by Tim Rosenthal/Staff Writer
Head Coach: Mike Kemp
2006-07 Record: 18-16-8 (13-11-4 CCHA)
Key Returnees: Bryan Marshall F SR., Brandon Scero F SR., Mick Lawrence F SR., Tomas Klempa F JR., Dan Charleston F JR., Juha Uotila D JR., Jeremie Dupont G SO., Eddie Del Grosso D SO., Mark Brenier D SO.,
Key Losses: Scott Parse, Alex Nikiforuk, Phil Angell, Mike Eickman, Dan Knapp
After the program's first NCAA tournament appearance in 2005-06, there were some questions on whether the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks would repeat that performance in 2006-07. The end result wasn't meant to be.
"It was a year of could've, would've, should've," said head coach Mike Kemp. "There were a bunch of great things that happened during the season but at the same time, many games were frustrating."
One fact worth mentioning is that the Mavericks were picked to finish fifth in the CCHA, which they ended up doing.
Another fact is that UNO played in 13 overtime games last season in which their record was 2-3-8. One of their two wins in OT came against Bowling Green in the first round of the CCHA playoffs.
The season ended with a sweep to eventual National Champion Michigan State in the second round.
Now that 2006-07 is behind the Mavericks, it is now time to look ahead to 2007-08.
The team will be captained by senior Bryan Marshall.
"He has played the course," said Kemp about his captain. "He is a mature, experienced older player who will assume a very active role."
He'll be doing it without Hobey Baker Award finalist Scott Parse, whose stellar career with the Mavericks came to an end.
The assistant captains have not been named yet.
"We have some excellent candidates including Mick Lawrence and Dan Charleston," Kemp said.
Although he is not a prime candidate to be one of the assistant captains, the Mavericks will rely on Jeremie Dupont in net. Dupont was thrust into the limelight and was inconsistent at times, but that's to have been expected.
"He (Dupont) did an exceptional job last year," said Kemp about his sophomore goaltender. "He came in as a 17-year old freshman and was sixth statistically in goals against average in the conference. He will develop and have an outstanding career. He will also mature over time."
This year's recruiting class has nine members.
"We have to fill some very big shoes," Kemp said. "We lost some major performers, including Scott Parse, who is impossible to replace."
This year the class includes five defensemen and four forwards.
"I think we had a solid class," Kemp said. "Rich Purslow was the leading USHL scorer last year, and we got the likes of Alain Goulet and Joey Martin.
"I am very excited. It's going to be a season of change. Coach Doc DelCastillo (left for the head coaching job at Alaska-Fairbanks) which leaves a change in the coaching staff and the roster has changed with the losses of Parse and Nikiforuk. We have a strong group of forwards, goalies and blue-liners. Overall I think we have a good nucleus."