Maverick senior makes most of second chance
February 25th, 2011
Omaha, NE — UNO hockey has enjoyed tremendous success this season. Their 15 wins, seven losses, and two ties in conference have them tied for third in the WCHA, just one point away from second.
Some of the success can be attributed to the highly-touted crop of eleven first year players brought in by Head Coach Dean Blais. With so much new talent on the roster, some veterans were bound to get lost in the wash. Consider senior Nick Von Bokern one of those veterans.
“Obviously you have high expectations coming into your senior year,” he said. “But, you just kind of have to roll with the punches I guess.”
After playing in 97 games over his first three years, Von Bokern found himself on the bench, or even in the stands, for 24 of the first 28 games of his senior season. It would have been easy to pack it up and call it a career. But, he kept a good attitude.
“As much as it is about your career and wanting to do great things for your university and your team, a lot of it is about putting the best product on the ice in the coaches’ eyes,” he said. “And a lot of times, if you’re not in it, you have to do your part where you can.”
Von Bokern’s coaches told him to stay with it. “You never know when your chance will come,” they said. His chance came in one of the biggest series of the season. He played in both games two weeks against then seventh-ranked Wisconsin and both games last weekend in Alaska. With wins in three of those four games, his prospects for playing the rest of the season suddenly look brighter.
“It’s something I know I can do, to go out there and play,” he said. “ But, it’s definitely great to get some ice time when we’re going down the stretch here and having such a great season.”
In hockey, great scoring chances come from rebounds, which are the results of unsuccessful shots. It’s the second chance that catches the goaltender off his line and makes the rebound so dangerous. Von Bokern intends to take advantage of his rebound.
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