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View Full Version : UNO 2015-16 Season Thread: Frozen Four, New Barn, What Next?



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SJHovey
12-31-2015, 08:21 AM
UNO has benefited mightily from Ohio State's win of the Florida College Classic last night (defeating BC & Cornell in doing so) and from Providence's 1st round loss (to Cornell) in the same tourney.

Even before Ohio State beating Cornell last night to win the tourney, this was enough to move UNO to #2 in Pairwise. Ohio State's win last night did pad UNO's RPI some, though. That tourney's outcome could be really significant to us, down the road, as far as Pairwise is concerned.

If UNO is to overtake Quinnipiac at #1 in Pairwise any time in the near future, it's going to take UNO to keep on winning and hope for an upset somewhere along the line since QU doesn't have a very tough schedule at all during the month of January with no games against a team in the top 16 of the current Pairwise at all.

That could work out well, the other way, though, since UNO has games with North Dakota (there), coming up in January, and with DU (here), who is just outside the top 16.Probably a little early to worry about all this. Priceless used to start a thread each New Year's Eve regarding PWR statistics. Something like 12% of the teams ranked 1-4 in the PWR on January 1 don't even make the tournament. That means that it happens about once every two years to a 1-4 team.

Most teams, including UNO, have played at best half the games they will play before the final pairwise numbers go into effect for purposes of seeding. UNO has a ton of games left against teams who can do significant damage to their pwr, given the relatively poor position of all but three NCHC teams in the pwr rankings.

Red Cows
01-01-2016, 10:06 PM
Probably a little early to worry about all this. Priceless used to start a thread each New Year's Eve regarding PWR statistics. Something like 12% of the teams ranked 1-4 in the PWR on January 1 don't even make the tournament. That means that it happens about once every two years to a 1-4 team.

Most teams, including UNO, have played at best half the games they will play before the final pairwise numbers go into effect for purposes of seeding. UNO has a ton of games left against teams who can do significant damage to their pwr, given the relatively poor position of all but three NCHC teams in the pwr rankings.

You are correct. Since the tourney field was expanded to 16 teams 46 of the 52 teams teams in the top 4 of Pairwise on January 1st have made the tourney. That is an 88% success rate.

That said, I'd much rather be #2 on January 1st than be #30 and trying to work my way back into the tourney picture.

Jim Dahl has a good read, re: "When does Pairwise really start to matter?":

http://collegehockeyranked.com/2014/12/04/when-to-start-looking-at-pwr-revisited/

MAVFANJEFF
01-02-2016, 03:31 AM
I'll be stunned is Blankenberg isn't in goal on January 2nd. If he isn't, that would tell me the coaches think little of him and he might be the odd goalie out this summer. I'm like you. I think somebody is disappearing

If I am Dean Blais and I am given the choice between what I have already seen of Kirk Thompson and what Kris Oldham MIGHT have to give that would seem to me to be a pretty easy choice.

Agree about Peterson although more so as it pertains to next season than to this one.

I still don't understand how we lost both those games in Kalamazoo. They have beaten nobody before, or, since. Easily the high point of their season so far. By a mile.
according to the weird herald article just posted He is not playing. I'll be shocked if he is back next year. Unless he's on scholarship and wants a free ride I'd tell Dean adios.

Red Cows
01-02-2016, 01:03 PM
according to the weird herald article just posted He is not playing. I'll be shocked if he is back next year. Unless he's on scholarship and wants a free ride I'd tell Dean adios.

http://www.omaha.com/uno/mavs-look-to-get-game-ready-after-break/article_03b0444f-cb95-5cc5-9e29-b9a791a13cdb.html

I note the use of "probably" in the article, though. If true, though, I can't see Blankenberg coming back. If you aren't going to get a look at him in a game like this, when are you ever going to?

