Sunday, November 14, 2010

Will UNO Hockey Move into the Top Five?

On the heals of this weekend's win and tie at St. Cloud State, I wouldn't be shocked to see UNO jump into the top five in the USCHO rankings tomorrow. Last week, they were sixth and even received a first place vote.  #3 Yale lost to Air Force tonight, while #4 Miami split with Alaska.  Could UNO pass one of those teams up?

Friday night, UNO shut out St. Cloud State, as goalie John Faulkner only needed to make 23 saves.  Saturday night, UNO stormed back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period to take a 4-3 lead late in the game, only to have the Huskies tie it back up with just over a minute left.

Now comes the biggest series in UNO hockey history to date.  #10 North Dakota makes their first trip to Omaha for hockey; though the schools were long-time rivals in other sports in the North Central Conference, they've never played the Mavs.  Add in the history of Dean Blais, who led the Sioux to two national championships, and it's an fascinating matchup to see just where UNO matches up nationally.  Word coming out of Grand Forks is that upwards of 2,000 fans are planning to head south on I-29 this weekend.  That'll mean that Friday night's crowd should be electric with a large crowd of visitors along with a likely large crowd of Omaha fans.  Saturday night's crowd could be challenged since many casual sports fans will choose to stay home and watch the Huskers play Texas A&M on ABC.

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