The Mavericks entered their weekend series against Miami on their worst losing streak to start a season in team history. The streak ended last Saturday night.
In their first conference series of the year, the Mavs played two games with vastly different outcomes.
Miami came into the series with the best scoring defense in the conference, as well as the second-best scoring defense in the nation, while UNO’s scoring defense placed last in the conference. This glaring difference showed in game one.
Game one was a defensive exposition by the Redhawks who only allowed one goal on 20 shots by the Mavericks. Omaha’s only goal came in the first period with a power play goal by freshman Taylor Ward, following an early Miami goal. Miami freshman Brian Hawkinson put in a goal later in the first to extend their lead to 2-1 after one period.
The x-factor for the Redhawks was junior Gordie Green. Green’s two goals gave the Redhawks a decisive three-goal lead, as well as adding to his personal team-high point total. The Redhawks ended up topping the Mavs 4-1.
With the loss, the Mavs set the record for worst start in team history (0-6-1), a mark that had stood since the 2003-04 season.
Going into Saturday, the Mavericks knew they would have to be better on offensive if they wanted to get to Miami. And better they were.
Despite trailing 2-1 after the first, the Mavs put up 16 shots in the first period, just four shy of their entire game total in Friday’s contest. The Mavericks lone first period goal came from Taylor Ward with less than a minute on the clock.
The real turning point in this game came midway through the second period. With the Mavs already on a power play, Miami senior Josh Melnick was ejected from the game for a 5-minute-major penalty, setting up the Mavs for a 5-on-3.
The flood gates proceeded to open. The Mavs rattled off three straight power play goals by Fredrik Olofsson, Kevin Conley and Chayse Primeau to take a 4-2 lead. With the momentum now in their favor, the Mavs seized control of the game.
Despite an early third period goal from Miami, the Mavericks showed resilience as they scored two more goals. Tristan Keck put in an unassisted goal, followed by the dagger from Captain Mason Morelli.
The Mavericks not only saw a goal from six different players, but also finally got their first win of the season, much to the satisfaction of head coach Mike Gabinet.
“When it’s time to work, it’s time to work, and when it’s time to celebrate it’s time to celebrate,” Gabinet said. “I think we’ve earned the right to celebrate after this one.”
The Mavs outshot the Redhawks 37-23, putting up 17 more shots than their Friday showing.
The Mavs follow up their first win with a road trip to play conference rival Western Michigan on Nov. 9 and 10.