Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mavs Head into Bye Week Tied Atop WCHA

UNO managed to snag one point this weekend at #7 Denver.  On Friday night, UNO got off to a rough start by giving up a power play goal in the first two minutes of the game, followed by an awful short-handed goal.  UNO managed to cut the Denver lead to one only to quickly give up another one in the second period.  The third period looked promising after goals by Brent Gwidt and Ryan Walters tied the game with just over seven minutes to go.

But then disaster struck; Michael Young let Zac Larazza skate uncontested all the way down the ice just a minute later to put Denver back in front for good.  Larazza drilled another shot a couple of minutes later to restore the Denver two-goal lead, and that was all she wrote for UNO.  UNO did bounce back on Saturday night to force a tie with Denver.  Walters game-tying goal in the second period was his 15th of the season, which leads the nation. 

CBS last week tabbed Walters' as the current leader in the Hobey Baker Award.  For those unfamiliar, the Hobey Baker Award is comparable to the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best college hockey player.  Fans can cast their vote daily in the fan vote, which counts for 1% of the overall voting.  Walters' currently trails Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau and North Dakota's Corban Knight in the fan voting.

Next up for UNO is one final series with Bemidji State.  Considering the Mavericks lack of success over the years with the Beavers, it'll probably be the last regular season series between the two schools for the forseeable future.  Not sure how to explain the Beavers success against UNO except to shrug it off as the perfect opposite of a Dean Blais team.  Blais prefers a fast-paced offensive style, while Bemidji plays a smothering, trapping slow-down game.  And typically, it only serves to frustrate UNO as the Beavers end up gumming up UNO.  Hence, I don't anticipate UNO willingly scheduling games against Bemidji in the future after UNO departs the WCHA for the NCHC. Next weekend would be a perfect time to finally jettison that Bemidji albatross once and for all.

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