Friday, April 19, 2024

2024-25 Omaha Hockey Schedule


We’re starting to put together the pieces of the 2024-25 Omaha Hockey schedule.
(Let us know if you hear of any games/series!)


Oct. 11-12, 2024
Ice Breaker Tournament – Las Vegas, Nevada
Omaha, Minnesota, Air Force Academy, Massachusetts

Friday, Oct. 11 
Saturday, Oct. 12


Jan. 3-4, 2025
Coachella Valley Cactus Cup – Palm Springs, California

Friday, Jan. 3 – 3:30 p.m. – Omaha vs. Holy Cross
Saturday, Jan. 4 – 3:30 p.m. OR 7 p.m. – Omaha vs. Michigan Tech or UMass Lowell






Thursday, April 18, 2024

Transfer Profile (2024): Defenseman Dylan Gratton (Penn State ➡️ Omaha)

 


Sophomore Defenseman Dylan Gratton

Former School: Penn State (Nittany Lions)

Hometown: Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Birthday: Feb. 25, 2003

Height: 6' 0"

Weight: 180

Shoots: Left

@DylanGratton1 (Twitter)


Junior Hockey Career: 

  • Played with the Sioux City Musketeers in 2021-22 (3 goals, 15 assists – 18 points), the Youngstown Phantoms in 2020-21 (4 goals, 13 assists – 17 points), and the Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2019-20 (1 goal, 8 assists – 9 points). Helped lead the Musketeers to its fourth Clark Cup Championship.
  • Had a +19 rating in the 2021-22 season with the Musketeers.


College Hockey Career:

  • 24 points (5 goals, 19 assists) in 69 games (2022-2024). 
  • Played in 36 games as a sophomore. 
  • As a freshman, led all Nittany Lion freshmen with 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists). His first goal for PSU was the game-winning goal in a 6-3 victory vs. Mercyhurst.

News articles:
“Gratton started most of his sophomore season alongside linemate Simon Mack. In December coach Guy Gadowsky called the duo his most consistent pairing and applauded Gratton’s individual performance throughout the year.”


Our thanks to the Sacred Heart Hockey blog for the inspiration for the blog post concept. 


Transfer Profile (2024): Forward Sam Stange (Wisconsin ➡️ Omaha)

Senior Forward Sam Stange

Former School: Wisconsin (Badgers)

Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Birthday: April 20, 2001

Height: 6' 1"

Weight: 208

Shoots: Right

Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Draft

@sam_stange3 (Twitter)

@samstange3 (Instagram)


Junior Hockey Career: 

  • Played with the Sioux City Musketeers and Sioux Falls Stampede (2019-20) in the USHL. Scored 45 points in 48 games (26 goals, 19 assists). Tied for fifth in scoring in the USHL that year. Named 2020 Third-Team All-USHL. 
  • Played for both Team Wisconsin (UMHSEHL) and Eau Claire North during the 2019-19 season. Named 2019 Wisconsin State Player of the Year. Named to the U.S. High School All-USA Hockey Second Team by USA Today. Named 2019 Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association All-State First Team.


College Hockey Career:

  • 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 106 games (2020-2024).
  • Saw limited playing time in the 2023-24 season, appearing in only 7 games. According to an article on BadgerExtra.com, “Stange missed the last 16 games of the season as either a healthy scratch or because of a lower-body injury he suffered.” 
  • Impressive academic career – majored in neurobiology at Wisconsin. Named Academic All-Big Ten in 2022-23 and 2023-24, and was the Ivan B. Williamson Scholastic Award recipient in 2022-23.

News articles:
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to play at Omaha for my fifth year. The chance to develop under this coaching staff and play in front of the Baxter faithful is something I could not pass up,” Stange said. “The top-notch facilities and resources available to us, along with a great locker room, is also something I’m very excited for. I’m grateful to be a Maverick and I can’t wait to get started.”


