OMAHA, Neb. — The streak is over.
With a 7-1 win over Lake Superior State on Friday night at Qwest Center Omaha, Nebraska-Omaha snapped a 14-game winless streak that dated back to Feb. 21.
Freshman Scott Parse added to his team scoring lead with two goals and, like much of the rest of the team, was smiling broadly after the game.
“I’ve been able to score goals at every level and that’s just what I’m trying to do here,” Parse said. “This is a huge confidence booster. We’ve just got to keep working and keep scoring goals.”
Three other Mavericks had two points and defenseman Mike Gabinet doubled his career goals with his second goal of the season to go with his assist.
Even though they started out lukewarm, the Mavericks got on the board with Gabinet’s fluttering wrist shot from the blue line at 14:02 of the first period.
UNO then heated up by lighting the lamp four times in the second period, including two power-play goals.
When was the last time UNO got four goals in a period?
“About a time they invented dirt, I really don’t remember back that far,” head coach Mike Kemp said.
Kaleb Betts got the team’s first power play goal of the period and his first as a Maverick with a red-line wrister at 2:16 in the second. The tough-angle shot beat LSSU goalie Matt Violin to the top shelf.
Less than two minutes later, Dan Hacker scored from the same spot. His goal was set up by a threaded pass from Gabinet from the blue line on the opposite side of the ice.
Lake Superior State hung with the Mavericks in shots, equaling them at 19 through two period, but just couldn’t score. Their best opportunity came in the second period. The Lakers held the zone for over two minutes and took advantage of four defensive zone turnovers, but the end result was still a UNO goal.
Parse finally chipped the puck out of the zone, chased and carried the puck into Laker territory, undressed defenseman Ryan Reid and scored five hole.
“That tells you how smart coaches are; they have us pinned in our area and we’re screaming get it out, dump it, ice it,” Kemp said. “All the sudden, Scotty Parse gets it out and the move he made, you’re going to see on ESPN. That was an NHL caliber play. And yeah, that had a huge part impact because it was a deflating goal.”
Parse got his second, a power-play goal, five minutes later. A Betts shot deflected by Violin left the goal wide open for Parse. UNO then led 5-0.
Mike Lefley piled on two more goals for UNO in the third period, scoring both within 40 seconds, one at 3:09 the other at 3:49 of the third.
Lefley, a sophomore was named team captain this week.
“I’m a grinding kind of person, and those are the types of goals I got tonight,” Lefley said. “They want a leader by example, and your captain is supposed to do that and it was nice for me to get a couple goals and say I’m ready to lead you guys.”
Lake State did score a power play goal in the third period. Trent Campbell finished off a tic-tac-toe play at 13:38, which negated a shutout by UNO goalie Chris Holt. Holt made 27 saves on the night.
LSSU head coach Frank Anzalone was notably upset with his team. After the game Anzalone made a brief and matter-of-fact statement.
“Nebraska needed a win and they went and got it, it’s pretty simple. I don’t think we were as bad as we were ugly,” Anzalone said. “We’re embarrassed. Not embarrassed by losing, but embarrassed by the score. Those are the types of things we were trying to not have happen anymore.”
UNO scored its most goals since a 7-3 win over Ferris State on Oct. 28, 2000, and got its first CCHA win since Feb. 1 against Bowling Green. This was Lefley’s second two-goal game.