The Omaha hockey team locked up third place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference with a 4-1 win over Minnesota Duluth on Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.
Michael Young, Josh Archibald and Jake Guentzel each had a goal and an assist while Ian Brady had two assists.
The Mavericks will begin the NCHC Playoffs with a best-of-three series at home on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (if necessary) March 13-15. They will host Denver which lost to Miami on Saturday, 2-1, to drop into sixth place.
Omaha finished the regular season with a record of 16-16-2 overall and 13-9-2-1 in the NCHC. Minnesota Duluth dropped to 16-14-4 overall and 11-11-2-2 in the conference putting it in a tie for fourth with Western Michigan. By virtue of the tiebreaker, UMD is seeded fourth for the playoffs and Western Michigan is seeded fifth.
The Mavericks struck first with an early power play. Ian Brady sent a pass up the left wing. Young carried the puck into the UMD end and fired a shot past Bulldog goalie Aaron Crandall for this third goal of the season and third in as many games.
UMD tied the game at 11:06. Ryan Massa stopped a shot by Kyle Osterberg but the puck bounced high in the air. Justin Crandall gathered it in and fired it home before Massa could recover.
The Mavericks grabbed the lead back early in the second period. Guentzel curled out from behind the UMD net and threw the puck across the crease. Archibald was there to knock in his NCHC-leading 29th goal of the year at 3:32.
Guentzel put the Mavericks up 3-1 later in the period when he tipped home a shot by Young for his seventh goal of the season. He moved to within one assist of tying Greg Zanon for the school record for assists by a freshman (26) and is just three points from equaling Scott Parse’s school record for points by a rookie (35).
The Mavericks limited the Bulldogs to just six shots on goal in the third period and iced the game when Dominic Zombo took a pass from Ryan Walters and slipped a backhander between Crandall’s pads at 17:21.
Massa picked up his career best 10th win of the year with 27 saves while Crandall also had 27 saves while suffering his first loss in five games against the Mavs.