What's worse than a season-ending surgery in just your second year in the NHL? Try another one barely a year later.
The tournament will draw the likes of fellow Summit League members North Dakota State, Western Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as Concordia-St. Paul, Iowa Western CC and Grand Canyon.
Matt White, Brent Gwidt and Ryan Walters each had two goals over the winter break and UNO finished 2011 with a 2-1-1 record in its final four games of the calendar year. Although UNO was looking for three wins in four games, going 2-1-1 over the break at least avoided disaster. Anything less may have ruined a less than impressive NCAA tournament resume.
Freshman forward Johnnie Searfoss scored UNO's only goal of the series as the Mavericks got swept in last weekend's trip to fellow conference newcomer Bemidji State. It was the Mavs' first weekend without a single conference point since last year's December trip to Ferris State. The two losses at the hands of the Beavers equal the total number of losses UNO has suffered in its first 12 games of the season.
Head Coach Dean Blais and several of his players often call hockey a funny game. A week ago Blais and the Mavs were swept for the first time all season, on the road at no. 5 Quinnipiac.
Seven days later UNO completed a conference sweep of Colorado College and found themselves atop the WCHA standings.
The 8-4 victory on Friday and the 3-1 win on Saturday pushed the Mavs from 17 conference points to 21. UNO jumped out of a three-way tie with Denver and North Dakota and past second place St. Cloud State.
It's undeniable that every player on the UNO hockey roster dreams of one day playing in the NHL. For eight players, the dream is a little closer to reality than most.