The Curator and I made the trek across Iowa to see some weekend hockey in Omaha. This is the inaugural season for the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Baxter Arena. The UNO Mavericks were hosting the Miami of Ohio Redhawks, for a two game series in an NCHC matchup.
The $81.6 million Baxter Arena is a very nice hockey facility. With great sight lines throughout the arena; there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. I have no doubt that the rink will really rock during big games with the Mavericks’ devoted and rabid fan base. A wider concourse would have been nice, since it can be a challenge getting around the corners during the intermissions, but other than that, the Baxter is a beautiful new rink.
The Friday night game started out slow, with UNO seeming to be a tad flat. Still, the game was even-played with the first period being scoreless, and an 8-7 SOG advantage for Miami. The second period Miami really dominated play, with UNO still playing sluggish. Miami had a 15-6 advantage in SOG for period two, and took the lead on a Kiefer Sherwood goal. The Mavericks came out much stronger in the third, and Austin Ortega tied the game up on a shot assisted by Luc Snuggerud & Jake Guentzel. Ortega, the junior forward from Escondido, California, already holds the school record for game winners and the NCAA single season record for GWG’s, and is quickly closing in on the NCAA career record for game winning goals.
Tonight, however, Matthew Caito of Miami would net the GWG with just over two minutes to play. The Redhawks would also add an ENG for a 3-1 win.
Jay Williams made 27 saves for Miami and freshman Alex Blankenburg, in his first home start, made 31 saves for UNO. There were 6793 in attendance.