Tag: Dean Blais


Tonight on NBCSN: No. 14 Nebraska-Omaha hosts No. 7 North Dakota


Two top coaches have their programs neck-and-neck in the WCHA race.

No. 14 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (16-10-2) vs. No. 7 University of North Dakota (14-8-6) — 8:30 p.m. ET

The battle to earn the top spot in the WCHA is raging on and tonight’s game features two teams trying to keep pace with St. Cloud State to earn the crown. For homestanding Nebraska-Omaha, it’s been a good run of late. They’ve won five of their last eight and only have losses to Michigan Tech and Denver in that span.

We’ve seen UNO a couple times this season and we’ve seen all shades of what they can do. From steamrolling the likes of Army and Colorado College, losing a nailbiter to Notre Dame and getting blown away by Denver. They’ve been tough in conference but handling North Dakota presents one huge line of issues for coach Dean Blais’ team to contend with.

For the former Fighting Sioux, they have a dynamic duo of scorers in Danny Kristo and Corban Knight (pictured) for the UNO defense to contend with. They’ve been getting points aplenty over the last couple months, but lately wins have escaped them. In their past eight games, North Dakota is just 2-3-3.  On the upside, they’re 1-0-2 in their last three. Hey, a tie is better than a loss… Right? By the way, North Dakota has 14 NHL-drafted players on their roster. Not a bad job of recruiting there by Dave Hakstol.

NHL prospects to watch

UND has a veritable army of players to keep an eye on. The big two are both seniors in Knight (Florida) and Kristo (Montreal). They’re supported by a few others that you may have heard of. Freshman forward and Team USA WJC gold medalist Rocco Grimaldi (Florida) and sophomore forward Mark MacMillan (Montreal) have provided them with a solid secondary attack. There’s a lot to work with here for North Dakota including undrafted guys like senior forward Carter Rowney and junior goalie Clarke Saunders.

Others: Dillon Simpson (JR – D – Edmonton), Joe Gleason (SR – D – Chicago), Derek Forbort (JR – D – Los Angeles), Nick Mattson (SO – D – Chicago), Jordan Schmaltz (FR – D – St. Louis), Michael Parks (SO – F – Philadelphia), Brendan O’Donnell (SO – F – Tampa Bay), Andrew MacWilliam (SR – D – Toronto), Derek Rodwell (JR – F – New Jersey), Zane Gothberg (G – FR – Boston)

UNO’s top players are more or less undrafted players. Senior forward Ryan Walters leads the team in points and is a likely free agent signing after his season is over. Sophomore forward Josh Archibald (Pittsburgh) is Walters’ go-to guy on the attack. Sophomore Dominic Zombo and junior Matt White follow up as other undrafted players leading the charge.

Others: Bryce Aneloski (SR – D – Ottawa), Brent Gwidt (SR – F – Washington), Nick Seeler (FR – D – Minnesota), Tanner Lane (FR – F – Winnipeg), Brian Cooper (FR – D – Anaheim)

(Picture: UND Sports)

Back to Class: Defending champion BC taking care of business early

Johnny Gaudreau, Isaac MacLeod, Pat Mullane

We’re taking you “Back To Class” for our roundup of the weekend’s action in college hockey. Look for more college hockey on NBCSN Friday night November 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET, as Cornell takes on Harvard.

When Boston College dropped their first game of the year, a 3-1 road loss to Northeastern, it was enough to knock them out of their preseason No. 1 ranking in the polls. After returning to No. 1 last week, the Eagles could’ve found themselves in a trap against last season’s NCAA tournament surprise team and Hockey East rival UMass-Lowell this weekend.

Instead, BC swept the weekend earning a 1-0 win in Lowell on Friday and a 6-3 decision at home on Sunday. Now that they’re on track and riding a four-game winning streak, BC next heads off to Orono on Friday for a battle against early season disappointment Maine and follow that with a rematch against UMass at home on Sunday.

Jerry York’s club best not get caught looking ahead to what sets up for an early-season throwdown with Notre Dame the following week. With the play of sophomore Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary) and senior Pat Mullane (undrafted), Maine and UMass will have their hands full.


Butt-whooping of the weekend: Frozen Four semifinalists Union College got to stretch their legs on Friday night taking out a hapless American International team 8-0. The Dutchmen must’ve tired themselves out as they merely drew a 2-2 tie against UConn the following night. Union had better be ready to go this weekend as they’ve got a home-and-home set with local rivals RPI.

CCHA going out in style: It’s the final year of the conference as everyone is heading for either the Big Ten or NCHC, but Michigan and Miami made this weekend worthwhile as the teams split their games over the weekend. Michigan won Friday night’s tilt 4-2 while the Redhawks won a 4-3 thriller on Saturday. Let’s hope these two hockey powers keep it up all year long.

New home on the range: Nebraska-Omaha earned approval for a new on-campus rink. With the Mavericks headed to the NCHC next season, a new building and a new big-time conference will help coach Dean Blais sell that program even more.

Black Knights bounce back: Sure, Army lost to the new kids on the block, Penn State, 5-0 last week — but they bounced back big this weekend thumping Holy Cross 7-2. That makes a nice gift to coach Brian Riley for his 100th career win.

