Nebraska Omaha’s season ended in heartbreaking fashion Saturday, with St. Cloud State scoring a last-minute game-winning goal en route to a 3-1 win over the Mavericks at St. Cloud, Minn.’s National Hockey Center.
The Huskies’ win in the second game of the teams’ best-of-three first round playoff series, coupled with SCSU’s 4-0 win in Game 1 on Friday, clinched a berth for the Huskies in the WCHA Final Five next week in St. Paul, Minn.
UNO was much improved Saturday, but SCSU star forward Ben Hanowski effectively sank the Mavericks with a goal that came with 42.4 seconds left to play in the third period..
The visitors couldn’t recover from that late blow, and Husky forward Travis Novak scored an empty-net goal just before the final horn to give the game its final 3-1 scoreline.
SCSU’s Jared Festler opened the scoring 22 seconds into Saturday’s second period before UNO forward Dominic Zombo equalized at 7:16 of the same period. The visitors couldn’t score again, though, and Hanowski’s late goal spelt doom for the Mavericks.
UNO redshirt junior goaltender John Faulkner had perhaps his best game of the season Saturday, making 35 saves and robbing SCSU skaters on many occasions. Husky goaltender Mike Lee ended his night with 32 saves.
The Mavericks end their season with an overall record of 14-18-6. UNO went 11-12-5 in WCHA regular season games in the 2011-12 campaign.