OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska-Omaha finally pulled out of its Saturday funk. Kind of.
On a third period goal by David Morelli, UNO pulled out a 1-1 tie against Massachusetts at Qwest Center Omaha. The tie came on the heels of a 7-2 Maverick win the night before.
Despite the No. 7 Minutemen carrying much of the play for the first two periods, UNO showed veteran resilience to earn the tie in the third.
“We’ve been trying to have this young team grow up,” Maverick coach Mike Kemp said. “As much as it is to have a tie, it’s the way we came about it tonight that was big.
“They were really shutting us down. It would have been easy to roll up the tent. But our young guys, instead of acting like young guys, acted like men and stood up and said, ‘We’re going to take
this game back.’”
Nearly four minutes into the game, UNO captain Mike Lefley took a charging penalty that nearly turned into a shorthanded goal for the Mavericks. UMass goaltender Gabe Winer came up huge by stopping a breakaway by Andrew Wong, who had his first hat trick as a Maverick on Friday.
That allowed the Minutemen to take the lead in the first period. Leading scorer Thomas Pck finished off a somewhat bizarre goal at 15:09 for the 1-0 lead. A Greg Mauldin shot, which UNO goalkeeper Chris Holt thought he had covered, squirted behind the net to Stephen Werner who fed Pck for the goal.
“I was a little disappointed in that,” Holt said. “But you win some and lose some. I didn’t complain. I have had plenty of goals waved off that were goals.”
UMass led the shot total 19-9 after two periods, but the Mavericks finally clawed back with the tying goal in the third. After two Maverick shooters piled up in front of Winer, Morelli collected
the puck that was left laying just outside the crease and chipped it into the net.
“It was a very different game from last night, obviously,” UMass head coach Don Cahoon said. “We had to identify what was missing as far as intensity, but I don’t think we changed that much.”
UNO is on the road at Alaska-Fairbanks next week for a 10 p.m. CST start. The Mavericks have yet to win in Fairbanks with a record of 0-6-4. The Nanooks currently sit in a two-way tie for sixth in the CCHA, just one point ahead of UNO.
UMass will play an afternoon game at Boston University on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. EST.