By Brian Brashaw
There is good news and bad news about the current situation for the UNO Maverick hockey team. The good news is that the team gained some confidence with a home sweep of Alabama-Huntsville last weekend. The bad news is that since the series was non-conference, the Mavericks slipped further back in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.
UNO, who has only been victorious in four of its last 14 conference games, now finds itself in eighth place with 15 points. Mixed in with the seven conference series, the Mavericks have played in two non-conference series in which they are 3-1. Their overall record since the newsworthy sweep of Michigan State is a subpar 7-8-3.
UNO will begin the second half of their conference play this weekend when they travel to take on Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a team that started slowly with a 3-6-4 mark. Since then, they have risen from the basement of the CCHA, and now find themselves one point ahead of the Mavericks. The Irish have posted a 7-3-1 record since the dismal start.
Bruised by injury all season, the Mavericks found a star in Shane Glover, if only for a weekend. Glover was named CCHA Player of the Week with his four goals and one assist against Alabama-Huntsville. Leading the team, however, is assistant captain Jeff Hoggan, who has tallied 15 goals and 15 assists. Hoggan has been the one consistent for the battered squad this year.
Although Brian Haaland started in net for UNO Saturday night, and played well, Dan Ellis is still the man in net for the Mavericks. Ellis has posted an overall goals against average of 2.71 on his way to an 11-9-3 record.
On the flip side of the coin, the luck of the Irish is propelled again by David Inman. Inman has similar numbers to Hoggan and leads the team with 12 goals and 12 assists.
In net for the Irish, Morgan Cey has been carrying the brunt of the load in favor of former Omaha Lancer Tony Zasowski. Cey currently has a 7-9-3 record with a 2.88 GAA.
The last few battles between the Mavericks and the Irish have been seesaw affairs. After UNO took a close 1-0 win from Notre Dame last year, the Shamrocks came back and smacked the Mavericks with their worst loss of the year, winning 7-3 at the Aud.
In UNO’s inaugural year in the CCHA, the Mavericks earned their first conference win over Notre Dame with a 5-3 win a day after a 2-2 tie. Later that year, UNO made their first trip to South Bend, and came home with a split.
The Mavericks return home the following weekend to take on Lake Superior State.