This Week The No. 20/RV Omaha hockey team returns to action with its final series of 2016 this week, hosting Lake Superior State of the WCHA on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30 and 31. Friday’s game begins at 7:07 p.m., and Saturday’s game starts at 4:07 p.m. from Baxter Arena.
The Teams Omaha is 9-6-3 this season and 4-4-0-0/0 in the NCHC, putting it in fifth place. The Mavericks are coming off a 3-1 win and a 4-2 loss at St. Cloud State on Dec. 9-10. The Mavericks return home for their first games at Baxter Arena since Nov. 18-19. They are 2-5-1 at home this season. UNO leads the all-time series with Lake Superior State, 14-9-5, and is 9-4-3 vs. the Lakers at home. The Mavericks are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.
Lake Superior State begins the week with a record of 8-9-1 overall and a mark of 5-8-1-0/0 in the WCHA, good for eighth place. The Lakers haven’t played since a 1-1 tie and a 3-2 loss at Bemidji State on Dec. 9-10. They are 3-6-1 this season on the road and are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games.
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 400-237-61 in his career as a head coach and has guided the Mavericks to a mark of 138-122-28. He earned his 400th career win at St. Cloud State on Dec. 9.
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).
Damon Whitten is in his third season as head coach at Lake Superior State. The 1997 graduate of Michigan State is 30-59-8 in his time behind the Lakers’ bench. He is assisted by Rich Metro and Doug Holewa.
Media Both games can be heard live on 1180 The Zone 2. Dave Ahlers will handle the play by play, Terry Leahy provides analysis, and Lester St. James reports. Coverage begins 30 minutes before game time with the First National Bank Pre-Game Show. Live video can be found at NCHC.tv while live audio and stats can be found at OMavs.com.
Up Next The Mavericks return to conference play on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6-7, when they host North Dakota at Baxter Arena.