Monday, March 10, 2008

A Quick Look at Nebraska-Omaha

With their win in triple overtime tonight, the Mavericks have earned the right to trek to Yost next weekend to take on the Wolverines. Michigan won the only two meetings this year (both of which were in Omaha) by 6-3 and 3-2 scores. Omaha actually outshot Michigan in both games and both were fairly competitive contests. Michigan was down 2-1 heading to the third period during Friday's game (and scored five in the third, including an empty netter). Saturday's game was tied with under three minutes to go until Carl Hagelin put in the game winner.

Both teams pumped in three power play goals on the weekend (Michigan was 3-10, UNO was 3-11). Kevin Porter led the way for Michigan (as usual) with four goals. Chad Langlais had four assists. UNO had goals from five different players and played both goalies, neither of whom fared very well.

Despite seeing both Dupont and Kaufmann in our first series with the Mavericks, Kaufmann has carried the load. Dupont has played just 8 games all year (and with a 4.15/.829 it's easy to see why). Kaufmann's numbers aren't anything special (3.08/.883 before tonight's game where he gave up just one in 5+ periods) but I expect we'll see him the entire weekend.

Relevant links from the past series:
"Knowing Your Opponent" (before I gave it that ever-so-creative name) with MavRick
Live Blog of Friday's game
Live Blog of Saturday's game
Media Roundup of the Weekend

Reading back through the liveblogs I wrote, I was really impressed with Rich Purslow. And why not? He was the USHL's leading scorer last year, pumped in a goal and an assist against us, drew some calls, and had a few other great chances. Well. He hasn't played since February 22nd, hasn't scored a point since December 18th, and the goal he scored against us was his only tally of the year. I was also impressed with Bagron (a fun, thorn-in-your-side player), Gooooulet and Del Grosso.

They've got four 30+ point scorers and two defensemen that can put up points as well. I'd expect that we're going to see to some goals this weekend, with the #2 and #12 offenses in the country battling. The big mis-match is that Michigan is 5th in the country and UNO is 53rd defensively (or defensievely in their case). The biggest question mark is will Bryan Marshall play? The nation's leading assist man (in assists per game) and third leading scorer (points per game) has been out with a knee injury. The most recent article I found said that he was "doubtful for the CCHA playoffs". That's a huge loss for UNO if he can't play.

Michigan will have to stay out of the penalty box as UNO has the nation's top-ranked power play at 24.4% (they have given up 8 shorties however). Marshall's absence would hurt there as well.

It sounds like today will be the crucial day in determining if Chad Kolarik will play this weekend. It certainly sounded promising as of late last week.

I'll have much more on this series throughout the week.

No comments: