10.30.2009 / Posting by The UNO Athletic Office, The Voice of the Durango

Near the end of the Nebraska-Lincoln 7-9 loss to Iowa State on Saturday, a fan behind me held up his Maverick hat and yelled, "At least we have got a good hockey team in this state!" After jumping out to a 3-0-1 start that includes a tournament championship, a new era in Maverick hockey has begun.

"After jumping out to a 3-0-1 start that includes a tournament championship, a new era in Maverick hockey has begun."

Prior to June (or maybe even October), the name Dean Blais probably didn’t mean much to many people in Omaha. Around the country, he has been building a name in hockey since the 1970s, when he played at the collegiate level. As North Dakota’s head coach from 1994-2004, he went 262-115-33 and led his teams to five regular-season WCHA conference titles, two WCHA championship appearances, seven NCAA tournament appearances, one Frozen Four Runner-Up and two National Championships. Last year, Blais led UHSL expansion team Fargo to a 32-23-5 record, including a trip to the USHL Finals and was named USHL Coach of the Year.

When Blais was hired as UNO’s second-ever head coach, he said he would bring more of an offensive-style of play to the Mavericks. This has proved true so far this season, and has looked great. The team is hustling down the ice, making a lot of passes and taking more shots. They definitely look like a team that’s been practicing together for months.

The battle for goaltender will also be interesting to watch this season. You have senior Jeremie Dupont and redshirt freshman John Faulkner both aiming for the starting position. As a senior, there are high hopes and expectations for Dupont. The attention has shifted to Faulkner, who came out in relief for Dupont in both Icebreaker games. In his two starts at Colgate, Faulkner earned a win and a tie. It should be exciting to see how this plays out.

The Mavericks face Bowling Green (0-4) this weekend. The teams play October 30th at 7:35 p.m. and October 31st at 8:05 p.m. Bowling Green has been outscored 18-6 and outshot 153-95 in their four games. It will be a perfect weekend for the Mavs to continue developing their new style of play.
This year is one of the most anticipated seasons in the history of UNO Hockey. It is great to represent Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. This year marks the beginning of a journey of unlimited potential and we look forward to sharing that journey with you.

Are you planning on attending the game?  If so, give your feedback after or before the game.

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