Tuesday, June 24, 2014

UNO Hockey Adds Gallo; Loses Recruit Poulsen

Photo credit: Northern Cyclones (Yes, they used the old logo)

Defenseman Grant Gallo will join the UNO Hockey team for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Gallo, a San Diego, Calif., native, most recently was team captain for the Northern Cyclones of the Eastern Hockey League. In the 2013-14 season, he led all EHL defensemen in scoring, and was named the EHL Defenseman of the Year. He had 15 goals and 27 assists, and recorded 122 penalty minutes. Gallo was also selected as a member of the EHL All-Star Team, and the Cyclones won the 2014 EHL Championship. Gallo's team bio says his sister Gianna also plays hockey.

In a June 12 article on the Cyclones web site, Gallo said, "I am very thankful for the two great years I have spent with the Cyclones. It is an honor to play for a first class organization like the Cyclones and win a championship this past season with a great group of guys. I want to thank Coach Bill (Flanagan) and the entire Cyclones staff for preparing me to get to such a prestigious program like Nebraska. I am very proud to become a Maverick next season. It has also been a dream of mine to play Division 1 College Hockey and now my dream is coming true."

In the same news release, UNO announced that previously announced commit Shane Poulsen has chosen not to attend UNO. No reason was given.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where Are They Now? Jeff Hoggan (1999-2002)

We caught up with perennial fan favorite Jeff Hoggan at a special event he put together at the Ralston Arena on Monday, Aug. 5 to allow fans to see the Calder Cup, the AHL championship trophy.

Mavpuck Admin Jon Brooks (left), with MavBridget (Bridget Weide Brooks) and Jeff Hoggan with the Calder Cup at Ralston Arena on Monday, August 5. Hoggan is holding a photo of Bridget with her nieces, Emily and Lauren, from a UNO Hockey "Skate with the Mavs" event in 2000 or 2001. (Photo by Barb Thompson.)

Hoggan, 35, is captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins and he led the team to win the AHL championship -- the team's first Calder Cup in team history -- in thrilling style. He played all 76 regular season games, tallying 45 points, good for fourth highest point total on the club. He also played in all 24 playoff games. The Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch in game 6 of the playoffs.

The Griffins signed Hoggan to a new two-year AHL contract in July, ensuring he will have the chance to defend the Calder Cup in the 2013-14 season.

Prior to joining the Griffins for the 2012-13 season, Hoggan had enjoyed a career that included playing in the NHL for five different teams: St. Louis Blues (2005-06), Boston Bruins (2006-07 and 2007-08), and Phoenix Coyotes (2008-09 and 2009-10). Hoggan won his first Calder Cup in his first full season in professional hockey with the Houston Aeros (2002-03). He had played four games with the Aeros after finishing his college career with the Mavs in the spring of 2002.

After playing only four games with the Coyotes in the 2009-10 season, Hoggan signed with the Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams, a German professional team in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in the 2010-11 season. He played 43 games for the Hannover Scorpions, another German professional team in the DEL during the 2011-12 season, and was third in scoring on the team. Hoggan signed a one-year contract with the Griffins on October 2012.

Mav fans remember his tireless work ethic and spectacular breakaways, including eight shorthanded goals. He is probably best remembered for "Tuesday Night," the CCHA play-in game held on March 14, 2000. UNO was attempting to win its way into the CCHA tournament after upsetting Northern Michigan in the first round of the playoffs. Hoggan had scored the decisive goal in the third period of the third game in the playoff series to give the Mavs a 2-1 win over the Wildcats.

Hoggan's two goals that night sparked a UNO win over Bowling Green, 3-1, and sent the Mavericks to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to play in the CCHA Final Four for the first time ever, a milestone victory for the young UNO program.

Photo courtesy of UNO Athletics.

On March 17, 2000, the Mavericks once again pulled the upset, beating Michigan 7-4 in the semi-finals to advance to the championship game, where they played Michigan State. In the photo above from the UNO Media Guide, Hoggan tried to put one past MSU's Ryan Miller. Although the Spartans won that game 6-0, Hoggan was named to the CCHA All-Tournament team.

In only three seasons with UNO, Hoggan was the school's all-time leader in goals (61). He also had 18 power play goals (18). In his senior season, he had 24 goals and 45 points and dominated the team statistics, leading the Mavericks in power-play goals (8), short-handed goals (4), shots on goal (185), and penalties (38 penalties for 92 minutes).

During that season, the Mavericks reached their highest national ranking to that point, taking the number 5 spot in both major college hockey national polls after sweeping Michigan State 4-1 and 5-1 in October 2001. The Mavericks were unable to make a return trip to the CCHA tournament, falling to Notre Dame in three games in the final series held at "The Bullpen," Omaha's Civic Auditorium. Controversial penalties awarded to Hoggan near the end of the game caused some fans to throw beer cups and other items on the ice, and fans pelted the on-ice officials with boos.

Hoggan earned all-CCHA honors in his senior season, and was named a second-team All American by the American Hockey Coaches Association. His teammates from that season, Dan Ellis and Greg Zanon, continue to enjoy successful pro hockey careers as well.

One thing Hoggan said about our CCHA opponents stuck with me. Hoggan is from Hope, British Columbia, so he wasn't as familiar with the NCAA opponents as most of us are. He said, "I don't know who half of them are…I just want to beat them all."

Photo courtesy of UNO Athletics.

Hoggan and Ellis teamed up again on Aug. 5 with Ellis in goal for the White squad and Hoggan listed as a defenseman on the roster in a game that Hoggan described as, "a few old guys (exhausting) themselves during their chance to 'officially' say they've won the (Calder) Cup." The Red team, which was loaded with former Mav players, defeated the White squad handily, with the final score something like 15-11.
Hoggan said he plans to make Omaha his home after his pro career ends. He and his wife, Chevonne, have two sons, Hunter and Cam.

