This is a big year for the Omaha athletic department, not least because of the opening of the new Baxter Arena. So far, the school’s hockey team is holding up its end of the bargain.
The second-ranked Mavericks’ great start to the season continued this weekend when UNO swept non-conference foe Air Force in the first two hockey games at the city’s newest venue. Omaha’s Steven Spinner scored the first goal in Baxter Arena history 14:28 into Friday’s series opener and later picked up a second tally en route to his team’s 4-2 victory over the Falcons.
UNO was even stronger on Saturday in a 4-1 win over AFA. Three first-period goals from Aaron Pearce, Jake Randolph and Austin Ortega proved more than enough to bump the Mavericks to a program-best 6-0 start to the season.
Omaha will visit Western Michigan over Halloween weekend before hosting No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth on Nov. 6-7.
Western struggles on eastern swing
Speaking of WMU, they will feel they have something to prove when Omaha comes to town. The Broncos will be fresh off of a pair of losses this weekend at non-conference opponent Clarkson.
Western started its weekend in Potsdam, N.Y., well, with Nolan LaPorte giving the Broncos a first-period lead on Friday. Two Clarkson goals in the second period and another pair in the third, however, boosted the Golden Knights to a home victory at Cheel Arena.
Clarkson topped its performance on Friday with a 6-2 victory over the Broncos on Saturday. WMU again took a first-period lead on a Kyle Novak goal, but two Golden Knights tallies in that same period and three more in the second helped to put Clarkson out of sight.
Western now sits at 2-2-1 ahead of Omaha’s visit. Both teams will open NCHC play against one another.
CC’s early struggles continue
Colorado College’s rough start to the season continued at pace this weekend when the Tigers welcomed fourth-ranked Boston College to the World Arena. The Eagles didn’t run into a lot of trouble and instead shut CC out twice in the teams’ two-game set.
Ryan Fitzgerald scored both of BC’s first two goals in a 3-0 victory on Friday before four different Eagles scored in a 5-0 win over CC on Saturday. The Tigers struggled to capitalize on the chances it got and finished 0-for-10 on the power play.
CC could face another scary proposition over Halloween weekend when top-ranked North Dakota pays a visit to Colorado Springs.