The Maverick men’s hockey team takes the ice Saturday for the first time in the 2023-24 season at home against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
Head coach Luke Strand will make his debut after spending the last few years as an assistant at Ohio State. He, alongside 10 new players and an entirely new staff, will be entering a new era of Maverick hockey.
The team was picked to finish sixth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Coaches’ Poll and fourth in the CCHA Preseason Media Poll. So despite the new faces all around the team, the Mavs are still respected in the polls. After all, they are the winningest Division I hockey program in the nation over the past 11 seasons.
Minnesota State holds a 20-15-5 record over Nebraska-Omaha, and their 42nd matchup will come just a year after their last meeting. In 2015, UNO won their regular season matchup, 2-0 in Mankato, as well as last season’s exhibition game at Baxter Arena, 7-2.
On the line will be the Spirit of the Mavericks Trophy, awarded to the Maverick team who wins their annual series. Former presidents of MSU and UNO Blue Line Clubs Brad Reeves and Jim Semerad came up with the idea to make the rivalry more special. UNO will travel to Mankato with the trophy this year, and once the game has ended and the teams have shaken hands, players will line up on their respective blue lines as the home team will award the trophy to the winning team.
Friday’s exhibition game will begin at 6:07 p.m. in the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. After their exhibition game, the Mavs look forward to hosting St. Cloud State in their first home series of the season, Oct. 13 and 14 in the Mayo Clinic HSEC.
Header Photo: (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)
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