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HoosierBBall_GopherHockey
01-07-2013, 12:24 AM
I love Coach Blais:



Yeah. Right. Despite the fact that UNO has been #1 or #2 in the country in scoring offense for about a month now, has a serious Hobey Baker candidate on the team, has 4 of the WCHA's top 16 scorers on the team, all of whom are in the top 30, nationally and, oh, yeah, and one of those guys also just happens to be the leading scorer in the nation.

Other than that, we have no talent.

I'd like to see what we'd be doing with some talent, then.

It's hilarious that we are the first place team in the WCHA, all by our lonesome, and out of the 6 ranked WCHA teams, we are the lowest ranked at #16. And, the 6th place team in our conference is currently the #1 ranked team in the country. If this isn't the good ole' boy network hard at work, I don't know what is. Makes college football rankings look positively sane. Worse, still, is that I bet we aren't even in the top 10 tomorrow when the poll comes out. No offense, Gophers, but it is pretty easy to see why you guys earn so much enmity from fans of other WCHA teams. I'll be shocked if we move up very much past SCSU, who we are going to for sure pass.

All that aside, Pairwise is all that matters, obviously, and we don't fare much better there. At least if the tournament started tomorrow we'd be in it.

You realize if Minnesota sweeps UAA next weekend at Mariucci (very plausible), they will have the same # of WCHA points as UNO, with the same # of games played, right? Or did you forget to see that Minnesota has played 2 less WCHA games than UNO? Only UND is currently ahead of them in the WCHA standings, due to games in hand.

Red Cows
01-07-2013, 01:34 AM
You realize if Minnesota sweeps UAA next weekend at Mariucci (very plausible), they will have the same # of WCHA points as UNO, with the same # of games played, right? Or did you forget to see that Minnesota has played 2 less WCHA games than UNO? Only UND is currently ahead of them in the WCHA standings, due to games in hand.

Yup. Expected. You sweep them and we lose both games at DU (offered as a scenario, only) and you are just tied with us, though. I readily acknowledge the nuttiness of the whole thing. My commentary was only about the current snapshot of things. There is a LONG way to go in the WCHA. I would not be shocked to see ANY of the current top 6 teams end up on top. I can even see very plausible scenarios where Mankato wins the conference. Do not forget that the Mavericks, both purple and red, have 2 of the 3 easiest remaining schedules in the WCHA and that the other of those 3 is Alaska Anchorage, who isn't winning the conference even if they go 14-0-0 the rest of the way.

I can see us plausibly going 11-3-0 the rest of the way, optimistically. There aren't many seasons in the WCHA where 20-7-1 hasn't won the conference. I can even see Mankato going as much as 10-4 in their remaining games. That puts them at 18-10-0. That record would have won a lot of WCHA conference titles. There is a ton of hockey left to played in the WCHA. I'd rather be in our shoes than yours, frankly, looking at the schedule. After your UAA series, you guys have 6 games right in a row against #'s 8, 12, & 19 in Pairwise. Meanwhile, we're playing, at the same time, #9, not a Tuc, and not a Tuc. And, right after that, we play at home against #8 (North Dakota), except that they are going to be doing it in front of the largest indoor crowd in UNO history on Friday night, February 8th, on national television, in front of 16,000+, and then they are going to have to play us again the next afternoon, outdoors, in front of another 25,000 or so. Then, our schedule finishes out against: not a Tuc, not a Tuc, and not a Tuc. Bear in mind these are all conference games.

I like our chances. Particularly when considering who our head coach is.

gmf1a
01-07-2013, 02:37 PM
Thanks to the Omaha fans from some Colorado College fans at the UNO series last weekend.

Everyone is so nice to us in Omaha that even a swept trip is fun !!!

Met some UNO players and Dads - met lots of UNO fans including some who looked me up from last year

Got some free beer and good conversation

Road trip to UNO is a treat for sure

We had one convert - maybe less than 5 years old
During the "Lets Go UNO" chant he was saying Tigers instead of UNO
Dad said - no you should say UNO
Kid said - "No Dad I like Tigers"

HoosierBBall_GopherHockey
01-07-2013, 02:39 PM
Stolarz is headed to the OHL. I assume this is a huge blow to UNO, maybe not this year, but for the next few years.

From GPL:

http://www.omavs.com/news/2013/1/7/MHOCKEY_0107131248.aspx?path=mhockey

unomavfan
01-07-2013, 02:55 PM
Pretty disappointed in Stolarz decision to leave the team. Hopefully Massa returns next year if not that leaves UNO with only one goalie Dayne Belfour.

Red Cows
01-07-2013, 02:58 PM
Stolarz is headed to the OHL. I assume this is a huge blow to UNO, maybe not this year, but for the next few years.

