Omaha moves up in PairWise
Further proof of the NCHC’s strength: Omaha is sixth in its conference and eighth nationally in the PairWise rankings.
This came about after the Mavericks swept Western Michigan this weekend at UNO’s Baxter Arena. The series began Friday when six different Omaha players scored but Joel Messner’s game-winner with 6:48 left was what opened the floodgates in a 6-2 win.
On Saturday, a Dawson DiPietro power play goal put Western out on the right foot 4:29 in, but UNO responded with four consecutive goals en route to a 7-3 win. David Pope and Tyler Vesel had two goals apiece.
Omaha travels next week to face No. 5 St. Cloud State, while Western is on the road again to face Miami.
Tigers get back on track
Talking of Miami, the RedHawks’ frustrating season continued at pace this weekend with a loss and a tie at fellow struggler Colorado College, which had previously won two of its last seven games.
CC opened the series with a 6-3 victory on Friday. Brian Williams scored twice, including an empty-netter with 1:09 left, and four teammates also pushed the puck past Miami goalie Ryan Larkin.
Saturday’s rematch saw the teams skate to a 4-4 tie before CC scored in a three-on-three overtime session to take two NCHC standings points when Christian Versich scored on a wraparound.
CC is off next week ahead of a series at North Dakota on Feb. 9-10.
Huskies, Bulldogs share spoils
St. Cloud State and Minnesota Duluth are third and 10th in the PairWise, respectively, after splitting a series in Duluth.
UMD burst out to a 5-1 win Friday at Amsoil Arena. Five different Bulldogs scored (three in the first period, two in the second) on UMD’s 18 shots on goal, and St. Cloud’s Ryan Poehling pulled one back midway through the third period. Special teams helped Duluth move out of sight in the second period as Parker Mackay and Karson Kuhlman scored shorthanded goals 2:30 apart.
The rematch went SCSU’s way, 2-1, thanks to Patrick Newell’s eventual game-winner with 5:10 left in the second period. Dávid Hrenák then made 12 of his 19 saves in the third period to help the Huskies salvage a split.
UMD faces another tough test next week as it visits fourth-ranked Denver, which skated to a pair of ties this weekend at North Dakota.