Wednesday, January 28, 2015

#5 UNO vs. #1 North Dakota: The Biggest Regular Season Weekend in UNO Hockey History?

UNO has played teams ranked #1 before...but never, ever when UNO has also been ranked anywhere near this high.  UNO sits in first place in the NCHC standings, just one point ahead of second place North Dakota.  The difference?  A shootout win by the Mavs when the teams played in Grand Forks on Thanksgiving weekend.

Now the scene shifts to Omaha, and it's not only the biggest regular season series in UNO hockey history, it's also the biggest series in the nation this weekend. CBS Sports Network is televising the Friday night game, and NET is televising the Saturday night game.  (Fox College Sports will be simulcasting the NET coverage nationwide on Saturday night, meaning that's two nationally televised games for the Mavs this weekend.)

Last weekend, North Dakota swept Colorado College at home, but both games were a lot closer than the teams' respective records would indicate.  The Tigers have been playing a lot better as of late, as indicated the week prior, when UNO and CC split the weekend series. At that time, it looked like UNO might have been playing down to their competition, but in hindsight, it's probably more to Colorado College turning their season around.

Looks like there will be big crowds this weekend as well; a quick check of Ticketmaster shows that the lower bowl is just about sold out both nights.  I wouldn't be surprised if both night's crowds approach 9,000 or more fans.  (And hopefully it's not all green Sioux fans, as the local beer distributors hope.)

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