“Stange comes off the Red Wings’ reserve list Aug. 15, and this move suggests they aren’t going to sign him.” 


Our thanks to the Sacred Heart Hockey blog for the inspiration for the blog post concept. 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Transfer Profile (2024): Forward Harrison Israels (Alaska ➡️ Omaha)

 

Senior Forward Harrison Israels 

Former School: Alaska (Nanooks) 

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Birthday: Sept. 1, 1999

Height: 6' 1"

Weight: 200

Shoots: Left

Junior Hockey Career: 

  • Played with the Oakville Blades in the OJHL (2019-20). Scored 86 points (29 goals, 57 assists). Named the OJHL MVP.
  • In two seasons with the Blades, he recorded a total of 134 points (27 goals and 21 assists for 48 points in 2018-19).

College Hockey Career:

  • 53 points (33 goals, 20 assists) in 96 games (2021-2024).
  • Finished the 2023-24 season third in scoring with 26 points (20 goals, 6 assists).
  • Solid on special teams  – scored eight power play goals and 3 short-handed goals.
  • Impressive in face-offs: won 355 face-offs (.583 FO win percentage, a team-high)
  • Personal bests: 3 points in a game (Jan. 26, 2024 vs. LIU); hat trick (Jan. 26, 2024, first career hat trick, Alaska vs. Stonehill)
  • Scored two goals in a single game five separate times.
  • Appeared in 33 of 34 games for the Nanooks in 2023-24.
  • Finished with a +10 plus/minus rating.
  • Captain for the Nanooks (2022-23 and 2023-24)


Our thanks to the Sacred Heart Hockey blog for the inspiration for the blog post concept. 

Transfer Profile (2024): Forward Brady Risk (Alaska ➡️ Omaha)

 

Senior Forward Brady Risk

Former School: Alaska (Nanooks) 

Hometown: Medicine Hat, Alberta

Birthday: March 16, 1999

Height: 5' 9"

Weight: 175

Shoots: Right

Junior Hockey Career: 

  • Played with the Drumheller Dragons “A” of the AJHL in 2019-20. Scored 36 goals with 27 assists in 54 games.
  • In three previous seasons with the Dragons, he recorded 101 points (14 points in 2016-17, 33 points in 2017-18, and 54 points in 2018-19).

College Hockey Career:

  • 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 97 games (2021-2024).
  • Finished the 2023-24 season with 13 goals and 20 assists (33 points). 
  • Personal bests: 4 points in a game (twice, most recently March 6, 2024 vs. Stonehill); hat trick (Jan. 7, 2022, Alaska vs. Maine)
  • Scored two or more points in a game 10 times in the 2023-24 season.
  • Finished the year with a +5 plus/minus rating
  • Alternate captain for the Nanooks (2023-24)


Our thanks to the Sacred Heart Hockey blog for the inspiration for the blog post concept. 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Mavs on the Move 2023-24 | Portal Moves, Pro Signings, Incoming Recruits


With the season ending, it’s time for the “Mavs on the Move” player watch...


Incoming Mavericks (from the transfer portal):

  • Brady Risk, transfer from Alaska. He was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 20 assists. He was also an alternate captain for the Nanooks last year.
  • Harrison Israels, transfer from Alaska. He was captain of the 23-24 Nanooks and led the team in goals last season (with 20). 
  • Sam Stange, transfer from Wisconsin. He played four years for Wisconsin, but saw limited playing time during the 2023-24 season. He has 13 goals and 16 assists over his college career.
  • Garrett Pinoniemi (PIN-uh-KNEE-me), transfer from Minnesota. A sophomore during the 2023-24 season, he appeared in 35 games, finishing the season with one goal and two assists.
  • Dylan Gratton, transfer from Penn State. A sophomore defenseman during the 2023-24 season, he appeared in 36 games for the Nittany Lions, and had 3 goals and 10 assists. 


