UNO Hockey readies for historic Frozen Four appearance
By KVNO News
April 9th, 2015
Boston, Mass. – The Omaha Mavericks are set to make history. After picking up the schoolâ€™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.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/4-8-KVNO.mp3]
Leading up to their semifinal match-up, Omaha Head Coach Dean Blais says the team has been keeping their practice time short.
â€œUsually, we show up for practice and go like heck for 45 or minutes, whatever it is, and then you go home,â€ said Blais. â€œWe donâ€™t waste a lot of time on the ice. Itâ€™s valuable time, but we donâ€™t have many drills where you are not going 100 percent.â€
Blais says this yearâ€™s squad has come together nicely.
â€œThis is the ultimate team that Iâ€™ve ever had,â€ said Blais. â€œThe older guys arenâ€™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.
â€œWe are looking forward to playing a team that has a little more home ice advantage than us,â€ said Zombo. â€œBut, in reality, itâ€™s the big show for all of us, regardless if the fans are cheering for you or somebody else. Weâ€™re living in the moment, and we have a great opportunity ahead of us.â€
Blais says the key against Providence will be solving the Friar net-minder, Jon Gillies.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to rebounds, weâ€™ve to get tip-ins, weâ€™ve got to shoot through legs and get ugly goals if thatâ€™s what it takes,â€ said Blais. â€œWeâ€™re prepared for (Gillies). Heâ€™s a good goaltender, and weâ€™re going to have to work extra hard to get the puck in the net.â€
The Mavericks will try for the schoolâ€™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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