OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska-Omaha handed Lake Superior State one of its most devastating losses of the season Friday night when it defeated the Lakers 4-3. Maverick Joe Grimaldi scored the game-winning goal with six seconds left in the game.
After a 15-hour road trip, Lake Superior (9-21-7, 8-15-6 CCHA) came out slow in the first period against Nebraska-Omaha (18-15-4, 14-11-4). The Mavericks ruined the Lakers’ hopes of leaving the ice tied after one period when Bill Thomas scored his 19th goal of the year at 18:46 of the first, 20 seconds into a UNO power play. Thomas’s power-play goal was assisted by Mick Lawrence and Bryan Marshall.
Ten seconds later Laker goaltender Jeff Jakaitis mishandled clearing the puck, allowing UNO’s Dan Hacker to score the Mavericks’ second goal of the game. Joe Grimaldi earned an assist.
At 15:11 of the second period Brandon Scero lengthened the Mavericks’ lead to three when he scored a goal assisted by Bryan Marshall and Jason Krischuk.
The Lakers refused to let the Mavericks’ three-goal lead get them down. Only 22 seconds after Scero’s goal, UNO’s Rob Chappell went to the penalty box for a holding penalty. At 15:42 of the second period, Nathan Ward won the faceoff, getting the puck to sophomore Trent Campbell. Campbell buried the puck behind UNO goalie Chris Holt to score his third power-play goal in the last two games.
Less than a minute later, Nebraska-Omaha was penalized for too many men on the ice, and LSSU blueliner Ren Fauci took advantage of the power play by blasting the puck past Holt.
The Lakers came out fast in the third period, and early on, defenseman Mark Adamek cleared the puck into the Mavericks’ zone to be picked up by Steve McJannet. McJannet let loose a shot on Holt, and Colin Nicholson took another shot off the rebound to clear the puck into the net.
Late in the third period, the Mavericks thought they had the game-winning goal, slipping the puck past Laker goaltender Jeff Jakaitis. However, despite the goal judge turning on the light, referee Stephen McInchak immediately waved off the goal.
With six seconds left before overtime, Grimaldi ruined the Lakers’ comeback when he took a shot that hit Jakaitis’s glove and rolled into the net behind him. Scott Parse recorded an assist.
Jakaitis tallied 31 saves for the Lakers. Holt recorded 16 saves for the Mavericks.
The Lakers were 2-4 on the power play and the Mavericks were 1-3.
The Lakers and the Mavericks will meet again Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. ET.