OMAHA, Neb. — UNO’s Tomas Klempa had a goal and two assists to lead the Mavericks to a 4-2 victory over Bowling Green in the opening round of the CCHA Playoffs Friday night.
Nebraska-Omaha (19-12-6, 13-10-6 CCHA) leads the best-of-three series, 1-0, and will face BGSU (13-22-2, 8-19-2) in game 2 on Saturday night.
The Mavs went into the locker room up, 1-0, after the first period, despite being outshot, 10-3, in the first 20 minutes. Adam Bartholomay scored at the 10:11 mark on a wrist shot from just below the right circle.
UNO added to its lead in the second period on a shorthanded tally by Klempa at 3:26 and a wrist shot from Bryan Marshall at 6:04 to make the score 3-0.
Bowling Green climbed its way back into the game, courtesy of the power play, in the final two periods. Jonathan Matsumoto connected on a slap shot at 13:14 of the second period and then added another power-play tally with 8:38 remaining in regulation to bring the Falcons to within 3-2.
BGSU was granted three power plays in the final period, the last coming with 7:28 left on the clock, but the Mavs turned away the final two opportunities.
The Mavs’ Jason Krischuk iced the game with an empty netter with less than a minute to play.
UNO goaltender Jerad Kaufmann finished the game with 28 saves. BGSU goaltender Jimmy Spratt had 18 stops in the losing effort.
Friday’s game was the first game back for Klempa, who injured his wrist back on January 27 at Alaska Fairbanks.
Scott Parse collected his 41st assist of the season on Klempa’s goal, giving him 60 points this season. Parse’s career point total of 144 ties him with former Mav David Brisson for the all-time scoring lead at UNO.