OMAHA, NE – A game seemingly under control suddenly had the Huskies on their heels as they had to rally for three goals in the third period to earn a 6-3 win and sweep of #12 Omaha at Baxter Arena in Omaha, NE Saturday. The Huskies built up a three goal lead midway through two periods only to see that lead disintegrate in a matter of seven minutes in a crazy end to the series finale.
SCSU opened up the scoring in period one on Blake Winiecki’s 10th goal of the season at 5:02. Winiecki (Jackson | Benson)cleaned up on a shot by Robby Jackson and backhanded the puck over Evan Weninger for a 1-0 SCSU lead. Omaha outshot SCSU 11-10 in the period but in a 180 turn from the night before, the Huskies had more jump and seemed to be a step faster than the Mavericks who controlled much of the play on Friday.
The Huskies added to their lead with their second goal of the game at 10:25 of the second period by Patrick Russell (Eyssimont). Eyssimont failed to convert a pass by Russell at the goalmouth but stuck with the play and fed Russell from behind the net who beat Weninger glove side for his 16th goal of the season. Next, on the power play, the Huskies made it look easy as Ethan Prow (Benik | Russell) snared a DE to DE pass from Joey Benik and skated in unopposed to beat Weninger top shelf glove side for a 3-0 SCSU lead. Seemingly in control of the game the wheels suddenly came off as Omaha scored twice by periods end. First, Ryan Galt scored at 12:54 to narrow the lead to 3-1. Then, with less than a second left in the period, Jake Guentzel got behind the SCSU defense and buried a pass from Frederic Olofsson for a 3-2 game. Omaha outshot SCSU 11-8 in period two.
The Huskies answered with Blake Winiecki’s second goal of the game at 8:07 of period three. On a strong move carrying the puck behind the Omaha net, Benson centered a pass to Winiecki who chopped at the puck twice before getting it past Weninger for a 4-2 SCSU lead. However, the Mavericks weren’t to be deterred as Guentzel scored again off a goalmouth scramble at 10:26 to narrow the lead to 4-3. Once again, the Huskies responded with a goal by Kalle Kossila, his 12th of the season at 16:31. Mikey Eyssimont drove to the net and lost the puck but a trailing Kossila was there to jump on the loose puck and put it past Weninger for a 5-3 SCSU advantage. SCSU clinched things with a rink length empty net goal by Judd Peterson while short-handed for the 6-3 final and sweep of the weekend series.
Omaha outshot the Huskies 32-27 for the game. SCSU’s Lindgren stopped 29 of 32 shots on goal in earning his 24th win of the season. Omaha’s Evan Weninger turned aside 21 of 26 shots on goal for the Mavericks and saw his record drop to 13-5-0. SCSU converted 1/4 power play opportunities while SCSU held Omaha scoreless on six man-advantage opportunities.
The Huskies record improves to 25-6-1 overall and 15-4-1 in the NCHC. With the sweep, the Huskies maintain co-leadership of the league standings with North Dakota who also earned a sweep of UMD over the weekend.
Stars of the Game: #1 Blake Winiecki (SCSU) #2 Jake Guentzel (Omaha) #3 Patrick Russell (SCSU)