By Jamie Melton, Contributor
The Maverick hockey team is currently seated eighth in the conference as they start the new season in a soon this season. Some students are accepting of the fact and look forward to proving the critics wrong; others think the critics made a mistake altogether when polled on campus.
Senior special education and elementary education major Max Kazmierczak is one such student who disagrees with the critic’s ratings.
“It’s crap,” Kazmierczak said. “The team will definitely prove the critics wrong this year, no doubt about it.”
Kazmierczak went on to talk about being new to University of Nebraska at Omaha as a transfer student, but how he knew the hockey team has always been competitive.
Another student compared hockey at UNO to football at University Nebraska-Lincoln.
“It’s one of the few sports here that UNO students and faculty can really rally behind,” said Xavier Rodriguez, a master’s student studying business administration.
Rodriguez also said the season will probably be tough on the Mavs, but he thinks they will pull off some big wins that will fire up the student body.
Brian Ithal, a senior neuroscience major, said he was content with the rating expressing optimism in the ranking– “It will be good to see them challenged more.”
As to whether or not this preseason poll puts a bearing on student interest for the games, the consensus was no.
Sophomore business student, Tanner Woslager says the poll will not affect his attendance or interest this season.
“Not at all,” Woslager said. ” The hockey games are a great time and a great atmosphere, that won’t change that.”
He also reiterated the benefit being an underdog can have for the team.
“We can only go up from here, it will give us a chip on our shoulder,” Woslager said.
Sophomore construction management student, Peter Niechwiadowicz, shared similar thoughts, but also shared why he thinks the poll turned out the way it did, referring to the dismissal of Matt White and Preston Hodge.
“I think the incident in the summer hurt them for the poll, because they were really good players,” Niechwiadowicz said.
Nonetheless, he doesn’t expect fan interest to drop.
” I don’t think so, it’s more about the UNO reputation,” Niechwiadowicz said. ” As a UNO student that doesn’t affect my willingness to go. I have more willingness to go back this year based on what they did last year.”
If success is found this year, the poll will be long forgotten by the end of the season.
“It’d be really great because hockey is our big sport. To be proud of our school would be big,” Niechwiadowicz said.
The Mavericks will square off in an exhibition game against NAIT on Oct. 7 in Omaha.