As an aside, the game is sellout. Now, how many fannies are actually in seats and how many students show is mighty subjective. No way are they announcing 7,898 for this one. But, it's a beautiful day and I bet there is well north 5,000 in the building. I'm going after originally planning not to, thinking that the NCAA playoff games would be tonight. Chance to see a team we've never played and probably never will again.

The school must not be expecting much in the way of students (school doesn't resume until 1-11) because they are not even going to use the student entrance for this game, instead setting up a table for them at the main entrance.

Red Cows
01-03-2016, 12:14 AM
I suppose you could say the game tonight was one we never should have played.

I've been to games where UNO scored more goals and/or won by a bigger margin. Even shutouts (plural) by a bigger margin than tonight's.

In none of those games did UNO scratch and sit 4 of it's 6 best players. Two of which are among the top 15 players in all of college hockey.

Ortega, Guentzel, Vesel, and Cooper were all healthy scratches tonight. We sat our captains, the 2nd leading goal scorer in the nation, and a player 19 year Air Force Head Coach Frank Serratore called the "greatest college hockey player I have ever seen", who then went on to compare him to Wayne Gretzky.

Even so, we still managed to play what I consider the most one-sided game in the history of the program.

Almost as impressive as who did not play while this was happening is who the players were that did the beating up on a completely over-matched Trinity Western team.

Luke Nogard and Riley Alferd scored their first ever goals in a UNO uniform. Ryan Galt got his 2nd. Joel Messner had 4 points. He had 10 in his career before tonight. Steve Spinner had 3 points. Congratulations, Steve, you doubled your career to-date output in a single night.

The referees did not even call this game normally. The number of icing calls that were never made had to set some kind of record (something that UNO goalie Kirk Thompson was laughing about in a radio interview of him on the post game show) and the referees basically swallowed their whistles and, unless it was something egregious, penalties were not called, either. 3 in the entire game. All kinds of things were let go and the refs just let them play.

This was easily the earliest I have EVER gotten home from a UNO game starting at 7:07. I was home just after 9:30. LONG stretches of this game were played without a stoppage.

Props to Trinity Western for coming to Omaha and playing us, which, I am sure, is an attempt to elevate their program's visibility and give their guys an idea of what the next level is and perhaps make them a better team in their own league as a result.

They were a noticeably bigger team than we are. Did not matter. This wasn't a game, ever, except for maybe some frantic and desperate play by them in the last 3 minutes to get one in the net and not get shut out.

They were so not on the same plane as us that it concerned me since, even though this game was incredibly one-sided, our guys did not even remotely come close to giving what I would call a great effort.

In another words, not exactly a great warm-up for DU coming here next weekend. Don't like games like this and I think it was ill-timed as well.

You can't soar like an eagle when you are flying with a flock of turkeys. This was an impressive performance but UNO's SOS ain't great and playing a team that isn't a whole lot better than a good USHL team does not help you prepare very much for the 16 very tough league games we have coming up.

Red Cows
01-03-2016, 02:19 AM
One other thing about UNO's game tonight with Trinity Western.

At same time the game was being played. Creighton (a team going nowhere for the foreseeable future--I predict the firing of Greg McDermott inside of 3 years now that the coaches son is gone and he gets exposed as the poor coach that he is) was downtown playing Villanova in front of 17,375 and the Lancers were playing the Des Moines Buccaneers at Ralston Arena in front of 2,977.

I consider it almost a miracle that UNO had 5,236 actually in the building (all reserved seats, not including the student section, were sold--UNO announces fannies in seats--capacity is 7,898) at the same time as these other two events, particularly since school is out until 1-11, and, to say nothing of the lack of a quality draw as far as the opponent was concerned.

To say that the crowd was cannibalized tonight is an understatement.

I fell bad for all the Creighton bandwaggoners (that's what they are) that have their horses hitched to what is now a complete nag.

Tipsy McStagger
01-03-2016, 07:26 AM
You are correct. Since the tourney field was expanded to 16 teams 46 of the 52 teams teams in the top 4 of Pairwise on January 1st have made the tourney. That is an 88% success rate.

