#3 Michigan vs. Nebraska-Omaha Preview

No. 3 Michigan travels to Omaha, Neb., for a pair of games against the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks this weekend. How do the Wolverines match up with the Mavericks as they look to go 4-0-0 in CCHA play? Can the Wolverines make it three straight sweeps with a pair of victories this weekend?

When No. 3 Michigan swept Boston U. last weekend, it cemented the Wolverines as one of the top teams in the country. At 5-1-0 on the new season, the Wolverines seem poised to make a run at the Central Collegiate Hockey Association crown. Last week, Miami, the Wolverines primary competition for that crown, swept the Mavericks in Oxford, Ohio. This week the Wolverines get their turn.

Series Notes
Series vs. Nebraska-Omaha: Michigan leads 18-4-3
Season Series: First Meeting
Series in Nebraska: 7-2-3
Last Meeting: 5-1 Michigan

U-M Offense vs. Nebraska-Omaha Defense
F - Kevin Porter (4-3-7)
F - Matt Rust (4-2-6)
F - Louie Caporusso (2-4-6)
F - Chad Kolarik (2-4-6)
F - Carl Hagelin (3-2-5)

U-M Goals/Game: 4.0
U-M Shots/Game: 31.3

Nebraska-Omaha Goals Allowed/Game: 4.33
Nebraska-Omaha Shots Allowed/Game: 24.0

Outlook: Michigan holds a clear edge while the puck is in the Mavericks defensive zone. For the first time in years the Wolverines can roll out four lines capable of consistently putting the puck into the back of the net. Nebraska-Omaha will have to play a near perfect game and protect the goalie's to give the Mavericks a chance in this match up.
Advantage: Michigan

Nebraska-Omaha Offense vs. U-M Defense
F - Mick Lawrence (3-1-4)
F - Bryan Marshall (0-5-5)
F - Dan Charleston (3-1-4)
F - Brandon Scero (1-2-3)
D - Mike Phillippi (1-2-3)

Nebraska-Omaha Goals/Game: 4.0
Nebraska-Omaha Shots/Game: 31.3

U-M Goals Allowed/Game: 2.5
U-M Shots Allowed/Game: 22.5

Outlook: While the Wolverines defense was a question mark entering the season, improvement on shot blocking and back checking has allowed the Wolverines to eliminate scoring chances against goalie Billy Sauer. As a result, offensive numbers for opponents of the Maize and Blue have gone down. It's still too early to call this a good defensive team, but flashes have been evident. Meanwhile, Nebraska-Omaha must continue to cope with life after Scott Parse, an All-American scorer from last season.
Advantage: Even

Billy Sauer
Record: 5-1-0
GAA: 2.49
Save Percentage: .889%

Jerad Kaufmann
Record: 1-1-0
GAA: 2.51
Save Percentage: .894%

Jeremie Dupont
Record: 0-1-0
GAA: 7.00
Save Percentage: .708%

Outlook: Billy Sauer is yet to live up to expectations in Ann Arbor, but improved team defense through the first six games has allowed him to improve his numbers. If the defense can protect him, this edge goes to Michigan. If not, this one is a toss up.
Advantage: Push

U-M Power Play vs. Nebraska-Omaha Penalty Kill
U-M Power Play: 20.6% (2nd in CCHA, 7-for-34)
U-M Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 0

Nebraska-Omaha PK: 90.0% (3rd in CCHA, 18-for-20)
Nebraska-Omaha Shorthanded Goals: 0
Nebraska-Omaha PIM/Game: 26.7

Nebraska-Omaha Power Play vs. U-M Penalty Kill
Nebraska-Omaha Power Play: 10.5% (9th in CCHA, 2-for-19)
Nebraska-Omaha Shorthanded Goals Allowed: 2

U-M PK: 86.7% (6th in CCHA, 26-for-30)
U-M Shorthanded Goals: 1
U-M PIM/Game: 14.5

Nebraska-Omaha is a tough place to go and steal two games. Michigan, however, is coming in with tons of confidence. If the Wolverines can score the first goals to take the crowd out of the games, another weekend sweep looks good.
4-3 Michigan and 5-2 Michigan

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