By Jon Brooks
The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) has dropped the first episode of its conference origin story docuseries ”The Rise of the NCHC: A Decade in College Hockey” on its social platforms.
The episode — titled ”New Beginnings” (see embedded video below) — is narrated by college hockey play-by-play voice Ben Holden, and features interviews and archival footage looking at the genesis of the conference’s formation.
At the heart of the first episode is Ken Ralph, former Colorado College Director of Athletics (who is currently the AD at Southwestern University).
“It was a difficult conversation, because we knew [a new conference] would disrupt the college hockey world," says Ralph of the early efforts to form a new conference (caused by the ripple effect of Penn State elevating its club program to the D1 level).
In addition, we hear from CBS Sports Network analyst Dave Starman, North Dakota Head Coach Brad Berry, Grand Forks Herald beat writer Brad Schlossman, and former NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton (currently the commissioner of The Summit League).
This is the first of a four-episode series. (According to the end credits of this episode, the second episode will be released on Jan. 31, 2023.)
The series is produced and edited by Sam Kuhne (the NCHC’s Digital Content and Services Coordinator). She does an excellent job of pulling together the footage and keeping the narrative moving.
I love sports documentaries. The inner workings of athletic conferences is a topic of particular interest to me (I’ve watched the ESPN Films: 30 for 30 doc “Requiem for the Big East” multiple times).
I enjoyed the first episode of “The Rise of the NCHC: A Decade in College Hockey” — I would encourage UNO Hockey fans to check it out (the first episode is a quick watch at 6 minutes, 38 seconds).
I’m excited to see where the series goes from here.
We need more of this sort of archival content available to college hockey fans. The sport has a rich history and it needs to be documented before it is lost to time.
Omaha Hockey freshman forward Ray Fust was named NCHC Rookie of the Week in the KJ Branding National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Players of the Week — Jan. 9-15, 2023.
Fust netted 2 goals and 2 assists during UNO’s two-game series against the UMD Bulldogs at Baxter Arena on Jan. 13 and 14, helping the Mavs earn a sweep over Duluth.
A native of Bellinzona, Switzerland, Fust has 3 goals and 5 assists on the season (he has appeared in 16 games).
He has also tallied points in each of the past three games for UNO (2 goals and 3 assists).
Additionally, Omaha forward Jake Pivonka was a nominee for NCHC Forward of the Week.
>> Fust’s performance during the sweep of UMD is also discussed on this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast — click here to view this week’s episode.
Read the full NCHC release:
KJ Branding NCHC Players of the Week: Jan. 9-15, 2023
On a packed episode of the #mavpuckcast... Jason and Jon discuss the Omaha Hockey team’s first series of 2023 against the UMD Bulldogs at Baxter Arena — includes a discussion of the current NCHC standings, their picks for “Player of the Week,” and goalie Jacob Zab’s first appearance in a game (with video clips of the series during the discussion). Jason and Jon look at the NU President’s Pregame event at Baxter Arena on Jan. 13 (includes video clips and photos from the event). They also discuss the announcement (from the reception) that Maverick Hockey Head Coach Mike Gabinet’s contract has been extended. The pair wraps up the episode with their predictions for the UNO Hockey team’s upcoming series against the Miami (OH) RedHawks at Baxter Arena on Jan. 20-21.
Omaha senior forward Nolan Sullivan’s game-winning goal in the Dec. 31 matchup against St. Lawrence is the #3 play in the NCHC Top 5 Plays of the Week – Jan. 3, 2023.
Sullivan’s goal came 17:15 into the second period. The play found Sullivan streaking with the puck through the St. Lawrence forecheck in the neutral zone (off of assists from Victor Mancini and Jonny Tychonick) and burying the puck in the net with a shot from the slot.
The goal put UNO up 3-1. The Mavericks went on to win the hockey game 5-2.
Sullivan has 4 goals and 3 assists this season.
