Captain Nolan Sullivan talks hockey exhibition

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Abby Plouzek
Sports Editor

Three Maverick players celebrate after a goal. Photo Courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann.

Maverick hockey dominated Minnesota State University in an exhibition match that proves to bring an exciting season for the team. With a final score of 7-2 against the MSU Mavericks, Omaha hockey kept the “Spirit of the Maverick” trophy here in Omaha for at least another year. 

“None of us have ever played for the trophy so it was exciting for us to get it for the first time since we’ve been here,” Captain Nolan Sullivan said.

The trophy has traveled back and forth between Omaha and Minnesota since the teams have been playing each other. The last time our Mavericks faced MSU was in 2005. Team members this season have never had the opportunity to play for it.  

“It was a cool experience getting to play for the trophy,” Sullivan said. “It’s cool to have a tradition like that in the rink like in football.” 

Sullivan was named captain for his senior season and has been playing for the Mavericks since 2019. As captain, hee has his mindset clear.

“I just try to have strong, clear communication with every guy on the team and make sure everyone, especially the new guys, understand things,” Sullivan said. “College hockey is pretty different to anything they’ve ever seen before, so just making sure they’re comfortable and understand everything is important.” 

Sullivan follows Kevin Conley’s footsteps as captain of the team last year.

Sullivan said that he felt the team played well against MSU and everyone was excited to be back on the ice for the season. 

“I thought we played really well and to see the new guys play was really great and for us older guys it felt great to be back on the ice in front of the fans,” Sullivan said.

Sophomore Ty Mueller scored within the first five minutes of the match. Following Mueller, Jake Pivonka scored with an assist from Brock Bremer and Tyler Weiss. 

Debuting as goaltenders for the Mavericks, Jake Kucharski and Simon Latkoczy only allowed two goals for MSU. Kucharski comes from the American International Yellow Jackets in Springfield, Minnesota. Latkoczy comes from Madison Capitols in the USHL. 

Hockey at UNO has been well known for the large turnout of fans. Sullivan explained how he handles the nerves each game: 

“I think you can kind of use those jitters and nerves to your advantage and just having the support of the school, community and student section means so much to us and it kind of tilts the game in our favor with a large crowd cheering us on,” Sullivan said.

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