Despite a struggle on the ice in 2018, the UNO Mavericks Hockey team is eager for more competition and a chance for redemption next year.
After Coach Gabinet’s second year, he and company will lose their top two leading scorers in Mason Morelli and Fredrik Olofsson. Both Mavericks found themselves inside the top 10 for overall scoring in the NCHC conference, but Omaha will look to fill their skates in hopes of another Frozen Four appearance in the near future.
Other notable players such as four-year starting goalie Evan Weninger, playmaker Ryan Galt, Jalen Schulz and Jordan Klehr will be moving on as well. Thankfully, underclassmen have been able to contribute and provide strong minutes for the Mavs in their first year, which is a positive in such a competitive conference.
To put things in perspective, UNO was eliminated from the NCHC conference playoffs via Minnesota Duluth, who still stands alive in the NCAA Frozen Four and will take on Providence on April 11th. The NCHC, in fact, featured three teams in the final 16 team field of the 2019 NCAA National Championship.
But for Omaha, freshman such as Tyler Weiss and Taylor Ward have been able to prove their worth early and often for Omaha and Coach Gabinet as his recruiting begins to pay off. Weiss and Ward played heavy minutes during their freshman campaign and supplied a combined 12 goals for the Mavs this season.
Under Coach Gabinet, players have been able to showcase their skills and maintain competitiveness in the NCHC, easily debated as the most powerful hockey conference in the nation.
As Omaha looks to get back in the Frozen Four, Coach Gabinet and the Mavs continue on their recruiting trail to get UNO back into the national conversation. An under-the-radar 2018 might be exactly what Gabinet and company need as expectations stay high in Omaha.