OMAHA, Neb. – Wisconsin got a late goal from Brendan Woods and held off the Omaha hockey team, 4-3, on Friday night at the CenturyLink Center.
The loss denied the Mavericks a chance to move closer to clinching home ice advantage in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. The Mavericks are now 18-13-2 overall and 14-9-2 in the WCHA. They have lost four straight home games.
The winning goal came with just 1:42 remaining in the third period. Woods collected a rebound in front of goalie Ryan Massa, turned and fired a shot just inside the left post.
It was a deflating goal for the Mavericks who had battled back to tie the game three different times. Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, Bryce Aneloski scored on the power play, wristing a shot past UW goalie Joel Rumpel who was being screened by Brent Gwidt.
Joseph LaBate put Wisconsin ahead again just 22 seconds later when he redirected in a pass from Michael Mersch.
But on another power play, the Mavericks once again evened the game. Ryan Walters broke down the left wing and fired a pass to Dominic Zombo. His shot was kicked out by Rumpel, but the rebound came to Andrej Sustr who fired home his career-best eighth goal of the year to make it 3-3.
It was the first time in 21 games that the Mavericks had scored more than one powerplay goal in a game. The last time was Nov. 24 when UNO scored three powerplay goals against Alabama-Huntsville.
Wisconsin opened the scoring at 3:08 of the first period. Off a two-on-one, Mark Zengerle carried down the left wing and fired a shot that hit the post behind Massa and then ricocheted off his back. Zengerle knocked in the lingering rebound for his seventh goal of the year.
The Mavs tied the game later in the period. Zombo kept the puck alive at the Wisconsin blue line and flipped the puck to Walters. He cut to the net and finessed the puck past Rumpel for his 20th goal of the year.
The last Maverick to score 20 or more goals in a season was Mick Lawrence who had 21 during the 2007-08 season.
The Badgers retook the lead midway through the second period. Mersch tapped in the rebound of a shot by Kevin Schulze for his team-leading 18th goal of the year.
Massa, in his first regular season action of the season, made 24 saves while Rumpel also stopped 24 as the Badgers finished with a 28-27 edge in shots.