Sunday, November 27, 2011

UNO Hockey Sneaking Into WCHA Contention

I have to admit that I haven't paid as much attention to UNO hockey so far this season.  Goalie John Faulkner is having an off-year, and the Mavs started the season 1-3.  And while the Mavs did have a nice win at Wisconsin last month, they haven't pulled off the eye-catching upsets that they did last season.  (Sweeping Minnesota at Mariucci, a win at Michigan, and a stunning sweep of North Dakota.)

But the Mavs have been bouncing around in the lower parts of the Top 20 in recent weeks, and after a win and a tie this weekend against St. Cloud State, they find themselves in a tie for second place - one point behind Minnesota. 

Finally got a chance to catch the Mavs again this afternoon, and once again, I'm not quite sure what to make of the Mavs this season.  Strangely enough, the roster seems once again to be getting younger as Dean Blais remakes the lineup in line with his vision of speed and offense. In both games this weekend, the Mavs got off to a cold start as the Huskies dominated the play in both first periods.  This afternoon, the Mavs tilted the ice and carried the play in the second period and much of the third period.

The last two seasons, the month of December has not been kind to UNO hockey. That's a trend that UNO needs to break.  A neutral site series with Alabama-Huntsville in Nashville is up next weekend, followed by a trip up I-29 to play North Dakota just before the Christmas break.  Getting some points in Grand Forks could be a key sign to positioning the Mavs for a run in the New Year.

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