April 1, 2015

Nebraska-Omaha hockey reaches Frozen Four for first time in school history

Nebraska-Omaha celebrates their trip to the Frozen Four (photo/Omavs.com)

Nebraska-Omaha celebrates their trip to the Frozen Four (photo/Omavs.com)

For the first time in school history, the University of Nebraska-Omaha hockey team earned a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four, beating RIT 4-0 in the Midwest Regional finals on Sunday night at Compton Family Ice Arena at Notre Dame.  The Mavericks will play Providence College in the first Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday, April 9 at 4 p.m. CT at TD Bank Garden in Boston. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Ryan Massa made 40 saves for his second shutout of the season and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and a member of the all-tournament team.

The Mavericks broke open a scoreless game with four goals in the third period to beat the Tigers, Atlantic Hockey’s playoff champion and the winner of eight straight games. UNO is now 20-12-6, its third 20-win season in Dean Blais’ six-year tenure as head coach. It also will be his fourth appearance in a Frozen Four.

North Dakota will play in the other semifinal against Boston University, making both semis a battle of NCHC vs. Hockey East teams.

Mavericks start tough stretch with a tough road loss at North Dakota State

Marcus Tyus led UNO in the loss to ND State (photo/OMavs.com)

Marcus Tyus led UNO in the loss to ND State (photo/OMavs.com)

The Omaha men’s basketball team began another challenging road stretch on Thursday, falling 64-57 to North Dakota State at Scheels Arena. The Mavericks are now 8-14 (2-8 Summit League), while the Bison, who secured their 22nd consecutive home win, improve to 16-7 (8-2 Summit League).

Omaha was paced by junior guard Marcus Tyus, who shot 7-of-13 with four 3-pointers to finish with 21 points. The Ramsey, Minn., native added two rebounds and an assist for the night.

Senior forward Mike Rostampour also had a double-figure scoring performance, totaling 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and had one assist and one steal. Junior forward Jake White matched Rostampour with another eight rebounds, as he made his first start since Omaha’s season opener against Central Arkansas on Nov. 16.

As a team, UNO shot .407 (22-of-54) from the field, .294 (5-of-17) beyond the arc and .800 (8-of-10) at the line. NDSU came in at .440 (22-of-50) from the floor, .381 (8-of-21) from long range and .800 (12-of-15) at the stripe. Omaha won the rebounding battle, 33-29.

North Dakota State was led by 18 points from Lawrence Alexander, who hit a trio of 3-pointers and added two assists and three steals. A.J. Jacobson also had 15 points for the Bison, alongside three boards and four assists.

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5th ranked Nebraska-Omaha hockey splits weekend series against #1 North Dakota

Austin Ortega celebrates his game winner on Friday night (photo/OMavs.com)

Austin Ortega celebrates his game winner on Friday night (photo/OMavs.com)

No. 1 North Dakota got a goal 2:04 into the overtime to beat the No. 5 Omaha hockey team, 4-3, on Saturday night, turning the tables on the Mavericks who had won in OT one night earlier.  Brendan O’Donnell fired a quick shot from the left wing that tucked under Ryan Massa for his 10th goal of the year. It ended a game in which the Mavericks fought back from a one-goal deficit three times.

The Mavericks are now 16-7-3 overall and 10-5-1-1 in the NCHC. They remain in first place, just one point ahead of North Dakota which is now 19-6-2 overall and 10-5-1-0 in conference play.

On Friday, Austin Ortega scored with 33 seconds remaining in overtime to push the No. 5 Omaha hockey team past No. 1 North Dakota, 3-2.  The goal, Ortega’s nation-leading ninth game winner, came during a rare 5-on-3 power play.

The Mavericks have a week off before hosting Western Michigan on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13-14.

Hometown heroes come up big on the hardwood this weekend

CJ Carter scored 45 points for UNO on Saturday.  (photo/OMavs.com)

CJ Carter scored 45 points for UNO on Saturday. (photo/OMavs.com)

Nebraska-Omaha got a record performance from senior guard CJ Carter, who finished with a career-high 45 points on 19-of-25 shooting in the Mavericks 89-84 loss to IUPUI. The Omaha Benson product hit seven three pointers on eight attempts. Carter also moved into 10th in school history for scoring.

Freshman guard Ty Danielson from York converted a rare four-point play with 28 seconds to go and Central Oklahoma missed two late threes as the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers slipped past the Bronchos, 83-80. UNK improved to 10-5.  Freshman Mackenzie Brown from Grand Island hit a late three and then came up with a big steal to help the Lady Lopers win 65-62. It’s their 4th win in a row, longest since the ’10-’11 season.

In NAIA men’s basketball.  9th ranked Midland University, led by Norfolk’s Alex Starkel’s 18 won wire to wire over Mount Mary 83-57 in Yankton, South Dakota.  The Warriors have won two straight after losing two of their last three.

Former Bellevue East grad throws a no-hitter in Triple A

Former Bellevue East and University of Nebraska-Omaha grad Tyler Cloyd was throwing a perfect game for eight innings for the Cleveland Indians Triple-A affiliate Columbus against Louisville.  Cloyd hit the leadoff batter, but was able to complete the no-hitter in timely fashion, using just 89 pitches in a 13-0 victory.

Cloyd has started 17 major league games over the last two years with Philadelphia before being claimed by Cleveland this offseason.