Sunday, November 07, 2010

Mavericks Sweep Mankato

UNO moved into a three-way tie for second place in the WCHA by sweeping Minnesota State-Mankato this weekend. Last night's 5-2 victory was once again a youngster led affair, with goals from freshmen 6'8" Andrej Sustr, Zahn Raubenheimer, and Johnnie Searfoss combined with goals from seniors Rich Purslow and Matt Ambrosz.  The Mavs sit one point behind first place Minnesota-Duluth, who's ranked second in the country last week.

Up next is a road series at #20 St. Cloud State (another former North Central Conference rival of UNO in other sports), who currently sit in eighth place in the conference after splitting with Bemidji State.  After that, North Dakota makes their first ever trip to Omaha to play hockey. That's going to be an intriguing matchup as Dean Blais faces off against the school where he won two National Championships.  I wouldn't be surprised if a large contingent of Sioux fans aren't planning to head south down I-29 for this series. Add that to the attendance we saw this weekend, I wouldn't be surprised if the Friday night game drew more than 8,000 fans.  (Saturday night I'm still expecting a conflict with a Nebraska/Texas A&M football game, which would keep attendance down.)

It's a heck of a start for UNO this season in hockey.  UNO's never been undefeated in conference play this late in the season, nor been ranked this high. Even the premature PairWise projections has UNO ranked second in the nation at this point.

Lofty stuff.  Scary stuff when you think about it.

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