A big opportunity for the Mavericks to gain some momentum with a couple of non-conference wins was lost last weekend. Maine proved why they were dominant in their home turf, remaining undefeated in the state of Maine (1-0-1). On Friday in Orono, the Mavs and the Black Bears skated to a 2-2 tie. The game was saved from being a high-scoring festival by both goaltenders, with Austin Roden saving 46 out of 48 shots faced, making the case for him getting the starting role as the Mavericks in the second half of the season. Brushett also impressed with his first goal of his collegiate career.
On Saturday in Portland, the Mavs were again unable to capitalize on Roden’s stellar goaltending, giving up a goal late in the 3rd period for Maine to edge out UNO 3-2. John Schuldt finally scored a goal, with another goal scored by Tristan Keck.
Listen to the recap of the Maine series, as well as other topics such as the team store closing (It’s a good thing!) on the Mavpuckcast with Jason and Jon. https://soundcloud.com/mavpuckcast/s2-e12
There’s no rest for the Mavericks (8-9-3, 2-5-1-0) as they return to the NCHC grind with a trip up to not-so-spectacular Grand Forks for a battle against the top-of-the-league North Dakota Fighting Hawks (16-1-2, 7-0-1-1). North Dakota is experiencing a resurgence after two disappointing seasons and is dominating almost all of their opponents like the Dean Blais teams of yore. Last weekend the F’n Hawks swept Alabama-Huntsville 5-2 both games.
Friday’s game will be at 7:37 PM, while Saturday’s game will be at 7:07 PM at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Both games will be televised on Midco Sports Network, with simulcast available on Cox Channel 1013. Both games will also be online on NCHC.TV or on the radio at 1180 AM or the Tune-In Radio app.
UNO returns home next weekend to face the University of Denver.
With only two NCHC teams above .500 in conference play (and only three teams above .500 overall), the next two weekends are pretty critical for UNO.
UNO has the opportunity to stay in the NCHC points race with some positive results against North Dakota (this weekend) and Denver (the following weekend).
January is one of those months where we can start to see some separation between teams in the middle of the pack with those at the bottom of the NCHC standings.
UNO has to find a way to keep getting points so that teams like St. Cloud and WMU remain within grasp.
The Mavs need to get to the end of January in good shape. You’d hate to see a scenario develop where they team is out of the conference race when Feb. rolls around.