Josh Archibald scored his second hat trick of the season, helping the Omaha hockey team to a come-from-behind 6-3 win over North Dakota on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
The Mavericks moved to 11-13-2 overall and 8-6-2-1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, tied with North Dakota for third place. North Dakota dropped to 14-9-3 overall and 9-7-0-0 in the NCHC. The teams split the four-game season series with two wins apiece.
Archibald became the first player in UNO history to record three career hat tricks and the first Maverick to earn two hat tricks in one year. He also had an assist.
Tied at one after the first period, the second period started poorly for the Mavericks who gave up goals to Drake Caggiula and Jordan Schmaltz in the first 2:07 to fall behind 3-1.
But the Mavericks kept battling, getting back to within one goal when Dominic Zombo batting home the rebound of a shot by Archibald. It was his 13th goal of the season, a new career best.
Archibald then tied the game during the Mavericks’ first power play of the game. He broke down the right wing and tried to send a pass to the UND net mouth. The puck hit a North Dakota defender and ricocheted past Saunders at 7:48.
Archibald later put the Mavericks back in front when he slipped the puck under Saunders after he failed to control a shot from Zombo at 13:56.
The Mavericks looked to have taken a two-goal lead with 8.2 seconds to go in the period when Brock Montpetit finished off a breakaway with a backhander under Saunders. But on review, it was ruled that Montpetit obstructed Saunders and the lead stayed 4-3.
In the third, Archibald completed the natural hat trick. He flew down the left wing, got a step on Schmaltz and one-handed a backhander past Saunders for his career-best 21st goal of the year. It was also his 50th career goal, making him the sixth Maverick to reach the milestone.
Zahn Raubenheimer made it 6-3 when he finished off a cycle in the UND end with his fifth goal of the season and third in the last four games.
The game got off on a feisty note when Archibald and UND’s Stephane Pattyn were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for pushing and shoving before the first puck had been dropped.
It was a penalty-filled period for the Mavericks who had to kill off four UND power plays including nearly a minute of 5-on-3 time.
The Mavs grabbed the first lead of the game at 12:24 of the first. Johnnie Searfoss passed to Tanner Lane on the right wing, and he fired a shot between Saunders and the near post.
The final penalty of the period was to Maverick head coach Dean Blais who was given a game misconduct. That left only assistant Troy Jutting to run the bench.
In the waning seconds of the first, UND tied the game. Derek Rodwell scooped up the rebound of a shot by Conner Gaarder and tucked it past UNO goalie Kirk Thompson with 7.3 seconds remaining.
Thompson earned the win with 23 saves to improve to 4-4-1. Saunders made 29 saves in the loss as the Mavericks outshot North Dakota, 35-26, including 29-18 over the last two periods.
Zombo finished with a goal and two assists while Lane and Raubenheimer each had a goal and an assist. Guentzel and Searfoss each had two assists. In the process, Guentzel tied Scott Parse for second in UNO history for assists by a freshman (19).
UNO’s penalty kill continued its resurgence, stopping all six UND power plays in the game. The Mavs were a perfect 10-for-10 killing penalties in the series.
The split of the weekend series also meant that the Mavericks have never failed to win at least one game in three trips to UND’s intimidating home rink.