When Head Coach Dean Blais looks down his bench next season, a familiar face in Omaha hockey will no longer be by his side. Assistant Head Coach Mike Hastings, who spent 15 seasons with the Omaha Lancers and the last three with UNO, was named the head coach of the Minnesota State-Mankato hockey team last Saturday.
A season ago, Johnnie Searfoss had the luxury of playing alongside veteran players such as Rich Purslow, Joey Martin, Matt Ambroz and Alex Hudson. In his first year in the program, Searfoss showed a scoring touch.
When a guy hasn't scored a goal in a while, some critics might say he's gripping the stick a little too tightly. UNO Head Coach Dean Blais said he looks at the lack of scoring from some of his freshman a little differently.
UNO scored nine goals in a WCHA series against #2 Colorado College, but could only manage a weekend split with the Tigers. The Mavs won a back-and-forth, 7-5 game Friday, then got behind by two goals and lost 5-2 on Saturday.
Ryan Walters got his first two goals of the season, scoring the game winner on Friday and putting the game in a temporary 2-2 tie on Saturday. Assistant Captain Matt White had two goals and two assists in the series, and Captain Terry Broadhurst added three points of his own.
After failing to notch a victory in six chances against Bemidji St. last season, the UNO hockey team went to northern Minn. last weekend with an understanding of the challenge before them. Frustration Friday night gave way to a blowout Saturday night, and the Mavs snapped their seven-game winless streak against the Beavers.
St. Louis - After a summer of preparation, 38 games of competition and 2,352 minutes of game time, the UNO hockey season came down to a span of just 10 minutes and 21 seconds. In that short time span, the hopes and dreams of a Frozen Four appearance and potential national championship were wiped away.
Team success is most often predicated on preparation. The time put into off-season workouts, sweat spent at everyday practices and work that goes into learning your opponent are elements used by players and coaches throughout the sports landscape.