It will be a homecoming of sorts for University of Maine freshman right wing Nolan Renwick when he makes his college debut on the road against the University of Nebraska Omaha on Friday evening.
Renwick spent the previous two seasons playing for the Omaha Lancers of the United States Junior Hockey League.
“It’s going to be a cool experience,” said Renwick, who has been playing on UMaine’s top line with Ben Poisson and Adam Dawe.
“I never imagined something like this when I was playing juniors,” he added.
The 20-year-old Renwick, a native of Milestone, Saskatchewan, enjoyed his time in Omaha and said he met a lot of great people there.
Renwick said even though he is certainly familiar with the city, the Lancers play at Ralston Arena which is 8.7 miles away from Baxter Arena, where the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks play.
He had an outstanding season with the Lancers a year ago when he registered 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points in 55 games.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound Renwick had three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 40 games the previous season.
Renwick said he is enjoying the transition to college hockey, and so far he has impressed first-year head coach Ben Barr and his teammates.
“He’s a good, big forward who uses his size to his advantage. And he has good skills,” said senior Dawe.
“He’s a very good player,” Barr said. “He can play anywhere because he is in such good shape. He can skate, he works hard and is a very responsible player. His offense will get better over time.”
UMaine lost an exhibition game to Quinnpiac 7-0 last Saturday and the Black Bears will be taking on a Mavericks team ranked 17th in the nation.
UNO split with Lake Superior State last weekend, losing 4-3 in overtime and winning 3-0.
Fifth-year coach Mike Gabinet’s Mavericks, who were picked to finish fifth in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference preseason media poll, will be led by Chayse Primeau, who had nine goals and 14 assists a year ago, Tyler Weiss (7 & 16), Taylor Ward (13 & 9), defenseman Brandon Scanlin (2 & 15) and goalie Isaiah Saville (12-11-1, 3.03 goals-against average, .907 save percentage).
UNO was 14-11-1 last season and earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015.