Five in the Box

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By Nate Tenopir, Sports Editor

After weeks of experimentation it seems Coach Blais has found some consistency in who plays on what line.  Having Alex Hudson center the top line allows UNO to have a presence down low and frees up Terry Broadhurst and Matt White to use their creativity in the offensive zone.  The stabilization of the other three lines has led to 28 points over the last month compared to just 15 points in the eight games before that.  While the top line is certainly the best, the next two lines should be starting to concern opponents as well.

It’s difficult to say when or even if Fredrik Bergman will get a shot in goal.  Last weekend showed that both Ryan Massa and Dayn Belfour are well within getting a regular start each weekend.  John Faulkner may have had an up and down season so far, but with as good as he was last year it’s unlikely that the coaching staff will keep him out of the net for an extended period of time.  The staff will most likely stick by Faulkner and wait for either Massa or Belfour to emerge or fall off.  Even then, there’s not much guaranteed playing time for Bergman.

Any shot UNO has at claiming the conference championship will either take a serious hit or become a serious chance in the next month and a half.  Granted there are two non-conference series mixed in there but it’s important to have some success in those series then carry it into matchups with North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth.   The final series against Minnesota and Denver will have little effect on the conference title if UNO doesn’t take care of business now.

Johnnie Searfoss may not be putting up quite the numbers that could have been expected of him, but he’s a major reason behind the success of linemates Jayson Megna and Josh Archibald.  Blais calls Searfoss a player who gives the team a spark when things aren’t going well.  That competitiveness and focus is rubbing off on Jayson Megna and Archibald, who look much different on the ice than they did just two months ago.

Terry Broadhurst and Matt White have been playing at a different level all year.  It’s difficult to remember another time where one Mav, let alone two, have been so dominant for so long.   Don’t look now, WCHA, but Broadhurst has one more year at UNO and White is only a sophomore.

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