Omaha, NE – The Huskies continued their mastery of the Omaha Mavericks with a convincing 4-1 win at Baxter Arena in Omaha on Friday, February 22. SCSU junior forward Ryan Poehling had a big night scoring twice including the game-winning goal to lead the Huskies attack. Sam Hentges scored the lead off goal for SCSU in the first period and Nick Poehling added another in period two as the Huskies won their 7th straight game in Omaha.
Omaha came out charging hard from the drop of the puck and had two shots on goal in the first minute of play. A tripping penalty to Nick Perbix 1:19 into the period provided an early opportunity for Omaha, Yet, it was the Huskies who had three-point blank short-handed opportunities between penalty killers Nick and Jack Poehling. It seemed to change the early momentum as SCSU continued to pick up the pace forcing numerous turnovers eventually leading to the Huskies first goal by Sam Hentges (Bushy) at 3:41. Brendan Bushy took a shot from the left point that rebounded to a wide-open Hentges parked in the right slot and he buried it into an open net for a 1-0 SCSU lead. Omaha was not without opportunities of their own as Hrenak had to make a big save on Fredrik Oloffson at 6:47. However, a tripping call on Riley Alford during a drive to the net by Blake Lizotte placed the Huskies on the PP. They were unable to capitalize on a nice backdoor opportunity by Ryan Poehling and another goalmouth save on Blake Lizotte. Omaha nearly tied the game as Steven Spinner was thwarted on a two on one at 13:11 but he shot the puck wide right. The Huskies then added their second goal of the period on their second power play opportunity after a tripping call to Jason Smallidge. A nice backdoor pass by Easton Brodzinski was snatched in traffic by Blake Lizotte who fed Ryan Poehling who beat Weninger for a 2-0 SCSU lead. It was a period showcased by the forecheck and cycling of the Poehling line while the Huskies outshot Omaha 11-8. SCSU was 1/2 on the man-advantage in the period while Omaha was 0/1.
Only down by two goals the Mavericks made an early push to hang with the Huskies and it lasted for about the first five minutes of period two. But again, it was a Poehling that did the damage with Nick Poehling (Perbix) getting his 4th goal of the season at 8:34. During a Omaha line change, Poehlng got behind the Omaha defense and Perbix fed him from inside his blue line for a break on Weninger. Poehling made it count with a hard shot that beat Weninger glove side high for a 3-0 SCSU advantage. Three minutes later, Ryan Poehling added another unassisted goal at 11:44. After a series of relentless attacks by the Huskies, Ryan Poehling took a shot from the left circle about 20 feet out that went off Weninger’s glove and trickled in for a 4-0 lead. It was Poehling’s 7th goal of the year and was unassisted. In a dominant period with outstanding puck movement SCSU outshot the Mavericks 10-5.
With a 4-0 lead to start period three, the Huskies seemed content to ride the large lead controlling the puck and eating up the clock. In their best period of the evening, Omaha finally broke Hrenak’s shut out with a goal by Mason Morelli 9:01 into the period. Omaha gained control of the puck in traffic in front of the SCSU goal and Mason Morelli beat Hrenak from the slot for his 19th goal of the season. However, that was the closest they were able to muster with the Huskies earning their 7th consecutive game in Omaha in a 4-1 final. Omaha matched the Huskies shot total at 10-10 for the period.
Omaha coach Mike Gabinet told the Omaha World Herald “We were skating hard, really playing the right way, early. We just didn’t bury any of our chances. They made four or five mistakes. The scoring chances aren’t that different tonight. But we don’t bury them and, obviously, you can see why they were the No. 1 team in the country. It’s the school of hard knocks. We made one mistake, and they had the talent level to put it in the back of the net.”
For the game, SCSU outshot Omaha 31-23. David Hrenak stopped 22 of 23 shots on goal to earn his 17th win of the season. The Mavericks Weninger was busy stopping 27 of 31 SCSU shots on goal. The Huskies were one for three on the man-advantage while Omaha was unsuccessful in two opportunities. SCSU had the advantage in faceoff wins by a 31-20 margin.
The win places the Huskies overall record at 24-4-3 and NCHC record at 14-2-3. Combined with a Western Michigan overtime win over Colorado College and a loss by UMD the Huskies now hold a 12 point advantage over Western Michigan and 13 points over UMD with a total of 15 points remaining in league play for all three.
With two goals, Ryan Poehling was the only SCSU player with a multiple point game.
Stars of the Game: #1 R Poehling (SCSU) #2 Nick Poehling (SCSU) #3 Sam Hentges (SCSU)