Media guide photos courtesy of UNO Athletics.

Check out these vintage UNO Hockey audio clips featuring Jeff Hoggan (created by MavRick):
"We Could Be Heroes"
"Ooh, Ahh Just a Little Bit"

Griffins' Off-season Signings Prepare Team for 2013-14 Season
Jeff Hoggan, Hockeydb.com
Jeff Hoggan, Grand Rapids Griffins Team Roster
UNO Hockey Media Guide
Grand Rapids Griffins Win the Calder Cup

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

UNO Announces 2008-09 Recruits

Five players have signed national letters of intent in the spring signing period to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha and play hockey for the Mavericks.

Three of the new recruits will enroll at UNO and compete in 2008-09, while two others are committed for the 2009-10 season and will continue to play junior hockey next winter. Those five join a list of seven others who have previously signed with the Mavericks.

The three 2008-09 recruits include a goaltender, left wing, and a center.

Goalie John Faulkner was third in the Western Ontario Hockey League with a 3.03 goals against average and a .921 save percentage for the Sarnia Blast. The six-foot, 205-pound native of Sarnia had a 19-19 record, recorded one shutout and led the league in saves and save percentage and was the league’s most valuable player.

Left wing Brent Gwidt (pronounced like “Quit”), 6-3, 190, from Minocqua, Wis., had 8 goals and 14 assists and was a plus-15 for the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals of the NHL in 2006.

Ryan Kretzer, a 5-8, 175-pound center from St. Louis, Mo., was the Lincoln Stars’ second-leading scorer with 22 goals and 36 assists. He also added 5 goals in 8 playoff games.

The two recruits signed for the 2009-10 season include a pair of forwards, including a native Omahan.

Nick Oddo (pronounced Oh-doe), a 6-0, 180-pound center/wing from Omaha, scored 14 goals and had 9 assists and was a plus-9 in his first season of junior hockey at Cedar Rapids in the USHL. He was named the team’s unsung hero and won the RoughRiders Fan Choice Award. Oddo attended Millard North High School in Omaha.

David Morley, a 5-8-, 170-pound wing from Richmond Hill, Ont., scored 12 goals and handed out 23 assists in 41 games and was named the rookie of the year for the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League. The Tigers won the North Division under head coach Jerome Dupont, who is the father of Maverick goalie Jeremie Dupont.

Five previously-signed players, who all played prominent roles will join the Mavericks next fall.

John Kemp, a 5-8, 180-pound wing for the Indiana Ice, earned second-team USHL All-Star honors as the league’s leading scorer with 13 goals and 59 assists for 72 points. The Arcadia, Calif., native produced 8 goals and 27 assists on the power play.

Teammate Jake Skjodt (pronounced “Scott”), a 5-10, 195-pound center from Carmel, Ind., was the fourth-leading scorer for the Ice with 22 goals, 24 assists, and second on the team with 12 power play goals.

Alex Hudson was the second-leading scorer for Tri-City, scoring 23 goals and added 21 assists. The 6-0, 195-pounder from Corona, Calif., led the team in goals and power play goals with 8, as well as game-winning goals with 5.

Defenseman Kyle Ensign, 6-0, 180, from New Richmond, Wis., split time between Tri-City and Green Bay, finishing with 2 goals and 9 assists in 54 games, with the final 34 with the Gamblers.

Jordan Willert, a 6-3, 210-pound center from Minot, N.D., had 19 goals and added 9 assists for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL before his season ended after 45 games because of an injury.

Two other previously signed players will not enroll at UNO until 2009-10.

Joe Frazier, a 5-8, 180-pound forward, played last year for his Brainerd, Minn., High School team. He earned first-team all-conference honors in both 2007 and 2008. Frazier will play for the Omaha Lancers in 2008-09.

Nick Hopper, a six-foot, 170-pound goaltender from Culver City, Calif., posted a 3.54 goals against average and an .881 save percentage for the Tri-City Storm and had a 9-11 record in 22 games.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Scero and Bagron in Their First Pro Game

Former Mavericks Brandon Scero (#22) and Bill Bagron (#28) square off in their first pro game.

(Thanks to Rick Scero for the photo.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Scero and Bagron Sign with ECHL Teams

Brandon Scero signed with Mississippi in the ECHL and Bill Bagron signed with Texas. They played against each other tonight in the first pro game for both of them. Chris Tebbs was also in net for Texas.

Mississippi won 6-1. Scero had 2 goals.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mavs Claim Silver Sow

Maverick seniors Bill Bagron (left), Eric Aarnio (center) and Mick Lawrence (right) reclaimed the Spirit of the Mavericks trophy (nicknamed the "Silver Sow") from the Minnesota State-Mankato Mavericks after a six-year drought.

The trophy is awarded to the team that scores the most goals in the two-game series. The UNO Mavericks claimed the trophy by winning 6-3 in Omaha and 4-2 in Mankato.

The trophy was presented by me, representing the UNO Blue Line Club (neither UNO BLC president Pat Lemmers nor vice-president Colleen Barstow were able to make the Feb. 26 game in Mankato). More than 60 UNO fans witnessed the on-ice presentation.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mavs at Brewburger's on Feb. 10 and 17


Join the UNO Maverick Hockey team for a fundraiser at Brewburger's at 4629 S. 108th Street on Sunday, Feb. 10 and again on Sunday, Feb. 17th. Ten percent of the sales from 6-8 p.m. will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, says General Manager Paul Goodman.

UNO hockey players will be refilling beverages and providing friendly, attentive, personal service. Bring your Maverick items to be signed, or purchase a raffle ticket to win signed jerseys, sticks, and pucks.