The Mavericks face Wisconsin for the first time since March of 2013.
Courtesy: Mark Kuhlmann

Mavericks' Road Trip Winds Through Wisconsin

Omaha Athletics | December 01, 2016
This Week
The Omaha hockey team plays the middle series of three straight on the road this weekend, traveling to Wisconsin for games on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3.  Friday’s game begins at 7:37 p.m., and Saturday’s game starts at 8:07 p.m. from the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.

The Teams
Omaha is 7-5-2 this season and 3-3-0-0/0 in the NCHC, tying it with Western Michigan for third place.  The Mavericks are coming off a 2-2 tie and a 2-0 win at Northern Michigan last weekend in Marquette.  The Mavericks are 5-0-1 on the road or at neutral sites this season.  UNO trails the all-time series with Wisconsin, 3-8-0, and is 1-3-0 at the Kohl Center.

Wisconsin is 7-5-0 this season and has yet to play a game in the Big Ten Hockey Conference.  The Badgers are coming off a pair of games in Colorado last weekend.  They began with a 2-1 win at Colorado College before dropping a 6-5 decision at Denver.  UW is 3-3-0 at home this season.

The Coaches
Dean Blais is in his eighth year as the head coach of the Mavericks, having led UNO to three 20-win campaigns in that time.  The 1973 graduate of Minnesota has posted a record of 398-236-60 in his career as a head coach and has guided the Mavericks to a mark of 136-121-27.

Blais is a two-time Spencer Penrose Memorial Award winner as the Division I coach of the year and a four-time winner of the WCHA’s Coach of the Year Award.  He spent 10 years as head coach at North Dakota where he led UND to national championships in 1997 and 2000.  He is joined by associate head coach Mike Gabinet, a former UNO defenseman and a 2004 graduate, and assistant coach Leigh Mendelson, a 2015 Omaha graduate and former volunteer assistant coach for the team (2014-16).

Tony Granato is in his first season as head coach at Wisconsin.  A standout at UW from 1983 to 1987, he also is a veteran of 774 NHL games and 14 seasons as an NHL assistant and head coach.  Granato is 7-5-0 in his nascent college hockey coaching career.  He is assisted by his brother, Don, and Mark Osiecki.

Media
Friday's game will be shown live on American Sports Network.  Fred Pletsch will call the game, and Pat Micheletti will have analysis.  Both games also can be heard live on 1180 The Zone 2.  Dave Ahlers will handle the play by play, and Terry Leahy provides analysis.  Coverage begins 30 minutes before game time with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show.  Live video, audio and stats can be found at OMavs.com.

Up Next
The Mavericks finish their road trip and the first half of their schedule on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10 at St. Cloud State.  Friday’s game begins at 7:37 p.m., and Saturday’s game starts at 7:07 p.m. from the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.

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