When Ryan Massa suited up to start in net for UNO's exhibition against the U.S. Under-18 Team, the consequences may not have been clear. According to NCAA rules, any student-athlete past freshman year surrenders his or her redshirt for participation in an exhibition game.
Thus, Massa's time between the pipes just weeks after rejoining the program means he is now officially using his second year of college eligibility.
Though a weekend playoff sweep to Bemidji State puts UNO squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, Dean Blais and the Mavs returned to business as usual on Monday afternoon. With conference tournaments this week and selection Sunday approaching, the team is hopeful they've done enough to earn a spot in hockey's big dance.
As the competition has discovered during the course of UNO's first eight games, it can be difficult to know which player or line to stop in order to be successful against the Mavs.
UNO's 5-2 victory Saturday night earned the Mavs a split in their final conference series at No. 11 Minnesota-Duluth and sole possession of third place in the WCHA. It's the highest conference finish the team has ever had in the 14-year history of UNO hockey.
Senior forward Rich Purslow scored 9:35 into the second period Saturday night giving UNO a 3-2 lead. They never looked back, winning 5-2 against Minnesota State. After a 5-1 win Friday night in the opening game of the series, UNO was able to hold home ice in its first ever WCHA series in Omaha.