Nebraska-Omaha didn’t have the best start or finish last season, starting 1-6-1 and ending with an 0-8-1 skid and a first-round NCHC Tournament sweep at Minnesota-Duluth.
And the Mavericks have 12 freshman on their 2019-20 roster after losing nine seniors, including their top two scorers and starting goalie.
So UNO appears a team in rebuilding mode heading into this fall with a promising class of newcomers that includes seven USHL alumni.
View From the Glass takes a look at UNO in Part IV of its seven-part 2019-20 preview series.
NCAA TITLES: None.
COACH: Mike Gabinet (third season, 26-41-5, .396).
2018-19 RECORD: 9-24-3 (5-17-2 NCHC).
2019 POSTSEASON: Lost at Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the NCHC Tournament.
RINK (capacity): Baxter Arena (7,898).
MIAMI VS. NEBRASKA-OMAHA LAST SEASON: 2-2.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Miami leads, 22-19-6.
SCHEDULE VS. MIAMI: Nov. 22-23 – at Omaha; Feb. 28-29 – at Miami.
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: D Dean Stewart, D Ryan Jones, F Taylor Ward, F Zach Jordan.
KEY NEW FACES: G Isaiah Saville, F Nolan Sullivan, F Noah Prokop.
KEY LOSSES: F Mason Morelli, F Fredrik Olofsson, D Steven Spinner, G Evan Weninger.
NOTES: Losing one goalie is tough enough, but none of UNO’s three netminders from 2018-19 are returning, including three-year starter Evan Weninger.
Isaiah Saville has the shiniest resume of the Mavericks’ three freshmen goalies, having been drafted by Vegas in the fifth round this summer.
Jacob Zab and Austin Roden also enter their first seasons between the pipes for UNO.
The Mavericks have five seasoned members of their D-corps, led by senior Dean Stewart, an Arizona draftee who was tops on the team in blueliner goals (5), assists (16) and points (21) in 2018-19.
Ryan Jones, a Pittsburgh Penguins prospect who is no relation to the former Miami captain, has 31 points in three seasons, and Jordan Klehr returns for his senior season after redshirting last year.
Those three all boast three seasons of D-1 experience, but the remainder of UNO’s D-corps has not logged a ton of ice time.
Up front, Taylor Ward led all freshmen in points with 27, finishing third on the team in that category, and Zach Jordan returns for his senior season as the Mavericks’ active points leader (56).
No other returning forward recorded more than 14 points in 2018-19, but five freshman will challenge for starting spots this fall.
Omaha was No. 58 out of 60 teams in goals allowed per game last season, and obviously the Mavericks will need to improve that if they hope to finish .500 or better.
UNO will also need to stay out of the box, as the team was seventh in the NCAA in penalty minutes with 498, giving up 30 power play goals.
It could be a long season for the Mavericks, but a huge freshman class could turn UNO’s fortunes around in the next couple of years.