre-Game Show. “Voice of the Mavs” Mike Vaillancourt will have the play-by-play, with color commentary provided by Terry Leahy.

Both games will be streamed on ($)

Live Stats:
Click here.

Also check out episode 4 of the sixth season of the “MavPuckCast with Jason and Jon.” The duo recap the Ohio State series, plus some “Things You Missed at Baxter Arena”, UNO Giving Day (“Wear Black, Give Back”), Vintage Mav Night, a preview of the Western Michigan series.


Next up: The final two games of the four-series homestand at Baxter Arena wrap up when Omaha takes on LIU on Friday, Nov. 10 (7:07 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 11 (7:07 p.m.)

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