OMAHA, Neb. — Nebraska-Omaha picked up its fourth win in a row Sunday afternoon, besting No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth 6-3 at CenturyLink Center.
The Mavericks were led by a two-goal effort from forward Dominic Zombo, thus capping a monster weekend for the sophomore in which he also picked up a pair of assists in Saturday’s 3-2 win over UMD.
The win boosted UNO’s record to 6-3-1 and 4-1-1 in the WCHA. UMD fell to 2-6-1 and 0-3-1 in the league.
“Back and forth game there, really, until the end,” UNO assistant coach Troy Jutting said. “Duluth kept playing hard and made it 4-3 in the third period and at that time, a one-goal game in this league is never comfortable. Even a two-goal lead isn’t comfortable.”
The visitors took an early lead 3:13 into the game on UMD senior forward Mike Seidel’s fifth goal of the season and second of the weekend. His 35th goal as a Bulldog came when he found a loose puck in a scrum in front of UNO goaltender John Faulkner’s net before swatting it home.
UNO then stormed back, scoring two goals 3:59 apart.
Zombo tied the game at 11:45 of the first period, latching onto the rebound of a failed attempt by linemate Josh Archibald and beating UMD goaltender Matt McNeely in front of the freshman keeper’s crease.
UNO co-captain Matt White then gave the hosts a lead of their own at 15:44, wristing a shot from the left circle that beat McNeely to the far side of the net.
For the second time in as many games though, UMD scored a goal in the last minute of the first period to bring the score to 2-2. Junior Bulldog forward Joe Basaraba picked up his third goal of the year at 19:04, firing home past Faulkner from low in the slot.
The game remained tied until UNO again picked up two goals in quick succession, this time in the dying moments of the second period.
UNO defenseman Andrej Sustr beat McNeely with a long slapper for his third goal of the season at 18:46 and Zombo scored his second goal 64 seconds later.
The bleeding hardly stopped in the third period.
UMD freshman forward Austin Farley picked up his second goal as a Bulldog 1:10 into the frame, but his tally was soon neutralized by UNO’s fifth goal of the day, this one coming from Ryan Walters at 6:38.
Though there was plenty of time left to pick up a couple of goals and tie the game back up again, the Bulldogs’ heads went down after Walters’ tally and UMD never looked like getting back into the game once more.
It was Walters’ goal, though, and other choice moments that Jutting thought molded the game into what it was in the end.
“I don’t know if, in this league, you really ever outwork the other team,” Jutting said. “It’s such a hard-working league and I think we took advantage of a couple of breaks and scored at some really opportune times.
“Fortunately for us, we got that fifth goal. I thought that was a big goal and the momentum really seemed to change at that point.”
Mavericks’ senior co-captain Brent Gwidt later scored his second goal of the season at 11:41, beating McNeely low glove-side on a breakaway.
The hosts were outshot for the second game in a row, this time 34-28, but the Mavericks capitalized on two of their four power-play opportunities and picked up a solid 31-save performance in goal from Faulkner.
Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin declined to comment after the game.