With their team up just one goal midway through the third period, the UNO TV guys were calling the game “junkyard-dog hockey”. You might presume that this was said in frustration; you would be correct. Nebraska-Omaha just couldn’t stay out of the box in the latter half of the game, a scenario that we’re unfortunately familiar with. The boys applied a ton of pressure, but enough of the shots were stopped, and the good guys couldn’t bring this game level, falling 3-2 on the road.
The start of the game did not augur well for the boys. A tripping penalty at :40 on Lasse Uusivirta led to a quick power-play goal, as Ryan Walters flipped a backhander just under the crossbar to put the Mavs up 1-0.
But the boys tied it at one when they got numbers and had a nice scoring chance. Shot in, rebound in the crease, and who comes trucking through but Graeme Strukoff! He now leads the team in scoring on the strength of a heads-up goal at 6:31 of the first.
The second period could have been a backbreaker. Anderson White went off on a checking-from-behind major penalty at 2:58. The Chargers held firm, killing the penalty and working hard to make up for being down to five defensemen, exacerbated further by Ben Reinhardt taking a tripping penalty just a minute after the major expired. All in all, the Chargers killed all penalties on the night save that first one.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, killing penalties didn’t mean that they completely shut the Mavs down. Dominic Zombo and Bryce Aneloski picked up goals just 2: Kyle Lysaght saved a fourth goal at 14:14 as a blown point pass gave the Mavericks a shorthanded opportunity. It was a little surprising that a penalty shot wasn’t awarded, but his penalty just brought matters to 4×4 hockey.
A little post-period festivities in the second left the Chargers up two men for :48 to start the third. The boys capitalized in the second penalty as Alex Allan found Frank Misuraca streaking to the weakside slot. The centering pass moved faster than John Faulkner could slide across the crease, and the freshman defenseman from Clinton Township, Mich., has his first collegiate goal.
Despite another two power-play chances that overlapped for :23, the boys just couldn’t find that third marker despite all manner of pinching by defensemen and hard skating and hitting by the forecheckers. Johnny Griggs picked up the loss despite a 30-save effort.
The two teams finish up the weekend set with a 7:07 drop in Omaha. Check out Catching the Game to follow along.