Nebraska Omaha had what appeared to be a late equalizer disallowed Friday night in a game where No. 15 Colorado College had to hold on late to win 4-3 at the World Arena in Colorado Springs.
CC (16-11-2, 13-9-1 WCHA) twice held two-goal leads over the Mavericks on Friday. The visitors leveled the game at 3-3 early in the third period through a rare goal from UNO defenseman Matt Smith, but Tiger star forward Jaden Schwartz then scored the winning goal 50 seconds after Smith’s tally.
Late in the third period, UNO had what would have been a key goal waved off.
Maverick freshman Dominic Zombo appeared to score past CC goaltender Josh Thorimbert from close range, but the goal didn’t count. Upon the video review, the referees waved the goal off, saying that Zombo directed the puck in with his right skate.
Neither team scored again, thus giving CC the win and sole possession of fourth place in the WCHA with five games remaining in the regular season. With the loss, UNO (13-12-6, 10-8-5) fell from a tie for fourth place into sole possession of sixth.
CC jumped out to an 2-0 lead Friday through goals from Andrew Krushelnyski and Rylan Schwartz. The two-goal lead held up until 2:58 into the second period, where UNO forward Johnnie Searfoss halved the Tiger lead with a power play goal.
Omaha native Nick Dineen then restored CC’s two-goal lead at 5:02 of Friday’s middle frame. The tally was Dineen’s fourth in three games so far this season against his hometown team.
UNO cut the Tigers’ lead to 3-2 late in the second period through Maverick forward Matt White’s 16th goal of the season, and Smith evened the score 1:57 into the third period. Jaden Schwartz’s goal under a minute later, however, stood up as the game-winning goal for CC.
The winning goal gave the CC sophomore his third point of the night, with Schwartz having assisted on a pair of Tiger goals earlier in the game.
UNO freshman goaltender Ryan Massa put in a solid performance in the Maverick nets, putting together 28 saves.
The two teams will close out their two-game set at 8:07 Central time on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
Elsewhere in the WCHA on Friday:
Minnesota 3-0 Bemidji State
Wisconsin 0-3 Denver
St. Cloud State 2-3 Alaska Anchorage (OT)
Minnesota State 2-4 Minnesota Duluth
North Dakota 4-2 Michigan Tech