#20 Omaha falters against #2 St. Cloud State in opening bout

Photo courtesy OMavs

Justin Kies

The UNO Mavericks men’s hockey team hosted St. Cloud State at Baxter Arena on Dec. 1 for their fifth conference matchup of the season.

Over 6,000 energetic fans showed up for the game, and it didn’t take the Mavs long to get them involved. Steven Spinner was able to celebrate after scoring the first goal of the night, assisted by Ryan Jones and Teemu Pulkkinen, only three minutes into the game to give the Mavs a 1-0 lead. UNO’s defense tried to hold onto the lead, but St. Cloud State evened up the score 1-1 off the stick of Kevin Fitzgerald with 14:18 left in the first period.

SCSU scored another quick goal a minute later from their freshman Jake Wahlin to make it 2-1. The puck would fly around back and forth before UNO could apply enough offensive pressure for Tyler Vesel to score. He was assisted by David Pope and Mason Morelli with 9:55 left in the first. SCSU scored a late goal in the period to make it 3-2 before starting the second.

St. Cloud State’s offense wasted no time in the second period. It only took Mikey Eyssimont a little more than a minute to score a goal and make the score 4-2. The action seemed to slow down for a bit and the defenses stepped up, but neither team was able to get a goal for the next 15 minutes. SCSU found an opportunity to add a late goal in the second period with 2:40 remaining to make it 5-2.

The third period began, and the Mavs found themselves in a deep hole. UNO was granted an early power play opportunity in which senior David Pope was able to capitalize, making the score 5-3 only 43 seconds into the period. UNO’s Zach Jordan also scored an unassisted goal a few minutes later and the score was then 5-4 with 15:40 remaining in the game. UNO’s late effort made it interesting but didn’t prove to be enough. SCSU held off the Maverick offense for several minutes before adding two late insurance goals to make the score 7-4 before the game ended.

UNO ended its two-game home win streak after its loss to SCSU and dropped to a 1-4 conference record on the season.