Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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Blais' Mavericks coming to Mariucci smoking hot

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey Updated: November 26, 2012 - 9:43 AM

Former Vikings coach Bud Grant, as Strib columnist Sid Hartman reminds us annually, always used to say, it is not who you play, it is when you play them.

So the Gophers better strap their helmets on extra tight come Friday. The Omaha Mavericks are coming to Mariucci -- the school has dropped the Nebraska Omaha designation this season.

The Mavs are on a 6-0-0 roll with sweeps of Michigan Tech, Minnesota Duluth and Alabama Huntsville. That is the second longest winning streak in school history.

Last weekend, they edged the Chargers 3-2 on Friday, then routed them 8-0 on Saturday. Those eight goals were a season high.

Mavs coach Dean Blais was not really pleased with Friday's one-goal win. Blais said his team has to be mentally sharp, otherwise it struggles: "We can't cruise."

"Going to St. Cloud and Minnesota, they are obviously very talented teams," Blais said. "We will have to outwork them."

Which is what the Mavericks -- who play the Huskies on Dec. 7 and 8 in St. Cloud -- have done against most opponents this season. They are averaging 34.2 shots per game and giving up only 23.1 shots to opponents. Those stats put the Mavericks among the nation's leaders in both those categories.

Omaha outshot UAH 33-18 on Friday, 40-20 on Saturday.

Bryce Aneloski had the game-winner the first game at 15:29 of the second period. On Saturday, Ryan Walters had two goals and one assist and Brock Montpetit four assists. Freshman Anthony Stolarz got the shutout. The Mavericks scored two goals on a five-minute major penalty to take a 3-0 lead and scored five more goals in the third period.

"I almost messed it up," Walters said. "I almost said shutout on the bench."

That's a hockey superstition, you can't say shutout when a goalie has one going.


One reason for the Mavericks' success (8-3-1, 4-1-1) is scoring from so many players. Seven players have 10 points or more.

Walters, a junior forward from Rosemount, leads the Mavericks in scoring with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points. He has scored at least one goal --  two in the last game -- in five games in a row.

Walters, who played high school hockey at St. Thomas Academy, committed to the Gophers. He spent two years in the USHL -- instead of playing for the Cadets as a junior and senior -- but when the Gophers asked him to play a third year of juniors, he uncommitted and found a new school.

"Personally, it is huge for me going back to Minnesota" this weekend, Walters said.

Walters played for Gophers assistant coach Mike Guentzel his second season at Des Moines and put up great numbers: 21 goals, 40 assists for 61 points in 59 games. He did have three game misconducts for Guentzel, then the Des Moines head coach, and the Gophers told him his attitude needed improvement, too.

Seems it has in Omaha. Three of his six goals are on power plays.

Walters' linemates also are doing well. Dominic Zombo (4-9-13) is the team's second-leading scorer and Josh Archibald, another player from Minnesota (Brainerd), also is up there (6-4-10).

Montpetit (1-11-12) and Zahn Raubenheimer (6-4-10) are among the other players with 10 points or more.

"Archibald, Walters and Zombo have something going," Blais said.

So does Omaha.


Walters and Archibald are two of six Minnesotans on Omaha's roster. The others are three more forwards, sophomore Joe Krause of Hermantown, and freshmen Charlie Adams of Mahtomedi and Tanner Lane of Detroit Lakes and defenseman Nick Seeler of Eden Prairie.


The Gophers swept the Mavs in Omaha last season, winning both games 3-2 On Feb. 24-25 at the CenturyLink Center. Defenseman Jake Parenteau's first career goal was the game-winner at 1:46 of overtime the first night. ... Kyle Rau scored two goals, his 15th and 16th of the season, the second night. 

Nick Bjugstad got sandwiched against the boards in the second game when 6-4, 232-pound Tony Turgeon hit him. Bjugey was never quite the same the rest of the season.





New England 14 3rd Qtr
Seattle 14
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
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