Mavericks in the transfer portal:


Players who have exhausted their playing eligibility include:


Seniors with eligibility remaining (due to COVID year):


Mavericks going pro:

  • Junior forward Ty Mueller signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks (NHL). 

  • Fifth year forward  Jack Randl signed with the Bridgeport Islanders (AHL).
  • Senior forward Matt Miller signed with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL). 
  • Fifth year forward Nolan Sullivan signed with the Kansas City Mavericks (ECHL). 
  • Fifth year goaltender Seth Eisele signed with the Calgary Wranglers (AHL). 
  • Fifth year forward Jesse Lansdell signed with the Florida Everglades (ECHL). 

  • Junior defenseman Victor Mancini signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the New York Rangers (NHL). 


>> Information updated as of 9:39 a.m. on 4/18/2024.

We will update this blog post as we hear of more “Mavs on the Move.” 

>> In addition to this ongoing blog post, be sure to follow us on Twitter/X for all the updates as they happen – click here!


Below is the Omaha Hockey team’s final lineup for the NCAA tournament game against Minnesota at the Sioux Falls Regional. Emojis have been placed over players whose eligibility has expired, entered the transfer portal, signed on with a team to play professional hockey, and seniors who have an extra year of eligibility (due to the COVID season in 2020-21). 

Key: 


👋 - Eligibility expired 

💰 - NHL 

💸 - Minor league

🤷‍♀️ - Eligibility left, but… 

🏒 - Returning for 2024-25 

🪽 - Transfer portal 
















Thursday, March 28, 2024

NCAA Tournament: Omaha vs. Minnesota in Sioux Falls


Omaha has advanced to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in program history. Previous appearances include:

  • 2006 (Worcester, Massachusetts). Boston University beat Omaha 9-2.
  • 2012 (St. Louis, Missouri). Michigan defeated Omaha 3-2 in overtime. 
  • 2015 (South Bend, Indiana). Omaha beat Harvard 4-1 and then beat RIT 4-0 to advance to the program’s first-ever (and only) Frozen Four appearance.
  • 2021 (Loveland, Colorado). Minnesota defeated Omaha 7-2.

Omaha (23-12-4) will face Minnesota (22-10-5) again in a NCAA regional for the first time since that 2021 loss. The Mavericks are the host school for the Sioux Falls regional, having successfully bid to host both the 2024 and 2026 regionals.

Omaha is coming off its first-ever appearance in a NCHC conference tournament. Omaha upset North Dakota 6-3 in the Friday semi-final before losing to Denver 4-1 in the conference final. 

Minnesota swept Penn State in the Big 10 conference tournament but lost to Michigan 2-1 on March 16. The Gophers haven’t played a game in almost two weeks. Minnesota is coached by former SCSU head coach Bob Motzko who is in his sixth season with the program.

Minnesota advanced to the 2023 Frozen Four, beating Boston University 6-2 before losing to Quinnipiac 3-2 in overtime in the championship game.

Series preview articles:

Omavs.com:

Minnesota Hockey:

Omaha.com ($)
When:
> Thursday, 7:30 p.m. CT at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center (Sioux Falls, SD)
> (With a win, Omaha would play in the regional final game on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CT at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls.)

Radio:
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.

TV:
ESPNU and ESPN+ (streaming)
Also available on TSN+ in Canada.

Watch Party:
The UNO Alumni Association is doing a watch party at Aksarben Cinema. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Details here.

Live Stats:
Live stats can be found here. 


In the 40-minute 21st episode of the sixth season of the MavPuckCast, Jon and Jason discuss the Omaha Maverick Hockey team’s first-ever appearance in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff, take a look at “Things You Missed in St. Paul,” show highlights from the Selection Sunday event, and preview the NCAA regionals In Sioux Falls.


Next up: Omaha’s season is on the line. Win tonight and advance to Saturday’s regional championship game. Lose and the season is over.


Friday, March 22, 2024

First-Ever Frozen Faceoff: Omaha vs. North Dakota in the Semi-Final, March 22, 2024

 


I was 27 the last time Omaha made it to a neutral site conference semi-final. Jon was 28. Mike Gabinet was a freshman on Coach Mike Kemp’s team that year. That tells you how long ago it was.

But here we are. It’s March 22, 2024 and Omaha is playing in its first-ever NCHC Frozen Faceoff. #SomedayOmaha is #TodayOmaha.

(The #SomedayOmaha tagline is an inspirational one … and was always meant to be. Like #WeBelieve from the early years of the program. If you weren’t alive or an Omaha Hockey fan back then, you may not “get it” — but when Jon and I attended our first Frozen Faceoff back in March 2019, we believed that Omaha would make it someday. We believed it was possible. So Jon designed a MavPuck shirt for Lawlor’s with the #SomedayOmaha tagline … and here we are. Believe it and you can achieve it.)

Anyway, we’re here now. And how did Omaha get here? The hard way. On the road, as a five seed playing four seed Colorado College at Ed Robson Arena in Colorado Springs. The Mavs were less than a minute away from a win on Friday night (Game 1) when Colorado College tied it 3-3. The Tigers won that game in overtime.

Saturday night (Game 2) was a new night. This time, the Mavs wouldn’t be beaten. Not with their season on the line. The series was now tied 1-1, with a decisive St. Patrick’s Day (night) game to advance one team to the Frozen Faceoff.

Behind a third night of stellar play from Simon Latkoczy, Omaha pulled off the upset and its first-ever trip to St. Paul.

But what awaits the Mavericks in the first game of the Frozen Faceoff is a familiar opponent — North Dakota. The two teams will square off for the fifth time this season, the 60th matchup overall. Omaha ended the regular season with a historic sweep of the Fighting Hawks at Baxter Arena — sweeping at two-game series against UND for the first time ever.

Omaha is 22-11-4 this season. North Dakota is 26-10-2.

Key stats:

  • The first team to score has won 28 of 32 matchups.
  • Omaha is 16-2 in one-goal games this season.

Coach Gabinet has done three press conferences this week in anticipation of the Frozen Faceoff. The first was an NCHC press conference by Zoom earlier this week.

USCHO’s Matt Semisch asked Gabinet about his “recipe for success” this season.

Gabinet responded, “I think we’ve (done) a really good job of just staying present and trying to find ways to keep improving every single weekend…and it’s really paid off for us down the stretch.”

I asked Captain Nolan Sullivan about playing at the “X.”

“Growing up in Minnesota, it’s always a dream to win the state (high school hockey) tournament. And for myself, I got to play there all three years of high school, which is pretty special to do that with the same guys who (you) grew up playing with your whole career,” Sullivan said. “I know the Minnesota guys are pretty juiced to get back in it and excited to play in front of so many family and friends.”


Sullivan said a key to success against North Dakota would be to "just stick to our identity. And that’s just making it hard on teams, making them earn everything they get.”

He said the grind of the NCHC has given the team confidence. “I think there’s definitely that confidence with the team, the group that we can go toe-to-toe with anybody in the country, that we deserve to be where we’re at for a reason. We’ve proved it kind of week after week now at this point,” Sullivan added.

Junior forward Zach Urdahl took questions at the Mavericks’ regular weekly press conference.

When asked about facing North Dakota for a fifth time this season, Urdahl said, “I think nothing changes for us. As a group, we stick to what we’ve been doing … stick to our game plan, our systems. I think a big thing is everyone’s bought into those right now. Everyone’s on the same page. Everyone’s playing their role perfectly really, and so it’s just about doing what we can do, focusing on us.”

In the same press conference, Gabinet talked about facing North Dakota for a fifth time. “Success is always a good thing. You just (have) to look at the things that we did well in those series and the things we needed to get better at and just keep improving and keep building on the strengths and improving on the weaknesses.”