From GPL:

http://www.omavs.com/news/2013/1/7/MHOCKEY_0107131248.aspx?path=mhockey

I'm not overly concerned. I've never been a fan of huge goalies and even though he's listed as 6' 6", he's actually 6' 7", or so I have been told by several people in the know.

Ryan Massa will be back with UNO next season as he wanted a year off this season and redshirted. He basically had taken the job from Faulkner last season and I don't think Faulkner, who is a 5th year senior that had already graduated even before the season started, would have even been back if Massa hadn't taken a year off.

Plus, UNO also has Dayn Belfour waiting in the wings. Yup, those Belfours. He was the only UNO goalie with a winning record last season, I might add.

BCat
01-07-2013, 03:51 PM
Lets be serious here Belfour was not getting to get any serious playing time previously, though I guess he might now. I do wish him the best, but if was a contender he would have played some this year already. It seems to me that one of the best goalies that UNO faced in the last years of the CCHA was Chad Johnson from Alaska (who was pretty tall), really I think someone would have to crunch some numbers to prove that taller goalies are worse. Personally I don't think this is good for UNO, hopefully Massa comes back as I did not think that was an absolute that he was coming back.

Pants
01-07-2013, 04:57 PM
This sucks, we needed Stolarz next year. Who is advising these players? Watching him, he had such potential.

I also believe Belfour will still not get much time, clearly there is a reason he isn't. The coaches and staff that spend time with him everyday know a lot we don't. they are obviously comfortable with him as a backup, he may get a night once or twice, but I see Blais riding Johnny the rest of the way out.

MAVFANJEFF
01-07-2013, 06:48 PM
goodbye quitter. We got no time for quitters. I hope you get stuck in that net when you're not holding the door open. I have no fear. Massa will be back and DEan will find another goalie too. Didn't we have another goalie do that a few years back? Can't remember his name, and it hasn't been on the nhl home page to remind me. Nice sweep fellahs.

Red Cows
01-07-2013, 09:44 PM
Personally I don't think this is good for UNO, hopefully Massa comes back as I did not think that was an absolute that he was coming back.

I haven't heard or seen anything that diverges from this:

http://www.uscho.com/2012/07/11/nebraska-omaha-goalie-massa-to-take-year-off-for-personal-reasons/

Red Cows
01-07-2013, 10:18 PM
I also believe Belfour will still not get much time, clearly there is a reason he isn't. The coaches and staff that spend time with him everyday know a lot we don't. they are obviously comfortable with him as a backup, he may get a night once or twice, but I see Blais riding Johnny the rest of the way out.

I think Stolarz was getting some time that he otherwise might not have because they were concerned that this might happen on some level. It did, anyway. The fact that he was getting any meaningful time over a 5th year senior, who was 3rd team all conference two seasons ago, tells me that, since he is/was a freshman, and only 18 years old at that.

And, I think we're gonna see Belfour get some PT as soon as Coach Blais gets into a game situation where he feels comfortable using him if for no other reason but to get the dust off him. How much beyond that is anybody's guess. Obviously, we're gonna be recruiting and signing a goalie in the off season. Or, maybe not, with Massa coming back.

I'll remind you that Belfour was the only UNO goalie with a winning record last season albeit in limited playing time. That said, his USHL numbers were not exactly stellar prior to his arrival here.

Red Cows
01-08-2013, 10:28 PM
Rob White of the Omaha World-Herald's weekly WCHA power ratings:

http://omaha.com/article/20130106/MAVS/701069858/1089#wcha-rankings-jan-7

I post this because, while Rob is a nice guy and does a decent job covering the Omaha Stormchasers for the World Herald, it is pretty clear he doesn't know almost anything about hockey. I mean this, literally. Or, put another way, not even close to well enough to be the paper's go-to guy on hockey. My guess is that he has the gig because either nobody else at the paper wants it or they don't have anybody else to give it to. He was the between periods interview on the radio against CC on Saturday night and all the regulars on this board would have been rolling on the ground laughing at the unbelievably milquetoast nature of and the line of the questioning he was given by UNO color man, Terry Leahy during the interview. I suspect that Terry knows this because he is one of the better hockey announcers, as a color man, I've ever heard, and it was obvious he was asking questions he thought Rob might be able to handle. Guess they couldn't find anybody else to have on between periods. The whole interview lasted maybe 2 minutes or so, too, as opposed to most between periods interviews.

In any event, Rob has apparently been the drinking the koolade that somebody has been feeding him about our defense corps as he ordains them "one of the country's best groups of defensemen" in the power rankings at the link above despite the fact that UNO:

1. Has all of 1 shut-out this season (against UAH, I might add)
2. Is ranked 25th in team defense in the NCAA and 6th in the WCHA.
3. Has the 32nd ranked penalty kill in the nation and 6th in the WCHA.
4. Has allowed more goals than all but 4 WCHA teams.

