DULUTH – Minnesota-Duluth defeats Nebraska-Omaha 5-4 after scoring four straight goals in the second period. UNO sits in sixth place in the WCHA, but will fall to seventh tonight as Denver is going to defeat Alaska Anchorage. The drop in standings results in Omaha taking the road for an away game to kick-off the WCHA playoffs, making tomorrow’s game even more important.
The Mavericks hit the board first with a Josh Archibald tally, finishing off the period ahead of the Bulldogs 3-1. The second period belonged to the Bulldogs, though. After killing a five-minute major penalty, the Bulldogs scored four straight goals giving them the 5-3 lead to end the second. Johnnie Searfoss cut UMD’s lead 5-4 in the third period, but were unable to find anymore offensive production to tie the game.
What I Saw
UNO was able to capitalize on missed passes and sloppy play from UMD which allowed them to dominate most of the first period. Ryan Massa started the game for the Mavericks, but was pulled and replaced by John Faulkner after giving up four goals. With the exception of the second period, which I’m sure they’d like to have back, UNO played pretty well.
UMD didn’t exactly fly out of the gates to begin the game, but eventually found traction and success after awhile. The Bulldog power play helped in adding two goals in four attempts, which looked to be firing on all cylinders in each attempt.
What I Thought
Omaha came to play, and quieted Amsoil Arena very early in the game. The dominant offense UMD had hoped to stop from UNO produced early in the game, but failed when it counted most. But when momentum was sided with the Mavericks, which was mainly the first period, they displayed a dangerous amount of talent in connecting with one another and moving the puck.
Duluth’s sloppy play allowed UNO to convert early on, but after killing the major penalty, the Dogs caught fire and didn’t look back. UMD’s special teams continued to perform well from the week before, killing penalties and finding the back of the net when on a man-advantage. A team that is finally showing some confidence late in the season.
What They Said
UMD coach Scott Sandelin, “We won the battles around the net, the penalty kill was huge and to kill that (Justin Crandall’s major penalty) off and to respond with four goals was huge.”
UMD freshman Austin Farley,”All lines are working well and we’re all clicking. Our power play is pretty good too and we wanted to win the special teams battle because that’s what it comes down to later.”
UNO junior Ryan Walters, “They gained a lot of momentum for killing it (Justin Crandall’s major penalty) off and as a result they scored four straight goals and we had to come back just like they did. The third period came along and we got that goal right away and gave ourselves a chance but fell short tonight.”
What Else You Should Know
UMD is locked up to travel for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, but UNO is one point out of playing at home. Tomorrow’s game could potentially lock the Mavericks up in an away series as well, depending on how Denver does against UAA tomorrow night.
Austin Farley quietly had a four point night with a goal and three assists, and was also one of five Bulldogs with multiple points.
Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the last regular season game for both teams.