He said the NCHC has prepared the team for this moment. “It’s just constantly getting punched in the face a little bit, and we talk about just punching back all the time. I think that’s the mentality of the group — you know you’re going to take some punches, but as long as you keep fighting back, that’s what matters.”

Series preview articles:

Omavs.com:

North Dakota Hockey:

Omaha.com ($)
When:
> Friday, 4 p.m. CT at the Xcel Energy Center (St. Paul, Minnesota)
> (With a win, Omaha would play in the championship game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN)

Radio:
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.

TV:
All Frozen Faceoff Games are on CBS Sports Net

Watch Party:
The UNO Alumni Association is doing a watch party at Aksarben Cinema. Doors open at 3 p.m. Details here. 

Live Stats:
Live stats can be found here


See the history you missed last weekend by watching the 20th episode of the sixth season of the MavPuckCastIn the 34-minute episode, Jon and Jason recap the historic NCHC quarterfinal series with Colorado College and preview the Frozen Faceoff. 



Next up: Omaha has secured a spot in the NCAA tournament! As host of the Sioux Falls regional next weekend, Omaha will play on Thursday. Opponent and game time will be announced on Selection Sunday (Sunday, March 24). 



Thursday, March 14, 2024

Series Preview: Omaha at Colorado College, NCHC Quarterfinals (March 14-16, 2024)


It’s playoff hockey time for Omaha!

The #12 Mavericks missed out on home ice at Baxter Arena by one point and ended up in fifth place in the NCHC. They will face fourth place (#10) Colorado College Tigers. 

Omaha (20-10-4) swept #3 North Dakota for the first time in program history in the final home series of the season, winning 3-2 Friday and 4-1 Saturday. Omaha is unbeaten in 11 of their last 12 games (9-1-2).

Omaha leads the all-time series 27-14-6. When the two teams meet in Colorado Springs, Omaha leads the series 12-9-1. However, the Tigers are 11-6-2 at Ed Robson Arena this year. This is the first time Colorado College has secured home ice for the NCHC playoffs since the NCHC began. 

Colorado College (20-11-3) split their final series of the NCHC regular season, winning 4-3 Friday night in Colorado Springs and losing Saturday night 4-3 in Denver. Colorado College is 17-2 this season when scoring three or more goals.

The two teams last played three weeks ago in Omaha. The Mavericks shut out the Tigers 3-0 on Friday night. Saturday night, the game officially was recorded as a 1-1 tie. Omaha got the extra NCHC point, winning the shootout. Colorado College held Denver without a power play goal on Saturday night, the sixth straight game the Tigers have not allowed a power play goal.

Omaha is 15-1-0 in one-goal games this year.  

Graduate forward Jack Randl met with the media Tuesday.

“That was really special last weekend, getting those two big wins at home. I think we’re just continuing to (look) to get better every weekend and every game,” Randl said. “I think we can definitely build off those wins and that momentum we have. (We’ve) got a lot of confidence in our group right now so I think that’s really key going into this weekend.”

“I think we have kept that belief all year that we’re a good team and you know, when we’re playing our best, we can beat anyone in the country,” Randl added.

Speaking about his own personal evolution as a player, he said, “I’ve always tried to put the work first and be a good 200-foot player and pay attention to the details out there. As I’ve gotten more confidence in my abilities, just looking to continue building my skills and keep working on that.” 

Reflecting on the impact the current leadership group has taught the younger players, Randl said, “If you ask any guy, the most fun is just being around the guys and just enjoying each other’s company and just going out and working with each other. We’re such a close group that it’s been a lot of fun and I think the younger guys really learned that as well.”

When asked about what the Mavericks learned from facing the Tigers a few weeks after playing them at Baxter Arena, Randl noted, “I think just stick to our game plan and being all right with nothing (happening) at times if they want to try and play (a) slower game. I think just managing the puck and not feeding their transition and just getting pucks behind them” will be keys. “I thought we did that really well when they were here.”

