St. Cloud State 3-1 UNO: Huskies sweep, end Mavericks’ season

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.


One thought on “St. Cloud State 3-1 UNO: Huskies sweep, end Mavericks’ season

  1. Disappointing, but . . .

    If at the start of the year I had told you that UNO would be ending the season with:

    a mostly underclass lineup with only two seniors on the squad, and
    a number of costly defensive lapses due to this inexperience, and
    inconsistent goaltending, and
    having to convert wingers into centermen, and
    having to convert defensemen into forwards,
    (well, maybe you have some more),

    then you might well would have told me that they would finish in the middle of the pack of the WCHA.

    There is good talent there. If two or three new recruits can step in and play at this level and goaltending gets consistent, then UNO is poised to make a run for the top of the WCHA next year.

    Let’s hope that the end of this season will motivate the squad for next year.

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