That said, I'd much rather be #2 on January 1st than be #30 and trying to work my way back into the tourney picture.

Jim Dahl has a good read, re: "When does Pairwise really start to matter?":

http://collegehockeyranked.com/2014/12/04/when-to-start-looking-at-pwr-revisited/

UNO will be the team to miss the tourney.

Red Cows
01-03-2016, 10:26 PM
UNO will be the team to miss the tourney.

I sure hope you're wrong. And, there is an 88% chance you are. There is little in the way of warning signs about this team that would lead one to believe that they might find themselves among the have nots come tourney time, though. One making a positives and negatives list about this team would come up with far more of the former than the latter.

SJHovey
01-04-2016, 09:17 AM
I sure hope you're wrong. And, there is an 88% chance you are. There is little in the way of warning signs about this team that would lead one to believe that they might find themselves among the have nots come tourney time, though. One making a positives and negatives list about this team would come up with far more of the former than the latter.The challenge for UNO will be the same it's been in the five seasons since leaving the CCHA -- how to avoid the very pedestrian second halves they've posted. Below .500 in the regular season after January 1, and even worse if you count the 2-10 record in the conference playoffs.

A .500 record in the second half won't keep UNO out of the NCAA's, but it will hurt their seeding. For the record, I expect better from them, this season, but I've been wrong about them before.

Red Cows
01-04-2016, 11:56 AM
The challenge for UNO will be the same it's been in the five seasons since leaving the CCHA -- how to avoid the very pedestrian second halves they've posted. Below .500 in the regular season after January 1, and even worse if you count the 2-10 record in the conference playoffs.

I will never understand how or why it is that people use past TEAM performances as some sort of indicator of what will or might happen in the future. Keep in mind, I am limiting this statement to prior seasons, not to the current one. There is little of relevance between this season and whatever happened last season and the farther back you go in a 5 year timeline, the less relevance there is.

Not one player that was on this team 5 years ago is still around.

Except for the Head Coach, UNO has all different assistants.

UNO now plays in a totally different conference.

5 years ago, UNO had 2 NHL draft picks on its roster (and we were pinching ourselves, then). It currently has 7 NHL draft picks on this team (and had 8 before Avery Peterson departed a couple weeks ago).

More importantly (and don't underestimate this) the team now has its own on campus practice facility.

Hell, we even play in a different arena, one that was built specifically with the hockey team in mind.

In those 5 previous seasons you mentioned, Dean Blais kicked the senior captain(s) of the team off of 2 of them for off-ice stuff in 2 different seasons. In two of the others, in one of them, he lost key recruits just before the season started and in the other during the season itself to the pros. Even so, they still managed to make the NCAA's in two of the aforementioned 5 seasons, won their first ever NCAA tournament games and made its first Frozen Four, which was, itself, a season in which UNO's senior captain spent most of the 2nd half on the bench, injured.

The current lay of the land is quite different than even last season, let alone 5 years ago. Each of those seasons past had its own set of entirely unique (and in some cases, unusual) circumstances. I, for one, see little cause and effect between now and what went on in the past. Entirely different situations and circumstances, all.

Unless something oddball again finds a way to happen in the 2nd half this season, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario in which UNO does not make the tourney. And, we have 10 of our final 16 at home.

I'd like to know how many of the 6 teams that did not ultimately make the NCAA tourney, that were in the top 4 of Pairwise on January 1st, since the field was expanded to 16 teams, were undefeated and untied at home in their first half and were also undefeated and untied upon in non-conference play in the first half as well.

My knee jerk guess would be--none.

Disclaimer: All I really care about is making the NCAA tourney. I don't have any designs on or even care about winning the conference title (unless wining the conference tourney was our only possible entre into the NCAA's). Seeding isn't even always that big of deal. Just ask Providence.