Coach Mike Gabinet said the team is ready for the weekend. “Playoff hockey is always an exciting time, and I know the guys are looking forward to it. We’re excited to get on the road and get ready for Friday night.” 

“We have some great individuals on the team, but we’re also — most importantly — a great team. I think that really drives that when guys are cheering for each other, guys are supporting each other, guys are playing to a certain identity, a game plan. That’s what’s made us successful,” Gabinet said. “I think when you look back at the last eight weekends, I think the guys have really seen that (to) be successful, they know when we do things a certain way that we’re being successful, so that’s been reinforced. When that happens, good things usually tend to happen.”

Series preview articles:

Omavs.com:

Colorado College Hockey:

Omaha.com ($)
When:
> Friday, 8:07 p.m. CT at Ed Robson Arena (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT at Ed Robson Arena (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
> (If necessary), Sunday, 7:07 p.m. CT at Ed Robson Arena (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Radio:
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.

TV:
Both games will be streamed on NCHC.tv ($) 

Watch Party:
UNO Spirit, Tradition, and Signature Events has put together a watch party on Friday night at Hurrdat Sports Bar & Grill.




Live Stats:
Live stats can be found here


See what you missed last weekend by watching the 19th episode of the sixth season of the MavPuckCast.  In the 38-minute episode, Jon and Bridget recap the sweep of North Dakota, look at “Things You Missed at Baxter Arena” (including honoring the seniors and graduate students), and preview the NCHC quarterfinal matchup with Colorado College.



Next up: A trip to the Frozen Faceoff is on the line for Omaha. Win and they’re in. Lose, and the Mavericks wait to see if they’ve made the NCAA tournament as an at-large team.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Series Preview: Omaha vs. North Dakota, March 8-9, 2024


We’ve said it before … we’ll say it again: “It’s another Top 20 matchup at Baxter Arena this weekend” as the #16 Omaha Mavericks welcome the #3 North Dakota Fighting Hawks to Baxter Arena for a pair of games. 

This is the final series of the 2023-24 regular season. North Dakota claimed the Penrose Cup (NCHC regular season champion) in Grand Forks last weekend and is locked into home ice as the #1 seed for the first round of the NCHC playoffs. They will face last-place Miami (OH) next week (which Omaha swept last weekend in Oxford, Ohio). 

North Dakota is 24-8-2 overall (15-6-1 in the NCHC). The team is currently on a four-game win streak, sweeping Minnesota Duluth and Western Michigan on successive weekends in Grand Forks. Final scores were 5-3 over WMU on Friday and 3-0 over the Broncos on Saturday. But the Fighting Hawks are 7-4-1 on the road, and Colorado College did manage a sweep of North Dakota in Colorado Springs two weeks ago. 

Omaha has never swept North Dakota (during both our time in the WCHA and the NCHC).

Omaha is 18-10-4 overall (11-8-3 in the NCHC). The Mavericks are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, and are 14-1 in one-goal games. The two teams met in January in Grand Forks. Omaha won Friday night’s game 5-4 in overtime, but North Dakota got the win on Saturday night, 3-1.

North Dakota leads all-time series between the two teams 36-19-2. The record is 16-9-12 in favor of North Dakota for games played in Omaha. 

Coach Mike Gabinet said the team is ready for another tough matchup. 

“I feel like it’s been a big weekend every weekend for the last — how many weekends? So just ‘business as usual’ and making sure we’re doing everything we can to prepare here and get ready for North Dakota on Friday night,” Gabinet said.

“I can’t think back to a weekend that hasn’t been a big weekend that people aren’t like – ‘Oh, this is the weekend that is important’ — so it almost gets to be almost humorous after a while because you’re just so used to it,” he added.

