North Dakota held off a furious charge by the Omaha hockey team and earned a split with a 3-2 win on Sunday night at the CenturyLink Center.
The loss ended the Mavericks three-game winning streak and dropped them to 5-5-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. North Dakota ended a four-game losing streak and improved to 3-4-1 overall and 2-4-0 in the NCHC.
Trailing 3-2 entering the third period, the Mavericks had several chances to tie the game including a five-on-three power play for 1:45 halfway through the period. They had another man advantage in the dying seconds of the game, but Michael Young hit the crossbar with the Mavericks’ best chance.
The loss denied the Mavericks of their second straight weekend sweep.
North Dakota struck first on a fluky goal just 2:36 into the game. The puck was dumped in on UNO goaltender Kirk Thompson. Thompson though he had covered it, but it squirted loose and UND’s Derek Rodwell poked it in for his first goal of the year.
The Mavericks tied the game on a power play later in the period. Johnnie Searfoss brought the puck down the left wing and spun away from a defender. He passed to Ian Brady who deked around another UND defender and fired a wrist shot past goaltender Clarke Saunders.
Brady’s goal snapped UND’s consecutive penalty kill streak at 32.
North Dakota retook the lead at 6:11 of the second period when Michael Parks scored a shorthanded goal that chased Thompson. He was replaced by fellow freshman Reed Peters who was making his collegiate debut.
UND struck again less than three minutes later as Rocco Grimaldi threw a pass to the slot. Drake Caggiula came charging in and the puck ricocheted into the net off his skate. The goal was upheld by a video review, and UND led 3-1.
Before the period ended, the Mavericks dented UND’s nation-leading penalty kill again. Dominic Zombo dug the puck out from behind the North Dakota net and set up Josh Archibald who roofed a shot over the glove hand of Saunders. The goal was his team-leading eighth of the year.
UNO finished 2-for-6 on the power play while holding UND scoreless on all four man advantages. It was the first time this year that the Mavs did not allow a powerplay goal.
Peters took the loss in relief with one goal allowed on 18 shots. Saunders earned his first win of the year, making 36 saves as UNO outshot UND 38-28.