After Coach Mike Gabinet’s sophomore campaign as head coach of Omaha Hockey came to a close, it was easy to say the 2018-19 season didn’t go as planned.
Finishing with an overall record of 9-24-3 and 5-17-2 in the powerhouse of the NCHC, good enough for 7th place, Gabinet looks to make major strides during the upcoming season to put the Mavs back on top.
With UNO’s schedule being released this past week with what appears to be a tough non-conference schedule to start the year off, Omaha will work hard this offseason in hopes of starting off on the right foot. Gabinet and company’s first series will take place on Oct. 11and 12 at Omaha’s Baxter Arena, when the Mavs host Alabama Huntsville in a two-game series.
The rest of the non-conference schedule features top-tier programs such as Ohio State and the Badgers of Wisconsin. Although most recently, Omaha has dominated the Buckeyes on the ice. The last five matchups between the two teams saw UNO go 4-0-1 since February 2010 against Ohio State. As for the Badgers, Omaha is just 4-8-1 all-time against Wisconsin but split their most-recent series back in 2016.
Included again in this year’s non-conference schedule is a slept-on Alaska Anchorage team, a series the Mavs should be competitive in. Last year UNO swept Anchorage by a combined score of 7-0 at home. This time Omaha will travel to them, which may have an impact early on in the season. The Mavs will also face off with the all-too-familiar Sun Devils of Arizona State in December, a team UNO swept at home but also got swept by on the road last year.
More importantly, is the tough NCHC road ahead in 2019-20 as the Mavs hope to redeem their disappointing 2018-19 campaign. They have two series with conference foes; Western Michigan, Miami Ohio, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota and Colorado College. Two of the most prominent programs in the NCHC: Denver and St. Cloud State, will only play one series with the Mavs during the regular season.
A conference that has won four straight national titles and featured two teams in the Frozen Four, with Denver and the eventual repeat National Champion Bulldogs of Minnesota-Duluth, proves Coach Gabinet and company have their plates full in an attempt to regain the reigns of the NCHC.
While we await the preseason polls to see where UNO stands in the eyes of the experts, the schedule is poised to help Omaha make a run for a national championship.
All other schedule dates and times can be found on the Mavs official site www.omavs.com.