“You know what? You’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. Do I know what’s going to happen? No, but you know what I know? That group in there (the players), man, they get after it. I know that coaching staff gets after it. I know nobody’s going to outwork us and out-prepare us, and that’s what we can control, and that’s what we want to build our confidence with is by the work we put in there. And the results will be the results,” Gabinet said.

Saturday night, the Maverick seniors will be honored. Gabinet reflected on the seniors and their impact.

“I'm just really happy for the seniors where they’re at — both on the ice and off the ice — and what they’ve contributed to the team and the university and the community,” he said. “So that's special to me, and I think that’s just what motivates you — to want to have success so they can experience success — because you want it so bad for them. And they deserve it.”

Senior forward Matt Miller said the team is ready for the series. 

“Every team in our conference is going to give us a great battle. We know that going into each week, so we obviously don’t take anybody in our conference lightly,” Miller said. “We know North Dakota is a great team and plays similar to how we do in some ways. So we know that … we’re ready for that week in and week out.”

“I think this week is just another test for us to see how well we can buy into our team’s game plan. If we can do that, then I think they’re going to be two really good games this weekend,” he added.

NCHC Playoff Implications

Omaha still has a chance to secure home ice. Realistically, Omaha needs at least five points (and help from Denver) to secure home ice. In addition to North Dakota, St. Cloud and Denver have both secured home ice. 

Colorado College has 38 points and is currently in fourth place. Omaha has 34 points and is in fifth place, 3 points ahead of Western Michigan. WMU plays Miami to end the season. Omaha can finish anywhere from fourth to six place. Western doesn’t have a chance for home ice for the playoffs, but could still finish ahead of UNO.

Here’s the NCHC summary:

NoDak 49 to 55 points (secured 1st place and home ice)
Denver 42 to 48 points (home ice guaranteed)
SCSU 40 to 46 points (home ice guaranteed)
CC 38 to 44 points
Omaha 34 to 40 points
Western 31 to 37 points (no chance for 4th place)
Duluth 23 to 29 points (locked into 7th)
Miami 7 to 13 points (locked into 8th)

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). Omaha Athletics is also encouraging fans to park in one of the public garages at Aksarben Village.


Sellout crowds are expected this weekend. Fans should arrive early, especially if entering via the west entrance. Have digital tickets ready to scan in the Omaha 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).

Promotions:

Friday night is Leap-For-A-Cure night. There will be a table in the concourse where LFAC representatives will be collecting donations. In addition, the game-worn jersey auctions starts online Friday (ending Thursday, March 14). The Saturday night “grays” will be auctioned and the proceeds donated to Leap-For-A-Cure.

Saturday night is Senior Night and a White Out. (No shorts will be distributed; fans are encouraged to wear white.)

The seniors being honored are Brock Bremer, Jimmy Glynn, Nolan Krenzen, Matt Miller, Kirby Proctor (GR) Jack Randl (GR), and Nolan Sullivan (GR). 

Transfers Seth Eisele, Jesse Lansdell and Dom Vidoli are closing out their Maverick careers but will not be honored on ice as they were honored as seniors by their previous teams.

* GR – Graduate student

Series preview articles:

Omavs.com:

North Dakota Fighting Hawks:

Omaha.com ($):

Tom Shatel asks if there is a college sport with a thinner margin for error than hockey ($):

When:
> Friday, 7:07 p.m. CT at Baxter Arena (Omaha, NE) 
> Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CT at Baxter Arena (Omaha, NE)

Radio:
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.

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

Live Stats:
Friday and Saturday night stats will be available here.


Catch up on Mav hockey by watching Episode 18 of the sixth season of the MavPuckCast, with Jon and Bridget. In the 38-minute episode, they recap the Miami University series and preview the North Dakota series. Plus, catch Bridget’s interview with the event manager of the 2024 Ice Breaker tournament.


Next up: Omaha awaits the results of the final weekend of NCHC play to see where (and what time) next weekend’s games will be.