HAMILTON, N.Y. — For the second straight night, Nebraska-Omaha scored five goals and defeated Colgate on their home ice, this time taking a 5-3 decision on Saturday in a non-conference game.
With under four minutes remaining and Colgate pressing, Nebraska-Omaha’s Shane Glover scored his team’s fifth goal to put the game out of reach for the Raiders. After making an initial save on a two-on-one break, Colgate goalie David Cann could not cover the puck and Glover was able to barely sneak it past the goal line.
“We thought [Cann] had that one frozen, but obviously the ref saw it differently,” said Colgate coach Don Vaughan.
“It wasn’t pretty,” said Maverick head coach Mike Kemp about his team’s victory. “I thought the tenor of the game was totally different from last night. Tonight, right from the start, it got chippy. It made for a very different contest.”
Omaha tallied the first goal shorthanded at 13:42 of the first period. Dan Hacker won a faceoff to the left of Cann. Jeff Hoggan’s slap shot was stopped, but Hacker drove to the net and cleaned up the rebound, putting the puck past Cann for the early lead.
Colgate would answer back on that same power play, just 43 seconds after Omaha’s goal. Maverick Nick Fohr slipped while playing an aggressive forecheck, leading to an odd-man break for the Raiders. P.J. Yedon brought the puck into the Mavericks’ zone and finally centered to Dmitry Yashin. Yashin picked his spot and wrested the puck high to the glove side past Omaha goalie Dan Ellis.
With a series of quick passes, Omaha found itself back on top with the first of two second-period power-play goals at 3:12. After controlling the puck in the Raiders’ zone, Aaron Smith funneled it to a wide open Andrew Wong. As the Colgate defenders gravitated to the puck, Wong fed Hoggan, who was parked in the slot. Hoggan put the puck in the back of the net for the Maverick 2-1 lead.
“[Hoggan] is playing with determination,” said Kemp. “He’s playing the way we’d hoped he would as a senior.”
Colgate nearly tied the game, but a goal was called back midway through the second period. A backhand shot by Colgate captain Etienne Morin found its way past Ellis. The light went on, but referee Alex Dell ruled the puck had hit the post and stayed out.
The Mavericks’ second goal of the period came on a two-man advantage at 15:31. With textbook movement, Wong passed the puck to the right side of the net where captain David Brisson was waiting. Brisson found Hoggan in the slot, who snapped a quick one-timer on net. Cann made the first save, but Hoggan hacked home the rebound to put Omaha up by two goals.
Brisson scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for Omaha at 3:08 in the third period. Hoggan dug the puck out of the corner to a wide open Anthony Adams. Adam walked in unmolested and put a shot on goal from the left circle. Cann again made the initial save, but Brisson was alone in front of the Colgate net and tapped home the rebound to give the Mavericks’ a three-goal lead.
“We’ve got to get tougher around our net,” said Vaughan about the four rebound goals scored by Omaha. “We need to do a better job of taking care of business in our own end. I thought they just wanted it a little more around our cage.”
Colgate scored two goals and found themselves back in the contest. Ben Bryce scored a power play-goal at 10:27 in the third period after finding the rebound of Scooter Smith’s slap shot on his stick. Smith himself would score the Raiders’ third goal shorthanded at 14:16. Smith caught a pass from Rob Brown at center ice and had a breakaway. He snapped the puck under Ellis’ glove to bring Colgate within one.
“I’m not very happy about being in a position up by three in the third and allowing them to get back,” said Kemp. “We didn’t stay to task the way we need to in the third period. We got out of our game.”
The Mavericks did manage to hold on to the lead and move to 3-1-0 on the year.
“I’m happy that we got the road sweep,” said Kemp. “We accomplished what we came here to do. I’m hoping that this will carry over for us. We are learning how to play gritty.”
Colgate now finds itself with two losses after its first two games.
“I think some of our guys just aren’t where they need to be physically,” said Vaughan. “You try and get to that place physically and conditionally but it’s tough to do unless you play games.”
Both teams move on to face tough opponents next week. The Mavericks will play Michigan State at home, while the Raiders travel to Minnesota to play the Golden Gophers.