The No. 18 UNO Mavericks were hoping that a two-goal flurry in the final minute of regulation to earn a tie Friday night would help propel their offense as they attempted to bounce back against Miami.
Unfortunately for the Mavs, little materialized offensively as the RedHawks used a three-goal second period to get out of Omaha with a 4-1 win in front of a Baxter Arena crowd of 5,619.
Gordie Green scored two goals to lead Miami to its first conference series road win since January 2016 when it swept the Mavericks.
Taylor Ward scored the only goal for the Mavericks (6-4-2).
UNO got off 73 shots in the game but only put 33 of them on net.
UNO coach Mike Gabinet credited the RedHawk defense for closing any open areas.
“They were tough to play against. They had 25 blocked shots there. Hard to penetrate that middle ice there,” Gabinet said. “They did a lot of things that we strive to do as a team.
“First off, they did a good job getting in the shot lane. And we took opportunities to miss the net, too. If you have a lot of shot attempts and you’re not getting any secondary opportunities, it’s a pretty easy night on their goalie,” Gabinet said.”
Freshman forward Joey Abate said the Mavs need to work harder to create goal-scoring opportunities when their opponents take away those lanes.
“We’ve just got to figure out how to get past the first defender to get those pucks on net,” he said.
Ward said the Mavericks (6-4-2 overall, 1-2-1-0 NCHC) had trouble getting quality chances despite having a 33-24 shots-on-goal advantage.
“The stats can paint a different picture of what actually happened. Tonight we only had six shots from the slot area. We can put up 30 shots on net, but when you only put six in six of them from the middle of the ice, the 30 number doesn’t really matter,” Ward said.
With next weekend off, the Mavs will have two weeks to get things turned around and prepare for a home series with two-time defending national champion Minnesota Duluth.
Gabinet said he intends to take advantage of the time off.
“Guys just seemed a little off this weekend here. So we’ve got to refocus in the bye weekend and get back to work and make sure we’re making improvements,” he said.
“I thought what we did poorly this weekend was we were waiting for somebody else to do it. And when you’re waiting for that puck to come to you and you’re not supporting the puck, you’re waiting for certain situations to unfold in front of you and not being part of the situation,” Gabinet added.
With the RedHawks (4-6-3) leading 2-0 in the second period, Miami had a three-on-none breakaway after Karch Bachman came away with a steal and went in alone on UNO goaltender Austin Roden.
Roden stopped Bachman’s initial shot and then turned away Bachman’s rebound.
But Bachman was able to get the puck to Jack Clement, who was alone in the slot, and he buried it for a 3-0 RedHawk advantage with 6:02 left in the second period.
UNO responded with 2:50 left in the second when Ward took the puck off the end board and slipped it past Miami goaltender Ben Kraws, who earned his first collegiate win, for his sixth goal of the season to make it 3-1.
But the RedHawks’ Chase Pletzke answered just 26 seconds later, beating Roden five-hole as Miami restored its three-goal advantage.
Kraws finished with 32 saves.
Miami (4-6-3, 2-3-1-1)........ 1 3 0–4
At UNO (6-4-2, 1-2-1-0)...... 0 1 0–1
First Period: 1, MU, Gordie Green ppg (Ryan Savage, Casey Gilling) 6:32.
Second Period: 2, MU, Green (John Sladic, Jack Clement) 6:39. 3, MU, Clement (Karch Bachman) 13:58. 4, UNO, Taylor Ward (Brandon Scanlin) 17:10. 5, MU, Chase Pletzke (Noah Jordan, Bray Crowder) 17:36.
Third Period: None.
Shots on goal:
Miami 8 11 5—24
UNO 11 5 17—33
Power plays: Miami 1 of 2; UNO 0 of 4.
Penalties-minutes: Miami 5-10; UNO 3-6.
Goaltenders: Miami: Ben Kraws (33 shots, 32 saves, 0:0); UNO: Austin Roden (24 shots, 20 saves, 60:00).
Three stars: 1, MU, Green. 2, MU, Clement. 3, UNO, Ward.