Red Cows
01-05-2016, 09:49 PM
Facebook and Twitter sources are saying tonight that Avery Peterson is going to end up at UMD.

And, there is this, too:

http://ciskie.blogspot.com/2016/01/avery-peterson-transferring-to-umd.html

Red Cows
01-05-2016, 10:08 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm..........................

Nobody at North Dakota seems to like the new name of their team:

http://ndgoon.blogspot.com/2016/01/fighting-hawks-nickname-not-catching-on.html

This is reminiscent of Trev Albert's own fantasy-land trying to get (read: bully) everyone to call us Omaha. The only people that do are in the Athletic Department. And, the lemmings in the national media that just did so just because the school sent out press releases asking media types to do so that have been heeded by almost no one.

This means you, USCHO, and you, CBS, and you, NCHC. Mighty lonely on a nearly deserted desert island, methinks.

No one in the Omaha radio/TV news media calls UNO anything other than UNO. The Omaha World Herald does not refer to the team as Omaha. And, I have NEVER heard a single local fan, EVER, refer to us as Omaha.

It isn't the name of the school.

I would never wear "Omaha " gear, even at gunpoint. And, little of it is in evidence at our games, thank God. I'll give Trev Alberts 3 guesses at what he can do with his "Omaha" jerseys, as well as the notion of even calling us that, and the first two don't count.

Sioux-perDrunk
01-05-2016, 10:53 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm..........................

Nobody at North Dakota seems to like the new name of their team

You got that right!!!!!!! Any who every Sioux fan there is is waiting for the Jan. 15-16 series against UNO! Good luck, hopefully there isn't a blowout either nights just good old fashioned grind hockey games!

5thYearFreshman
01-06-2016, 09:30 AM
Disclaimer: All I really care about is making the NCAA tourney. I don't have any designs on or even care about winning the conference title (unless wining the conference tourney was our only possible entre into the NCAA's). Seeding isn't even always that big of deal. Just ask Providence.

I would like to win a regular season championship, but I don't give a flying turd about winning the tourney. I would like the Mavs to actually get to Minneapolis so I could watch them, but the regular season title would be nice and would usually put us in good position going into the NCAA tourney

Red Cows
01-07-2016, 07:34 PM
Ha. Ha. Ha.

"Let's go DU" publishes a helpful map of Baxter Arena and it's environs for their fans making the trip:

http://letsgodu.com/2016/01/05/omaha-culture-captures-the-imagination/#more-597

Apparently, accurate cartography is not the strong suit of the "Fighting Parsons"......errrr....Pioneers.

Red Cows
01-08-2016, 02:17 PM
If any "one" wants to got to the game tonight or tomorrow night, that's exactly how many tickets Ticketmaster says remains for each game.

One.

gomavs#1
01-10-2016, 01:59 PM
You got that right!!!!!!! Any who every Sioux fan there is is waiting for the Jan. 15-16 series against UNO! Good luck, hopefully there isn't a blowout either nights just good old fashioned grind hockey games!

Don't hold your breath. Next weekend could be a snoozer, especially if this weekend was any indication. If our starting goalie doesn't play, I'd guess UND will put at least 4 goals in net each night.

gomavs#1
01-10-2016, 02:03 PM
Well....what's that about those Pairwise ratings? Way too early. We drop from 4 to 7 on one weekend. We play the #1 ranked team next weekend in their barn. I think we are just beginning to see how difficult this second half is going to be. Our home undefeated record was padded with games against lesser opponents. And Denver proved it.

If Evan is injured for more than another series, watch that Pairwise plummet quickly.

We have a LONG way to go.

Tipsy McStagger
01-11-2016, 10:07 AM
I don't have any designs on or even care about winning the conference title
Looks like your boys took care of that this weekend.

Red Cows
01-13-2016, 12:46 PM
Looks like your boys took care of that this weekend.

No lie.

In spades.