Mavericks improve to 6-0 at home with sweep of Ohio State


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By Jackson Taylor

Game 1
The first period displayed a defensive matchup with several penalties and only nine shots combined in the first 10 minutes. No. 6 Omaha’s ability to kill powerplays was once again displayed as was they were able to kill three OSU powerplays in the first period.

With two minutes to play, UNO went on a lengthy offensive attack that included four shots on goal, but came up empty and the two teams went into the break tied. After one period, Ohio State narrowly led UNO 8-7 in shots on goal.

Omaha wasted no time in the second period with a goal at 1:12 from Luc Snuggerud off an assist from Austin Ortega. It was the first of the year for the sophomore defenseman.

“Whenever you can get a goal out of a defenseman it’s good for the team,” Snuggerud said. “If you can get that extra production out of a defenseman it’s huge.”

On the same scoring play, OSU was hit with a penalty for high-sticking. Three Ohio State chances were turned away by Weninger during Omaha’s powerplay, keeping the game at 1-0.

Despite being outshot 16-13 midway through the second period, UNO extended its lead to 2-0, 6 minutes in. A sharp cross-ice pass from Justin Parizek led to David Pope’s second goal of the season at 6:23.

At the end of two, the Buckeyes had outshot the Mavericks 24-20 but Omaha maintained its 2-0 lead.

OSU finally got on the board off a power play after 14 minutes of scoreless hockey in the third period. With Weninger pinned on the ground in the midst of a scrum, OSU’s Craig Dalrymple snuck in a goal at 12:53. The goal went under review and was eventually confirmed to cut Omaha’s lead to one goal.

With just two minutes to played and Ohio State with an extra man after pulling their goalie, Weninger made a series of tough saves to keep Omaha’s 2-1 lead. Then with 1 minute to play, Ortega found the empty net to make it 3-1.

Weninger made 34 saves on the night to improve to 7-1-0.

Luc Snuggerud said that although the team was plagued by power plays in the game, the Maverick penalty killers rose to the occasion.

“It’s tough to get some momentum going after getting penalties,” he said. “Taking a penalty forces us to go back in our zone and pack it in. I thought our penalty killers did a great job tonight.”

Head coach Dean Blais didn’t discount the win, but thought that his players were sluggish to start the game.

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Game 2

The Mavericks improved to 8-0-0 in nonconference games and 6-0-0 in Baxter Arena after their 6-4 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night.

Omaha was given a scare from OSU after the Mavericks led 5-2 but surrendered two goals in the third period. Jake Guentzel scored into an empty net to make the 6-4 final.

The Mavericks jumped out to another hot start as Austin Ortega netted a rebound just 30 seconds into the first.

OSU responded with a goal of their own late in the first as Mike Gillespie pushed a deflection past Weninger to tie the game at 1-1.

Guentzel scored his first goal of the game on a power play just minutes after OSU’s goal when he snuck a goal under Buckeye goalie Matt Tomkins.

UNO’s powerplay carried over to the second period and Ortega was able to take advantage to score his second goal of the game. It was Ortega’s team-best 12th goal of the season.

Just two minutes later, David Pope scored his second goal of the weekend. Pope’s goal came off of a Guentzel assist. Fredrik Olofsson extended UNO’s lead to 5-1 during a powerplay when he scored from the low slot at 15:37.

Omaha was given a scare late as OSU scored three goals between the end of the second and third periods. Jake Guentzel scored into an empty net in the final minute to make the 6-4 final.

Snuggerud said Omaha’s undefeated record against non-conference opponents are important to the team.

“That’s gonna be huge for us at the end of the season in the PairWise,” he said. “These non conference wins are very big for us.”
The Mavericks are now 11-2-1 overall and will hit the road for its next series against No. 7 St. Cloud St. on Dec. 4-5.