Ryan Massa made 20 saves for his first shutout of the season, and Josh Archibald set a new school record for goals in a season as the Omaha hockey team blanked Colorado College, 6-0, on Friday night at the CenturyLink Center.
Archibald scored two goals and now has 28 this season, breaking the record set by Bill Thomas who had 27 during the 2005-06 season. He leads the NCHC in goals and has a team- and conference-best 41 points.
The Mavericks improved to 14-15-2 overall and 11-8-2-1 in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, good for third place. Colorado College dipped to 6-19-6 overall and 6-10-5-1 in conference play, putting it in seventh.
It took the Mavericks just 11 seconds to seize the lead. They won the opening face-off and dumped it into the right wing corner. Brock Montpetit’s forecheck forced the puck free from defenseman Peter Stoykewych. Austin Ortega threw it to the crease where it caromed in off goalie Josh Thorimbert.
It is believed to be the fastest goal to start a game by the Mavericks and the second fastest to start a period behind Dan Swanson’s goal six seconds into the third period of a game against Northern Michigan on Jan. 27, 2007.
The Mavericks doubled their lead at 2:15 of the period. While killing a penalty, Dominic Zombo gathered up an errant pass and threw it ahead to Montpetit. He cut around the Colorado College defenseman and fired a shot over Thorimbert who was sprawling on the ice. The shorthanded goal was the 12th goal of the year for Montpetit, a new career high.
It didn’t take long for the Mavericks to make it 3-0. Zombo grabbed a loose puck behind the Tigers’ net and quickly fed it in front to Jake Guentzel who fired home his fifth goal of the season.
Omaha cashed in on its first power play of the second period. Montpetit spotted Archibald cruising down the left wing. Archibald took the pass and rifled a shot over the shoulder of backup goaltender Courtney Lockwood.
Archibald picked up the record-setting goal just 4:04 into the third period. Guentzel was stopped by Lockwood when he tried to jam in a pass from Zombo at the net mouth. But Archibald slipped through traffic and fired home the rebound.
It marked the sixth multi-goal game of the season for Archibald, the fifth in the last 11 games.
James Polk closed the scoring on a power play at 11:56 of the third, tipping in a point shot from Nick Seeler for his third goal of the season.
Massa’s shutout was the second of his career, his first coming on Feb. 11, 2012 at Michigan Tech in a 4-0 win. It was also UNO’s first team shutout of the season.
The UNO penalty killers stopped all four advantages for the Tigers and have now killed off 56 of the last 58 opponent power plays (96.6 percent). The Mavs power play finished 2-for-6.