The #5 Denver Pioneers will look to continue their recent dominance against Nebraska-Omaha this weekend when the 15th-ranked Mavericks come into Magness Arena for a weekend series. DU has not lost in the teams’ last 10 matchups going back to 2015 and hasn’t been defeated at home since 2013. The series will be the only games between the teams in the regular season.
While the Pioneers should be plenty rested coming off a bye weekend, the Mavericks will enter the weekend playing their best hockey of the season. UNO is 6-2 in in its last eight games, all coming against ranked opponents. Last weekend, they dismantled Miami in a weekend sweep, setting a school record for goals scored in an 11-7 win Friday night.
Leading the way during the hot stretch has been senior forward and Detroit Red Wings prospect David Pope. Pope is putting together the best season of his career by already matching his 31 point output from last season with 13 goals and 18 assists, tying him for third in the nation in scoring. He racked up four assists and added a goal in the 11-goal romp over Miami last Friday and contributed a pair of helpers in Saturday’s 4-3 win as well.
The Mavericks are by no means a one-man show, with nine players in double-digit scoring, including eight forwards. As a team, their 3.77 goals per game average ranks fourth in the nation while Denver sits in eighth (3.55). On the flip side, UNO is dead last in team defense, allowing 3.91 goals per game. Junior Evan Weninger (3.57 GAA, .882 save %) and sophomore Kris Oldham (4.12, .867) have seen the majority of minutes in net and have both struggled mightily.
It’s no shock that with their offensive weapons, Omaha boasts a deadly power play ranking third in the nation at 27 percent. Their penalty kill sits at 27th (81.2 percent).
The puck will drop in both of this weekend’s games at 7:05 PM. Friday’s can be seen on Altitude 2 and Saturday on Altitude.