UNO Hockey readies for historic Frozen Four appearance

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April 9th, 2015

From left to right, Head Coach Dean Blais, Forward Austin Ortega, Defensemen Brian O'Rourke and Center Dominic Zombo answer question from the media at the TD Garden in Boston.

From left to right, Head Coach Dean Blais, Forward Austin Ortega, Defensemen Brian O’Rourke and Center Dominic Zombo answer question from the media at the TD Garden in Boston.


 

Boston, Mass. – The Omaha Mavericks are set to make history. After picking up the school’s first ever wins in the NCAA Tournament two weekends ago, the Mavericks will play in the Frozen Four later today at the TD Garden in Boston.

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Leading up to their semifinal match-up, Omaha Head Coach Dean Blais says the team has been keeping their practice time short.

The TD Garden in Boston sits empty as crews prepare it for the 2015 Frozen Four.

The TD Garden in Boston sits empty as crews prepare it for the 2015 Frozen Four.

“Usually, we show up for practice and go like heck for 45 or minutes, whatever it is, and then you go home,” said Blais. “We don’t waste a lot of time on the ice. It’s valuable time, but we don’t have many drills where you are not going 100 percent.”

Blais says this year’s squad has come together nicely.

“This is the ultimate team that I’ve ever had,” said Blais. “The older guys aren’t jealous of the younger guys. They take them in, they lead them and they show them how to win. As a coach, you take a lot of pride in watching these guys work their magic over the course of a long season.

Omaha will face off against Providence College in the National Semifinal. Senior Captain Dominic Zombo says he is looking forward to the match-up with the Friars.

“We are looking forward to playing a team that has a little more home ice advantage than us,” said Zombo. “But, in reality, it’s the big show for all of us, regardless if the fans are cheering for you or somebody else. We’re living in the moment, and we have a great opportunity ahead of us.”

Blais says the key against Providence will be solving the Friar net-minder, Jon Gillies.

“We’ve got to rebounds, we’ve to get tip-ins, we’ve got to shoot through legs and get ugly goals if that’s what it takes,” said Blais. “We’re prepared for (Gillies). He’s a good goaltender, and we’re going to have to work extra hard to get the puck in the net.”

The Mavericks will try for the school’s first-ever Championship game appearance later today when the meet Providence with the puck dropping at 4:00 p.m. Central.

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