Those are not the stats of "one of the country's best groups of defensemen".

The irony is that, prior to the start of the season, it was widely assumed that the defense would carry this team to wherever it might go this season and, instead, it's one of the 2 biggest problems with the team with the goaltending being the secondary, lesser issue, than the defense. And, of course, the defense is part of the problem with the goaltending.

If UNO has serious post-season aspirations then the defense needs to start playing more like "one of the country's best groups of defensemen", because, they have not, to date.

Red Cows
01-08-2013, 11:22 PM
Late breaking news. Ryan Massa to the "rescue":

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130108/MAVS/701089887/1707#goalie-massa-back-at-uno-blais-hopes-to-redshirt-him

Not a shock.

J.D.
01-09-2013, 08:18 PM
Outsider here...saw the story on the front page. Why did Massa leave in the first place if he led the team in minutes last year?

Red Cows
01-09-2013, 08:55 PM
Outsider here...saw the story on the front page. Why did Massa leave in the first place if he led the team in minutes last year?

That's a good question and Coach Blais has not ever said. "Personal reasons" were all I ever heard. That covers a lot of ground. Here's the story when announced:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120711/MAVS/707129999/1707

When it happened I didn't actually "ask around" about this so I don't know any more than that.

Red Cows
01-10-2013, 05:25 PM
For anybody that is interested in such things, here is a VERY interesting legal summation/perspective of UNO's recent decision to do away with football and wrestling from both the financial angle and the Title IX side of things, and as that all related to hockey at UNO. This appeared in the Willamette Sports Law Review Journal just this fall:

http://www.willamette.edu/wucl/resources/journals/sportslaw/documents/Fall%202012/p3.pdf

Fascinating read and not overly long. It endorses what the university did, mostly because of the Title IX implications of the whole affair.

I assume they have a degree program at this college in sports law and they found this particular situation to be worthy of such an in-depth look and writeup since the school could hardly be much farther from UNO, being located in Salem, OR.

Red Cows
01-12-2013, 04:59 PM
The one thing you can definitely say about last night's game is that it underscored UNO's goaltending issues.

Faulkner is a "serviceable" goalie. That's all.

Coach Blais with none too pleased with our keeper in the paper today.

UNO fan is calling out UNO defenseman Micheal Young for last night's loss, though:

http://www.mavpuck.com/mpboard/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9139

For the record, I am no fan of Young's, either, and there was plenty of blame to go around for wasting a comeback effort like that

Red Cows
01-12-2013, 11:24 PM
Well, we left Denver in first place, still, albeit tied, now.

It was nice while it lasted because at the end of next weekend UNO will no longer be in first place since we don't play and there is no possible combination of wins and losses by other teams around us that would make this even a possibility.

Nice to hear both of Denver's announcers say, as did Gwozdecky, in the post game interview, that they thought DU played better tonight in the tie than they did last night in winning and that UNO had outplayed DU Friday night even though DU won.

We put a shot blizzard on them both nights as DU gave up the most shots they'd given up all season last night (42) followed by UNO putting even more than that on them tonight (46).

This team is going wherever John Faulkner allows it to go, it looks like. That's worrisome. That said, he was the difference in the game tonight, even though we "only" got out of there with a tie. Only the 2nd point we've ever earned in that place, I might add.

By the way, Ryan Walters is all that and then some. He also increased his national scoring lead out to 5 points this weekend. UNO maintains it's 2nd leading scoring team in the nation spot although they have scored more goals than any other team in the country and took over the national lead in shorties as well.

The DU announcers were right, his line, every time they were on the ice, made the Pioneers look edgy and very, very careful.

UNO, defensively, continues it's slide in the national rankings, now down to 35th. Our newspaper here, again, referred to UNO's defense being one of the top corps in the country again. Yeah, right. We've given up by far the most goals of any team in the WCHA with a winning record. Only two teams have given up more than us, period.

Noteworthy was that Bryce Aneloski was a healthy scratch tonight.

In two weeks, we play the "Neutral Zone Traps" up in Bemidji--our Kryptonite, who are yet again in a position to make or break our season.

5mn_Major
01-13-2013, 04:45 AM
By the way, Ryan Walters is all that and then some.

I am constantly impressed by Gopher recruits.

But the day we lost Walters...I knew it was an exceptional loss.

Pants
01-14-2013, 09:27 PM
To be honest, Walters is great, I have been watching him all season also, but I am far more impressed by Archibalds play. He plays both ends of the ice, he is physical, he is fast, if we get him back next year, he will be the Hobey contender for sure. Walters is fantastic, but he has done a lot of picking up the trash now and then (i'm not judging, a goal is a goal, you gotta be there to get it)