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Though he’s played his last game for UNO, junior goalie Isaiah Saville said he’s confident the Mavericks are moving in the right direction.

“It’s coming,” he said. “I know the program is going to keep growing.”

The native of Anchorage, Alaska, no longer will play a role in that, though. The three-year starter signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. He was selected by the Golden Knights in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL entry draft, the 135th overall selection. 

Saville finished his career 38-36-5 with a 2.78 goals-against average in 82 games for the Mavs. This season, he was 16-14 with a 2.52 average and four shutouts in 30 games.

The Mavs’ season ended March 12 when UNO lost its best of three NCHC playoff series against Western Michigan.

“I wasn’t 100% sure what my plan was going to be,” Saville said. “It was a realistic possibility that I was going to sign because nothing is ever guaranteed in life.”

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The goalie said he was busy packing for his next stop — Vegas’ American Hockey League affiliate in Henderson, Nevada. The team’s nickname is the Silver Knights.

Saville said he is satisfied with what he accomplished with the Mavs.

“I was very pleased with how things went,” he said. “I’m glad that I was playing in Omaha.”

Thank you Omaha for an unforgettable 3 years🖤❤️ pic.twitter.com/DxU9pVaQXY

— isaiah saville (@ijsaville31) March 19, 2022

Saville posted a photo of Baxter Arena on Twitter over the weekend and thanked UNO fans for “an unforgettable 3 years.”

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“It was an honor to play here,” he said. “To be a part of this team and this community is something I’ll never forget.”

Saville said UNO coach Mike Gabinet was supportive of his decision to turn pro. Gabinet also weighed in Sunday on Twitter:

“We will miss you in Omaha but we are so excited for you to achieve a lifelong dream. Remember you promised me two tickets to your first NHL game.”

Congratulations on Isaiah! We will miss you in Omaha but we are so excited for you to achieve a life long dream! Remember you promised me two tickets to your first NHL game 😉 Happy for you! https://t.co/So2Y0tMbvr

— Mike Gabinet (@Mike_Gabinet) March 20, 2022

Saville, whose mother is White and biological father is Black, said he will continue to make a statement about racial equality. His goalie mask features a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and part of his “I Have a Dream” speech.

“I’m going to continue to use my platform,” he said. “I want to be a positive role model for everyone who sees me play.”

Saville added that he had never seen a Golden Knights game live but is looking forward to his future with the team.

“It’s a great franchise,” he said. “I’m excited to get started.”

Saville isn’t the only player from this year’s squad to sign a pro contract. Other recent signees are defenseman Brandon Scanlin (New York Rangers), forward Taylor Ward (Los Angeles Kings), defenseman Nate Knoepke (AHL’s Rochester Americans) and forward Brannon McManus (AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks).

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A brief look at UNO hockey since 2010

2010-11 season

Record: 21-16-2

Coach: Dean Blais

Notables: First season in the WCHA; Blais wins WCHA coach of the year



2011-12 season

2011-12 season

Record: 14-18-6

Coach: Dean Blais



2012-13 season

2012-13 season

Record: 19-18-2

Coach: Dean Blais

Notables: Final season in the WCHA



2013-14 season

2013-14 season

Record: 17-18-2

Coach: Dean Blais

Notables: First season in the NCHC



2014-15 season

2014-15 season

Record: 20-13-6

Coach: Dean Blais

Notables: Finished season in NCAA Frozen Four; Forward Austin Ortega sets NCAA record for most game-winning goals in a season (11)



2015-16 season

2015-16 season

Record: 18-17-1

Coach: Dean Blais



2016-17 season

2016-17 season

Record: 17-17-5

Coach: Dean Blais

Notables: Blais final season coaching the Mavs; Forward Austin Ortega ties NCAA record for career game-winning goals (23)



2017-18 season

2017-18 season

Record: 17-17-2

Coach: Mike Gabinet

Notables: Gabinet’s first season coaching Mavs



2018-19 season

2018-19 season

Record: 9-24-3

Coach: Mike Gabinet



2019-20 season

2019-20 season

Record: 14-17-5

Coach: Mike Gabinet

Notables: Postseason canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic



2020-21 season

2020-21 season

Record: 14-11-1

Coach: Mike Gabinet

Notables: Reached NCAA tournament regionals, where Mavs fell to Minnesota 7-2



[email protected], 402-444-1350, twitter.com/MPattersonOWH


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