Omaha stunned by Western Michigan in sweep

Courtesy of UNO Athletics
Courtesy of UNO Athletics

By Jackson Taylor
Sports Editor

After starting the season at a program best 6-0 and an unforgettable opening of Baxter Arena, the Omaha hockey team got a reality check from NCHC foe Western Michigan.

The Mavericks were swept by the Broncos on the road, losing Friday 4-2 and Saturday 6-1.

Game 1

Coming into the series at No. 1/2, Omaha struggled in the Friday night game at Lawson Arena, surrendering two early goals and falling to Western Michigan, 4-2.

The Broncos got on the board early, ending UNO’s streak of scoring the first two goals in each of their first six games.

Fredrik Tiffels put Western Michigan ahead within the first five minutes as he netted a rebound past Omaha goalie Kirk Thompson.

UNO was able to respond quickly with a goal from junior forward Justin Parizek just two minutes later, his second of the year.

Western Michigan fed off of the energy of their home crowd and regained the lead at 9:14, with a slap shot goal from Nolan LaPorte.

Jake Guentzel extended his point scoring streak to five games when he scored at 5:42 in the second period, tying the game at 2.

Guenztel’s goal would be the last for Omaha in the game, as Western Michigan took complete control in the third frame, adding goals from Sheldon Dries and Aaron Hadley and pushing the final to 4-2. Thompson made 21 saves in fell to 3-1 on the season when starting in the net.

Game 2

Omaha stumbled again in the second game of the series after falling behind early and struggling to gain any offensive momentum. The 6-1 loss was Omaha’s worst since the 2012-2013 season.

Western Michigan suffocated the Mavericks early, scoring the first five goals, three of which coming in the first period. The Bronco goals came from J.T. Osborn, Colt Conrad, Chris Dienes and Mike McKee.

Jake Guentzel put the Mavericks on the board early in the third, but the deficit was one that Omaha couldn’t overcome.

Freshman Evan Weninger, who entered the weekend at No. 1 in the nation in goals-against average (.67) and save percentage (.980) took the loss, falling to 3-1 on the season.