UNO fails to backup Friday night win, fall to Northern Michigan
Published: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 21, 2012 02:10
A night after coach Dean Blais said his team had played the best they’ve played in a few years, UNO was unable to back up that effort and fell to Northern Michigan 2-1. The loss means the Mavs have been able to complete a sweep of any kind, home or away, for almost a year.
UNO drops to 2-2 while no. 17 Northern Michigan improves to 3-1.
“It will be a learning opportunity for quite a while,” Head Coach Dean Blais said about the loss. “One thing you learn is Friday night when you win you follow it up Saturday night with an even harder effort, because the other team is gonna come back at you.”
Northern Michigan came into Omaha off of a sweep of then no. 15 Wisconsin in Green Bay. The Badgers, picked to finish fourth in the WCHA, only averaged 20 shots and managed just three goals.
But in the opening game of the weekend it was the Maverick defense that looked unbeatable. The Wildcats only had one first period shot and totaled just 13 by games end.
Northern Michigan gave up as many goals as they had last weekend in just a period and a half. UNO jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never got a real challenge, winning Friday 5-2.
It was a much different effort Saturday. The Wildcats found the defense that had been missing the night before and held the Mavs to just five shots in the first period.
The Mavs would rebound and rack up 36 by the end of the game, but Northern Michigan held UNO in check, and won a defensive struggle 2-1.
“We didn’t play as intense, that’s what it came down to,” alternate captain Matt White said. “They wanted it more and it showed right from the get go. [It was] definitely unacceptable on our part. We’ll learn from this though.”
With the Maverick attack unable to sustain anything on the Wildcat net, Northern Michigan took a late first period lead. Ryan Daugherty scored 17:52 into the period, putting the puck just under the crossbar in the far left corner.
Teammate Ryan Aynsley followed that score up with a one timer from the slot at 4:19 of the second period. Reed Seckel sent a pass from the boards to a wide open Aynsley who put a wrist shot low past UNO goaltender Anthony Stolarz.
Josh Archibald answered a minute later to get the Mavs on the board and cut the lead to 2-1. UNO had two power play chances later in the period but could not cash in on a smothering Wildcat defense.
“They came out ready to play and I think we were a little hesitant to see what they were gonna throw at us,” Mav right winger Zahn Raubenheimer said. “Sometimes you can lose a game in the first period and they came out with a jump in their step and we didn’t.”
Raubenheimer set up UNO’s lone goal, sending a pass from the right corner out in front of the net to Archibald. A Northern Michigan defender slammed Raubenheimer into the corner as he let the shot go.
After the game Raubenheimer said he didn’t see what happened afterwards. Wildcat goalie Jared Coreau and the NMU defense didn’t let anything else through the rest of the night.
Coreau stopped 35 of 36 to pick up his third win of the year against one loss. Coreau was nearly perfect the night after being pulled in the third period for allowing five goals.
“It’s definitely frustrating, but that’s how hockey goes,” White said about only getting the one goal. “You gotta keep getting to the net and I thought we did a good job as the game went, we played with more desperation. But it was a little too late.”
Maverick goaltender Anthony Stolarz stopped 21 of 23 in just his second collegiate start. In his two appearances Stolarz has played well, losing one-goal games both times.
Neither team found any success on the power play. Northern Michigan went 0-for-6 while UNO was 0-for-4. In the series the Mavs were just 1-for-7 while holding the Wildcats to 0-for-11.
“To wait around all day with that embarrassment last night…5-2 sometimes isn’t an embarrassment, but 5-2 last night was for them I’m sure,” Blais said about Northern Michigan’s improvement from Friday night to Saturday.”
The series split earns UNO its first win over a ranked opponent since defeating then no. 1 Minnesota-Duluth last January. But White and Raubenheimer said the team was more upset with the one that got away.