OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska-Omaha’s Jeff Hoggan scored 40 seconds into the second overtime to give
the Mavericks a 3-2 win over Notre Dame in a playoff thriller Friday night at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
Hoggan, a first team all-CCHA selection this season, took a lead pass from Andrew Wong at center ice and barged down the left wing, firing a wrist shot that went off Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey’s right arm for the game winner. The goal was Hoggan’s 24th of the season.
The loss ended Notre Dame’s five-game winning streak and drops the Irish to 14-16-5 on the season. The Mavericks, the No. 5 seed in the playoffs improve to 21-14-4 on the year.
Up until Hoggan’s goal, it was classic playoff hockey. Tight checking, excellent goaltending, a few strange bounces, a loud, boisterous crowd and two overtime periods for good measure.
The Mavericks got on the board first, scoring at the 10:41 mark of the opening period.
After a UNO shot went wide of the goal, the Irish defense tried to clear the puck up the left wing boards. Maverick defenseman Chris Claffey kept the puck in at the blue line, took two strides and blasted a slapshot past Morgan Cey for his fourth goal of the season.
Notre Dame came back just over four minutes later at 14:42 when defenseman Tom Galvin gathered a bouncing puck at his own blue line and skated through center. As he hit the UNO zone, he fired a wrist shot that sailed past goaltender Dan Ellis for his fourth goal of the year and a 1-1 tie.
A Notre Dame turnover in its own zone gave the Mavericks the lead at 16:20. Yan Stastny’s clearing attempt was intercepted by Shane Glover in the high slot. Glover wasted no time and whipped a shot past Cey’s glove for his 16th goal of the season.
From there, the defenses tightened and the goaltenders on both sides came up with big stops. Cey stopped all 12 Nebraska-Omaha shots in the second period while Ellis was stopping seven Notre Dame scoring bids at the other end of the ice.
The Irish tied the game with a break that came at 4:52 of the third period. With a faceoff to the left of Ellis in the Maverick zone, Hoggan won the draw cleanly, pulling it right back on his own goal. The puck slid inside the far post for the game-tying score.
Again the goaltenders took over and neither team could score. After regulation, Cey had 21 saves in goal while Ellis had 20 stops for Nebraska-Omaha.
The game opened up in the first extra period, as the Irish peppered Ellis with 12 shots while the Mavericks were firing eight at Cey. The two teams ended 80 minutes of play still tied.
Hoggan would get the game winnner on the first shot of the second overtime and it gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three CCHA first-round series.