>> Sullivan’s goal is also discussed on this week’s episode (in the “Players of the Week” segment) of the #mavpuckcast — click here to view this week’s episode.
On this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast... Jon, Bridget and Jolene discuss the Omaha Hockey team’s recent series against the St. Lawrence Skating Saints at Baxter Arena — includes “Player of the Week” picks as well as video clips during the series discussion. We analyze UNO’s postgame New Year’s Eve Event at Baxter Arena on Dec. 31 — includes video clips and photos from the event. We wrap up the episode with our preview and predictions for Omaha’s upcoming hockey series against the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs at Baxter Arena on Jan. 13-14.
Maverick sophomore forward Ty Mueller’s game-tying goal in the Dec. 9 game at Colorado College is the #3 play in the NCHC Top 5 Plays of the Week – Dec. 13, 2022.
Mueller’s goal came 8:19 into the third period. The quick-fire shot was set up down low off an assist from junior forward Matt Miller.
The goal tied the game 4-4. Omaha went on to lose the hockey game 6-4.
Mueller is currently ranked second in points for UNO (17 points on 6 goals and 11 assists).
>> Mueller’s goal is also discussed in this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast — click here to view this week’s episode.
On this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast... Jon, Jason, Bridget, and Jolene discuss the University of Nebraska Omaha Hockey team’s recent road series at Colorado College — including their picks for “Player of the Week.” They discuss UNO’s upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in the new year at Baxter Arena (held in conjunction with the Mavericks’ Dec. 31 game against St. Lawrence). This is the 100th episode of the Mavpuckcast, and the four share their memories and talk about how the podcast began and how it has evolved. They wrap up the episode with their predictions for Omaha’s upcoming series against St. Lawrence at Baxter Arena on Dec. 30-31.
UNO Hockey sophomore forward Cameron Berg’s dizzying second period goal in the Dec. 2 game against Western Michigan is #1 play in the NCHC Top 5 Plays of the Week – Dec. 6, 2022.
The goal came 7:55 into the second period at Baxter Arena, and put the Mavericks up 4-3 in the game.
As the Broncos attempted to move the puck out of their defensive zone, Omaha freshman forward Cam Mitchell intercepted the puck and passed it to teammate Tyler Weiss.
Like gears in a finely-tuned clock... Weiss’s behind-the-back pass (from the left circle) to Berg resulted in a behind-the-back shot (in the slot) that put the puck through WMU goalie Cameron Rowe’s five-hole for the goal.
Omaha went on to win the game 7-6.
>> Berg’s goal is also discussed on this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast — click here to view this week’s episode.
On this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast... Jon, Bridget, and Jolene form an “analysis hat-trick” as they discuss the Omaha Maverick Hockey team’s recent sweep of the Western Michigan Broncos at baxter Arena — including their pics for “Player of the Week.” They discuss the recent on-ice performance by the UNO Hockey Pep Band during the Dec. 2 game. They look at the new Durango bobbleheads (given away to the first 1,000 attendees before the Dec. 3 game). They also talk about the updated grey third jerseys the Mavericks are sporting this season. They conclude the episode with their predictions for the Omaha Hockey team’s series against the Colorado College Tigers on Dec. 9-10 in Colorado Springs.
Two UNO Maverick Hockey players — senior forward Jack Randl and senior goaltender Jake Kucharski — are featured in the NCHC Top 5 Plays of the Week – Nov. 30, 2022.
Randl’s first period goal in the Nov. 26 game at Denver is the #4 play this week. The goal — set up by a backhand pass from junior forward Matt Miller down low — tied the score 1-1 with 9:29 left in the period.
Kucharski’s sprawling save in the first period of the Nov. 26 game at Denver is the #1 play this week.
The net-side save (with 13:45 left in the period) thwarted DU sophomore forward Tristan Broz’s opportunity to put the Pioneers up 2-0 in the game.
>> Randl’s goal and Kucharski’s save are also discussed on this week’s episode of the #mavpuckcast — click here to view this week’s episode.