Huskies Offense Falls Flat in 2-0 Loss to Omaha

(Photo Courtesy Mark Kuhmann @coolmancreative)

Omaha, NE – The SCSU Huskies entered Sunday’s game with Omaha averaging 3.80 goals per game. After 60 minutes of play, Omaha backup goaltender Austin Roden put a serious dent in that turning aside 41 shots and capturing a shutout in his first game of the season. The Mavericks game plan worked to perfection as they clamped down on the Huskies and kept them on the perimeter in stark contrast to the Huskies 5-3 win over Omaha on December 6th. In the process, the Mavericks finally broke the spell and earned their first victory over the Huskies at Baxter Arena in nine tries.

“We needed a big performance from our goaltender and he gave us one tonight,” said Omaha coach Mike Gabinet. “He has been preparing properly and doing all the necessary things he needs to do and when you do that, you earn your own confidence and instill confidence in the team and coaching staff. I’m not surprised as I know how hard he has worked.”

SCSU also received a solid performance out of its backup. “I was really excited for Joey (Lamoreaux)” said coach Brett Larson. ” I thought he played great. We have a lot of confidence in all three of our goalies.”

On the Huskies effort on Sunday coach Larson said ” I don’t have any problem with our effort or compete level. With both teams playing last night, getting the lead early was really important. You don’t want to chase the game. What they did better than us tonight was to get to the dirty areas and take away the goalies eyes. They are good at getting to the net. They work hard to get to the hard areas. I thought they played a really sound game.”

Period One 

It was the intent of the coaching staff to give work to all of their goaltenders in the Pod and on this night decided to insert sophomore backup Joey Lamoreaux, starting his first career game. To Lamoreaux’s credit, he was probably the Huskies MVP in period one turning aside 9 shots, several of the highlight variety including bailing out the Huskies defense after turning over the puck at the blueline and gifting Omaha forward Noah Prokop with a lone break.

The Huskies tested Roden early with Nolan Walker ripping a shot from the right slot in the first half minute of play but he turned it aside. Four minutes later, Chase Brand and Walker had a two on one but Brand was unable to get a shot off. A holding call to Kevin Fitzgerald gave Omaha an early man-advantage opportunity and they nearly converted were it not for a huge save by Lamoreaux. A point-blank shot from the low left slot required a stretching pad save to keep the Mavs off the board.

Another penalty to Jami Kranilla at 7:32 had the Huskies on the defensive but gave the Huskies one of their few legitimate chances in the period. Micah Miller, always a threat shorthanded, got past the Omaha defense and fired a shot from the left circle that was saved by Roden.

A penalty to Omaha’s Alex Roy at 11:08 nearly backfired as the SCSU defense coughed up the puck at the blueline sending Noah Prokop in all alone on Lamoreaux requiring a big save.

Two minutes later, at 13:38 the Mavericks finally beat Lamoreaux with a shot from the point by Jack Randl that found its way through traffic and apparently off Kirby Proctor and past Lamoreaux for the first goal of the game.

The teams traded penalties in the last four minutes of the period with no further damage done and a 1-0 Maverick lead heading into period two. A total of five penalties were called in period one – including three to SCSU that disrupted the flow of the game for each team. The Huskies outshot Omaha 13-9, and were even in the faceoff circle in period one.

Period Two 

The first half of period two had the teams trading opportunities. Easton Brodzinski placed a shot off the post from the high slot less than two minutes into the period and 30 seconds later Lamoreaux had to make a big save on Taylor Ward in the slot. Shortly thereafter, Zach Okabe tipped a shot just wide past Roden.

A penalty to Taylor Ward at 5:32 put the Huskies on the advantage for the third time and despite the advantage and about a minute of pressure in the Omaha zone after it expired, the only bonafide opportunity was a two on one with Brodzinski placing a shot wide from the right circle.

Finally, Omaha cashed in again at 8:38 of the period on a similar play to their first goal. Kevin Conley sent a shot towards the SCSU goal into traffic and Tyler Weiss was able to get his stick on it and send it past Lamoreaux for a two-goal Omaha lead.

Omaha nearly made it a three-goal lead on a crazy play from behind the goal by Taylor Ward. He sent the puck towards Lamoreaux and it got behind him and slid along the goal line but never crossed the line before it was steered clear.

The Huskies had two opportunities before the period ended with Walker failing on a wraparound attempt with 2:30 remaining and Hentges sending the puck wide from the left circle with 1:26 remaining.

Shots on goal for the period were 10-9 in favor of the Huskies while Omaha won the battle in the faceoff circle 12-7.

(Photo Courtesy Mark Kuhlmann @coolmancreative)

Period Three

The Mavericks did a good job containing the Huskies in the third period as they desperately tried to get back in the game. However, grade A opportunities were few and far between. Fatigue seemed to be a factor as well and you could clearly see the energy wasn’t there having played 5 games in 8 days. In an attempt to get back into the game, Lamoreaux was pulled for the extra attacker with 3:03 remaining. Nick Perbix saved it from being a three-goal game chasing down a puck headed for the SCSU goal and diving to swipe it away just feet from the goal line.

With the extra attacker, the Huskies had one final opportunity with Roden putting an apostrophe on his performance with a goalmouth pad save on Jami Kranilla with 1:42 remaining. Roden made the save and captured his 2-0 shutout including 41 saves for his first win of the season.

Despite giving up two goals, both through traffic in front of the net, Joey Lamoreaux had a solid outing in goal in his first official start stopping 19 of 21 shots.  Both teams had four penalties for eight minutes. Omaha won the faceoff circle by a 36 to 29 margin. In a lopsided period in shots on goal, SCSU outshot Omaha 18-3 as they threw everything they could Roden’s way.

Stars of the Game: Kirby Proctor (UNO), Tyler Weiss (UNO), Austin Roden (UNO)   

With the loss, the Huskies missed an opportunity to gain ground on league-leading UMD who lost to Colorado College by a 4-1 score earlier in the day. The Huskies record stands at 4-2-0 and UMD now sits at 5-1-1 with 17 points while SCSU and UND are tied with 12 points.

“I liked our first two periods,” said Omaha coach Mike Gabinet. “We knew we weren’t going to get many shots in the third but we wanted to be above their guys and not just try to create chance for chance (with them). We knew they were going to carry the third period but hey, good for our guys to lock it down and keep the shots outside and come up with a big win.”

Up Next: The Huskies have a rematch with North Dakota on Wednesday, December 16th at 7:35 PM CT.








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