St. Cloud, MN – The misery continued for the Omaha Mavericks getting blitzed 7-1 and losing their seventh consecutive game to the Huskies at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Saturday, December 8th. The 4-10-2 Mavericks knotted the game 1-1 early in period two but then saw the floodgates open as the Huskies scored six consecutive goals to bury the Mavs and finish the 2018 conference schedule with an impressive 6-0-2 record and a seven point lead over the Western Michigan Broncos currently residing in second place in the NCHC. In contrast to Friday’s contest, the Huskies were seemingly scoring at will as Omaha netminder Evan Weninger was repeatedly left to face an onslaught of Huskies offensive attacks. On this night, thirteen SCSU players had at least one point and four had a multi-point game. Blake Lizotte, who had an outstanding game led the Huskies with two goals. The two NIcks – Perbix and Poehling each had two assists and Patrick Newell who was carrying the puck with confidence all night had a goal and an assist. And, David Hrenak who played both games allowed only one goal in the series and improved his record to 10-0-1. The win improved the Huskies overall record to 13-1-2 as they get a much-needed break before an exhibition contest with the USA Under 18 squad on December 27.
It was another quick start for the Huskies as they gave the gallery little time to settle in scoring a mere 1:19 into the contest. Blake Lizotte (unassisted) snared a turnover between the dots and beat Evan Weninger with a quick wrist shot stick side for a 1-0 lead. That was the extent of the scoring in period one and in a closely contested match from a shots standpoint saw SCSU edge Omaha 10-9 in shots on goal. Omaha did have two consecutive man-advantage opportunities in period one but the Huskies penalty kill was up to the task shutting down both.
The Mavericks got a lift early in period two as Zach Jordan netted his 5th goal of the season at 5:03 to give the Mavericks their first and only equalizer of the weekend. Tyler Weiss made a nice play threading a cross ice pass to Jordan who beat Hrenak high from the right circle. But, the Huskies responded quickly with a goal by Robby Jackson ( R Poehling | Meier) for his 6th goal of the year just 35 seconds later. Ryan Poehling found Robby Jackson streaking down ice and he fed him a 40 foot pass and Jackson took advantage beating Weninger with a low wrist shot beating him glove side for a 2-1 SCSU advantage. This was Jackson’s 97th point and was the game-winning goal. SCSU extended the lead to goals at 11:16 on Jack Ahcan’s (Perbox | Poehling) 2nd goal of the year. Nick Perbix slid the puck to Ahcan at the left point and he wristed it past Weninger for a 3-1 Husky lead. Easton Brodzinski ( N Poehling | Perbix) then added another at 16:58 to extend the lead to 4-1. Brodzinski split the defense after retrieving a pass from Nick Poehling and he converted his own rebound for his 8th goal of the season. In a dominating period, SCSU scored three times and outshot Omaha 17-7.
The misery for the Mavericks continued in period three and started immediately after a penalty to Ryan Jones a minute into the period. Sam Hentges made a nice backhand pass to Newell who was stationed in the right circle and he wristed a shot past Weninger to increase the SCSU lead to 5-1. Blake Lizotte then added his second goal of the game at 12:31 with assists to Patrick Newell and Jimmy Schuldt. Newell circled with the puck near the top of the zone and then threaded a pass to Lizotte in the slot who beat Weninger with a quick wrist shot for a 6-1 contest. Kevin Fitzgerald completed the scoring for the Huskies with an unassisted goal at 16:11, his 7th goal of the season. Omaha defenseman Ryan Jones coughed up the puck at the right goal crease and Fitzgerald turned and fired a shot that beat Weninger high glove side for the Huskies 7th and final goal of the game. SCSU outshot the Mavericks 10-5 in the final period.
Coache Larson Comments:
“Our focus was to get to their goalie – get to the paint and create a lot of second and third chances, a lot of screens and tips and we responded. The goal by Jackson turned the tide back in our favor. The whole night hinged on that. For us, that was the turning point of the game.”
“I’ve sensed a group that is hungry to get better and cares for each other and the program. The character level of the players here is impressive. The sweep is huge. The group earned a good break. We need to stay humble and we know we have a lot of work to do (after the break).”
SCSU outshot Omaha 37 to 21 and converted 1 of 3 power play opportunities while the Mavericks were held scoreless on their three power plays. Evan Weninger played the full 60 minutes and stopped 30 of 37 shots even though he yielded 7 goals and was repeatedly hung out to dry by his defense. His record dropped to 4-9-2 with the loss. David Hrenak stopped 20 of 21 shots on goal and improved his record to 10-0-1. SCSU also won the faceoff battle winning 34 of 58 draws.
Stars of the Game: #1 B Lizotte #2 Nick Poehling #3 Patrick Newell