The No. 17 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks dominated the game, but found themselves leading by only a goal with 3:17 remaining.
The Gophers rally was led by senior Kevin Wehrs. Wehrs scored a goal and had a key assist on one-time plays from the left point.
“They did not give up; they got momentum from the first goal,” said Mavericks coach Dean Blais.
Wehrs goal was fired on a one-timer from the point on a pass coming off the boards. The puck went through traffic into the far upper corner.
“The first one looked like it had eyes from the bench; he got the shot off quick,” added Blais.
Minnesota freshman Erik Haula notched his first career goal on a tip, similar to the one-timer from Kevin Wehrs at 16:43.
The game was in doubt until UNO’s Rich Purslow scored on an empty-net goal with 11 second remaining.
“We did not panic,” added Blais.
It was a well-deserved win. The Mavericks dominated the puck, maintaining cycles deep in Minnesota’s end and generating quality shots.
The Mavericks took the game over in the second period, outshooting Minnesota 25-12. They had Minnesota on the run and generated numerous rebounds and point-blank opportunities. Their determination got them the critical third goal on a rebound off a faceoff. Terry Broadhurst shot the puck through a crowd and Alex Kangas made the initial save. The puck fell to Alex’s skates, where Matt Ambroz swiped at it and got just enough on it to watch it trickle past Kangas into the far corner.
UNO opened the scoring against Minnesota for the second consecutive night at 3:10. It was a three-on-two rush where Joey Martin took a shot from 30 feet out that hit the inside of the pipe. The puck came out diagonally behind Kangas through a defender right to Matt White. White buried the puck for the quick 1-0 lead.
The Mavericks made it 2-0 at 15:50 when Zahn Raubenheimer lifted a backhand over Kangas. Broadhurst threw the puck toward the net and it deflected off defenseman Seth Helgeson to the weak side. Raubenheimer pounced on the puck and lifted a backhand in.
“Obviously we are very, very happy getting four points,” added Blais.
“Its disappointing, both games,” said Minnesota coach Don Lucia on the results of the weekend. “We had the opposite last weekend. We had great starts.”
Next weekend, UNO heads to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan, while Minnesota plays host to St. Cloud State.