Last season UNO was picked to finish eighth and ninth in two preseason conference polls, partly because of their youth and inexperience.
The Mavs had never skated in the ultra-competitive WCHA, and 10 of the teams' 25 members were freshmen, new to the college game. Experience in the WCHA won't be an issue this season.
It may not have been 6-1, but the chances were definitely there. UNO hockey opened a second straight season with an exhibition against the University of British Columbia, this year winning 4-1.
Last Thursday, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University officially accepted invitations to join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference when the conference begins play in 2013-14. St. Cloud State is the sixth member of the WCHA to make the move, while Western Michigan becomes the second team from the CCHA.
Last Tuesday, Head Coach Dean Blais announced that the UNO hockey team had chosen senior forward Alex Hudson and junior forward Terry Broadhurst as team captains. Hudson and Broadhurst will start the new season not only as captains, but also as the Mavs' top two scorers from a year ago.
The back of the Canadian five-dollar note depicts children taking part in several winter sports including, of course, hockey. The image is accompanied by a quote from Roch Carrier's short story The Hockey Sweater: "The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places – the school, the church and the skating rink – but our real life was on the skating rink."
Players and coaches involved in the sport of hockey talk often about how small and close-knit the hockey world is. That connection was evident on Sunday Aug. 28 when the UNO hockey community came together to support one of its own.
In 2010, UNO became an official member of the WCHA, arguably the toughest conference in college hockey. With 37 national championships and a multitude of players in the NHL, the Mavs were picked to finish near the bottom of the conference.
The announcement of the 2011-12 UNO Hockey recruiting class included eight players – six out of the USHL, one from the Junior League in British Columbia and now an NHL draft pick.