OMAHA, Neb. — Brian Haaland had played just over two full games of total college hockey (120:08 in four appearences) before being thrown into a sticky situation Friday night at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha.
At the second intermission of a 5-5 game against Colgate, after giving up four goals in 10 minutes, heralded Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Dan Ellis was pulled for the first time in his college career.
Brian Haaland had gotten the call to come in cold, and win the game.
Or lose it.
Haaland came through with flashes of brilliance and made six saves in the final period, then outflared Steve Silverthorn in overtime to lead the Mavericks to a 6-5 marathon win. Scotty Turner poked in the game-winner in double-overtime.
Haaland made 11 saves overall in this, his biggest win in college.
“Any time I get to play, I just have so much fun out there,” Haaland said. “My parents came down (from Minot, N.D.) not knowing I’d get in. It was nice for them to see that.”
Colgate took the early lead on a P.J. Yedon goal, but the Mavericks charged back with five straight scores.
Greg Zanon, Jason Jaworski, Micah Sandford, Brett Davis and Joe Pereira each scored to blindside Colgate and take a 5-1 lead.
A four-goal lead is typically safe in the glove of Ellis. Not so tonight.
Ellis uncharacteristically gave up five goals, including four in the last half of the second period.
At the halfway point of the second period, with UNO up 5-1, Colgate began their quest to get back into the game. Paul Kelley scored his first of the year at 11:05.
Penalties then plagued UNO, and the Raiders took advantage. The Mavericks took five consecutive penalties, giving Colgate a 5-on-3 late in the period. Kyle Doyle scored the first of three second-period power play goals for the Raiders at 16:28. With one man still in the box, Adam Mitchell made it a 5-4 game just 21 seconds later.
Scooter Smith complete the comeback just before the second period ended.
The tie lasted through the third period, the first five-minute overtime (see sidebar) and 18:45 of double overtime before Turner scored.
UNO dominated the double-overtime period rifling off 18 shots at Silverthorn before one trickled in. The Mavericks outshot Colgate 50-29 on the game.
Smith had a chance to win it for Colgate in the double-overtime, but Haaland came out, cut down the angle and ultimately plugged the breakaway.
Despite the struggles Ellis had in the game, Kemp said that he should be ready for the Pioneers Saturday.
The overtime goal for UNO was on the power play, a rare occurrence in overtime. Kemp said he didn’t see much reaction from the Colgate bench.
“You have to assume it was pretty blatant for them to call it,” Kemp said.