By John Lachmann
WHO: Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks (8-11-1) at Miami RedHawks (9-9-2).
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
WHEN: Friday—7:35 p.m. Saturday—7:05 p.m.
TV: Friday—Time Warner Sports Channel (Ch. 1311 in Cincinnati). Saturday—None.
MIAMI RADIO: Both nights—WMOH-AM (1450), Hamilton, Ohio. Saturday—WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind., also.
UNO RADIO: Both nights—KZOT-AM (1180), Omaha, Neb.
NOTES: UNO has not won since sweeping Miami, going 0-5-1 including four straight losses.
The Mavericks’ main problem this season has been stopping the puck, as all three of their goaltenders have save percentages below .900.
Kirk Thompson (.885) and Ryan Massa (.882) have been rotating recently for a team that has surrendered 24 goals in its last six games. Massa beat the RedHawks in the teams’ earlier series in Omaha, posting a .931 save percentage.
Josh Archibald has been easily the biggest scoring threat for UNO. He has 14 goals – six more than anyone else on the team – and also leads the Mavericks in points with 21.
Ryan Walters is second on the team in points with 19 and leads UNO with 14 assists.
Brock Montpetit and Dominic Zombo are also significant scoring threats for the Mavericks, recording 16 and 14 points, respectively to this point.
Zombo is the son of 12-year NHL veteran Rick Zombo.
Miami is 17-9-3 all-time vs. UNO (0-2 in 2013-14) but the RedHawks enter this series 2-7-1 in their last 10.
The RedHawks have college hockey’s second-longest streak of making the NCAA tournament, but that is in serious jeopardy as Miami is tied with Alaska-Fairbanks for 27th.
The RedHawks have suffered through an unusual bout of injuries, but hopefully they will soon return to full strength.
Junior forward Blake Coleman suffered an upper body injury in early December but should be close to returning. Junior forward and captain Austin Czarnik missed Saturday’s game with an upper body injury, and while his status is unclear initial information made it sound like he should not miss additional time.
Throughout this tumultuous season, sophomore forward Riley Barber seems to be getting stronger than ever despite traveling to Sweden to play in the World Juniors. Barber has five goals and seven assists in his last five games.