NCHC Snapshot: Nebraska-Omaha
Nebraska-Omaha struggled down the stretch and ended up finishing 8-15-1 (.354 winning percentage) in the NCHC, taking sixth in the conference in 2015-16.
The Mavericks tied Miami in Oxford Nov. 20, but the RedHawks would claim the extra point in the NCHC standings on a Louie Belpedio rebound goal in the series finale the next night.
UNO finished the year 18-17-1 (.514), taking sixth overall and was eliminated from the NCHC Tournament in the first round, as the Mavericks were swept by Denver.
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Dean Blais (8th season, 129-116-25, .524 winning percentage).
2015-16 RECORD: 18-17-1 (8-15-1, sixth in NCHC, .514 winning percentage).
POSTSEASON RESULT: Swept by Denver in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
RINK (capacity): Baxter Arena, Omaha, Nebraska (7,898).
LAST SEASON VS. MIAMI: 1-2-1 (In Oxford Nov. 20-21, 3-3 tie, 3-2 win/ In Omaha Jan. 22-23, 3-1, 7-3 losses to the RedHawks).
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 18-11-4.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: In Oxford Nov. 11-12; in Omaha Jan. 20-21.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: F Austin Ortega, F Justin Parizek, D Luc Snuggerud (141st overall pick by CHI in 2014).
KEY NEW FACES: F Colin Grannary (Delta, British Columbia/Merritt-BCHL), D Ryan Jones (Crown Point, Ind./Lincoln USHL), G Kris Oldham (TBL 153rd pick in 2015).
NOTES: Nebraska-Omaha has finished third, third and sixth in the eight-team NCHC in three seasons.
The Mavericks scored 103 goals last season, the top scorer, Jake Guentzel, who has graduated, notched 19 goals in 35 games, while dishing out 27 assist.
Austin Ortega is the team’s top returning scorer with 36 points, including a team-best 21 goals, and Ortega was first on the team in power-play goals (seven).
The Mavericks blue line stays well intact as the team returns all but one defenseman. Nebraska-Omaha’ top D-man, Luc Snuggerud, lead his defensive corps in points with 18, lighting the lamp four times.
Goalie Even Weninger returns between the pipes for the Mavericks, having gone 13-8-0 in a team-high 21 games a season ago. Weninger will have freshman netminder Kris Oldham looking to split time in the crease for the Mavs.
Nebraska-Omaha have added seven freshman to join the already young program. The Mavericks will only have three seniors for the 2016-17 campaign, while piling up 17 underclassman.
The Mavs jumped out to a great 6-0 start last year before dropping their final eight games, including being swept by Denver in the NCHC tournament. Nebraska-Omaha would like to play better in the third period of games, as they were outscored 39-26 in the final frame.