Hockey splits with No.2 Michigan at home over the weekend
Published: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Updated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 15:01
The University Nebraska-Omaha hockey team came from behind Friday night to win in the game and lost 4-3 on Saturday for series split against the number two team in the country.
Friday night was electric all-around for the Mavs, with a season high attendance of 8,287 UNO scored first in the second period on a goal from Dominic Zombo, his fifth goal of the year. But later on Michigan scored on a power play and then answered again three minutes later to put the game at 2-1 entering the third period.
Aaron Pearce, on a pass from Justin Parizek scored the equalizer at 2:58 into the third period. Then at 5:43 Josh Archibald did it again. The junior scored his ninth goal of the season, and third game winner flying around a Michigan defenseman and beating the goalie with a wrist shot.
UNO handed Michigan their second loss of the season. Ryan Massa started in goal Friday and had 26 saves including a huge save when Michigan had a great breakaway opportunity towards the end of the game. UNO had the shot on goal advantage at 31-28.
On Saturday the story was different as the Mavs came up short of a victory and a sweep, despite coming back from two goals down.
Freshman Reed Peters got the first start of the season in goal this year. Similar to Friday night both teams couldn’t find the net in the first period, ending the period even at 10 shots on goal.
The second period saw five goals, the first two coming from Michigan on a power play goal and second one just minutes later as Michigan stole the puck at center ice and skated forward for the easy goal.
UNO answered with a goal from James Polk, set up by Parizek. Michigan then scored a shorthanded goal which was then answered again by Brian O’Rourke who scored on shot way out from the blue line. The Mavs entered the third period down one.
Battling until getting a power play, Mavs’ Brock Montpetit scored to tie the game up for UNO, the lead didn’t last long as a deflected slap shot bounced off Peters and was rebounded and put away by Michigan to ultimately seal the game and even the series.
“We’re in good shape. We’re in fine shape,” Blais said Saturday following the game. “Found out a little about our team tonight that they don’t quit, but we’re going to have to make sure that [we know] we’re not good enough to not have everyone going.”
Blais referred to the “P line” or fourth line the Mavs have of Pearce, Parizek and Polk who scored three goals for the Mavs this weekend.
“We still need a little bit out of our top guys if we’re going to be a successful team here between now and the end of the year,” Blais said. “We need our top guys playing at the top of their game and right now it’s a little hit and miss. It’s spotty.”
The Archibald-Zombo-Walters line was leaned on heavily last year with 53 goals coming from three. But this season others have stepped up, including that fourth line, a testament to the depth that Blais preached about at the beginning of the season.
“That line’s going to win hockey games for us. You look at all great teams they have three lines that can play,” Brock Montpetit said. “I think last year we relied on Arch, Dom and Walt’s line a little too much to where if a team shut them Down. We had a tough time winning. Teams are going to have a tough time defending that.”
To further express how deep the Mavs are, UNO got a great effort out of their third goalie Reed Peters, a freshman who made 27 saves against the second best team in the nation.
“I thought he looked great for his first start out there. He made some big saves for us, especially early,” O’Rourke said. “We didn’t come out with the same kind of energy, but to get a first start like that and to play like he did, I think the boys really appreciated that.”