Nebraska Omaha’s postseason campaign got off to a disappointing start Friday, with the Mavericks losing 4-0 at St. Cloud State in the first game of the teams’ best-of-three opening round series.
The Huskies, seeded sixth in this season’s WCHA playoffs, held court for most of Friday’s game and ended up winning comfortably. Two power play goals padded SCSU’s lead, and Husky goaltender Mike Lee stopped all 27 shots he faced.
Seventh-seeded UNO now needs to win Saturday’s second game of the season in order to keep its season going.
If the Mavericks win that game, again at St. Cloud, Minn.’s National Hockey Center, that would necessitate a third game in St. Cloud on Sunday evening.
The Huskies wasted little time getting on the board in Friday’s game, with freshman forward Joe Rehkamp scoring the eventual game-winner past UNO goaltender Ryan Massa 2:30 into the game.
SCSU then went 2-0 up via a power play goal at 16:50 of the first period. Junior forward Ben Hanoswki did the honors, netting his 21st goal of the season on the rebound from a long snapshot from the blue line by linemate Andrew Prochno.
Prochno then got a goal of his own at 11:32 of Friday’s second period. Capping a 3-on-2 rush into the UNO zone, the freshman Husky blueliner scored his fifth goal of the season with a high wrister past Massa.
SCSU junior defenseman Taylor Johnson brought the score to 4-0 with a power play goal with 24 seconds remaining in the game.
UNO’s power play units struggled by comparison. The Mavericks went 0-for-2 when playing with the numerical advantage Friday.
Game two of the series is set to start at 7:07 p.m. Saturday in St. Cloud.