This Week The No. 18/RV Omaha hockey team returns to NCHC play this week, hosting No. 7/7 North Dakota on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6 and 7. Both games begin at 7:07 p.m. from Baxter Arena. The series marks the first two of four meetings between the schools this season. They will face off again on Feb. 24-25 in Grand Forks, N.D.
The Teams Omaha is 11-6-3 this season and 4-4-0-0/0 in the NCHC, putting it in fifth place. The Mavericks are coming off 4-1 and 5-3 wins over visiting Lake Superior State on Dec. 30-31. Omaha is 4-5-1 at home this season. UNO trails the all-time series with the Fighting Hawks, 7-12-1, and is 3-7-0 vs. UND at home. The Mavericks have won four of their last five games and are 5-3-2 in their last 10.
North Dakota comes to Omaha with a record of 10-6-3 overall and a mark of 3-4-1-1/0 in the NCHC, good for sixth place. The Fighting Hawks played just one game last weekend, knocking off then No. 10 Union, 3-1 in Schenectady, N.Y. They are 4-3-1 away from home this season, a record that includes a neutral site win. Like Omaha, UND is 5-3-2 in its 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 402-237-61 in his career as a head coach and has guided the Mavericks to a mark of 140-122-28. 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).
Brad Berry is in his second season behind the North Dakota bench, having led the Fighting Hawks to a national championship in his first season. The 2002 graduate of UND is 44-12-7 at his alma mater. The one-time assistant coach to Dean Blais at UND is assisted by Dane Jackson and Matt Shaw.
Media Both games this weekend will be televised live. Friday’s game will be seen statewide on NET. Dave Ahlers will call the action, former Maverick David Brisson will offer analysis and Larry Punteney will report. Saturday’s game will be shown on American Sports Network. Dave Ellis will call the game, and Pat Micheletti will provide commentary.
Both games also can be heard live on 1180 The Zone 2. Gary Sharp will call the game on Friday while Ahlers will handle the play by play on Saturday. Terry Leahy provides analysis, and Lester St. James reports both nights. 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 are back on the road next weekend, visiting Colorado College for games on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13-14 at Colorado Springs World Arena.