Tonight on NBCSN: Notre Dame, Nebraska-Omaha meet in Icebreaker final

T.J. Tynan
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It was a quiet but stellar start to the season for Notre Dame while Nebraska-Omaha started with a bang at the Icebreaker Tournament in Kansas City.

The No. 13 Fighting Irish knocked off Maine 1-0 last night thanks to a T.J. Tynan (Blue Jackets) goal and a 22-save shutout from Steven Summerhays. UNO beat up on Army 5-1 getting goals from five different players to help set up tonight’s tournament championship game (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Of the two teams, Notre Dame had the more difficult opponent in Maine last night and put 33 shots on Black Bears goalie Dan Sullivan. While getting just one goal could be discouraging, it was one of their big guns who scored it.

Meanwhile, UNO coach Dean Blais and his team’s tough defense will have their hands full in trying to wrangle Notre Dame’s attack. Considering the offensive output they had on Army last night, they’re hoping they’ve got a few more goals to go around to test the Irish.

Tonight on NBCSN: The Icebreaker Tournament

Ice Breaker Tournament - Kansas City

While we wait for the NHL to figure their situation out, college hockey’s season is under way and with it so is NBCSN’s coverage beginning with tonight’s Icebreaker Tournament in Kansas City featuring Notre Dame, Maine, Nebraska-Omaha, and Army.

(No. 13) Notre Dame vs. Maine — (7:05 p.m. ET)

The Fighting Irish kick off their season against the Black Bears with Maine coming in already with a blemish on their record thanks to a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac last week.

Notre Dame comes in with a pair of highly talented forwards in Islanders prospect Anders Lee and Blue Jackets hopeful future star T.J. Tynan. Those two spearheaded the attack for the Irish last season and you can expect them to be even more daunting for teams to cover this year.

Notre Dame also brings in a pair of big time freshmen in 2012 draft picks Mario Lucia (Wild) and Thomas DiPauli (Capitals). Maine might have trouble containing everyone.

Meanwhile, the Black Bears have one of the better players in the country in forward Joey Diamond. He was a Hobey Baker finalist last season and if Maine is going to make a push this season, he’ll need to be at the forefront. He’ll get some big help from senior forwards Adam Shemansky and Kyle Beattie.

Nebraska-Omaha vs. Army (10:05 p.m. ET)

UNO head coach Dean Blais is one of the most respected figures in the game and he’ll hope he can have his team get off to the right start against a struggling Army program.

Blais will have a staunch defense to lead the way but scoring goals will be the trick for them. Forwards Matt White, Josh Archibald, Ryan Walters, and Brock Montpetit will have to carry the load there. Things are a bit crowded in goal for the Mavericks as they’ll rely on John Faulkner and Dayn Belfour to do most of the work. Flyers 2012 draft pick Anthony Stolarz is there too.

As for Army, it’s looking like tough sledding for them.

After winning just four games last year, they come into the season with 13 new players after graduating 12 over the summer. You won’t find any NHL prospects at Army, but what you will get is a team that doesn’t give up on games or wear down. If UNO isn’t careful, Army could surprise them.

Tonight on NBCSN: No. 9 Denver closes out WCHA season with Nebraska Omaha

Jason Zucker
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It’s the final weekend of WCHA action and the No. 9 Denver Pioneers need a strong finish to stay in the hunt with Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth. Having to go on the road to Nebraska Omaha to take on the Mavericks (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) won’t make it easy.

The Pioneers are led by coach George Gwozdecky and head into this weekend’s series losers of two of their last three games. After losses to both Wisconsin and North Dakota, the Pioneers will look to the Shore brothers Drew (Florida Panthers) and Nick (Los Angeles Kings) as well as Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild – pictured) to buoy their offense. Denver needs one win this weekend to lock up finishing third in the WCHA.

Scoring goals isn’t usually a problem for Denver, however. Stopping pucks is their bugaboo. Sophomore Sam Brittain (Florida) has been their main man in goal since returning from injury. When Brittain hasn’t been getting the start, freshman Juho Olkinuora has been the best of what Denver has in goal. If DU is going to make a run through the WCHA playoffs and to the NCAAs, it’ll need to be Brittain that leads the way.

Nebraska Omaha comes into tonight’s game in the middle of the pack in the conference and trying to avoid potentially falling to eighth in the WCHA. Finishing sixth or better earns them home ice in the first round of the conference playoffs next weekend and a better chance of winding up in the Final Five in St. Paul.

source:  The Mavericks are led by legendary coach Dean Blais. You might recall Blais from his effort coaching the 2010 American World Junior Championship team to the gold medal over Canada. The Mavericks, meanwhile, have had their ups and downs this season and come into this weekend losers of three of their last four.

Sophomore Matt White (pictured) has been their superstar on offense this season with 17 goals and 39 points. Meanwhile junior Terry Broadhurst and freshman Jayson Megna are also 30-point scorers for the Mavericks. Freshman and Penguins draftee Josh Archibald has had a quietly good season with 10 goals. Bryce Aneloski (Ottawa Senators) leads the way on defense and provides some scoring touch as well with six goals and 20 points.

In goal, the Mavericks are splitting duties up between freshman Ryan Massa and senior John Faulkner. Massa has gotten three more starts and put up much better numbers than Faulkner. Expect Massa to get the call for UNO down the stretch, freshman or not.