Sunday in the WCHA

The WCHA’s weekend still has one game remaining — No. 2-ranked Minnesota vs. No. 18 Wisconsin at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago on the Big Ten Network — but those teams will likely not match the drama found late night Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska.

No. 16 Nebraska-Omaha trailed four times before somehow escaping with a 6-5 overtime victory over last-place Alaska Anchorage. The only lead for the Red Mavs came with 32 seconds left in sudden death. More on that game is below.

Idle St. Cloud State remains first in the league with 31 points with three weeks remaining, Omaha is a point back at 30, Minnesota State-Mankato has 29 and North Dakota and Minnesota have 28 (however Minnesota has played THREE FEWER games than Omaha and Mankato).

Minnesota Duluth rid itself of a six-game losing streak by rallying for a 1-1 overtime tie at Bemidji State. That put UMD into a tie for eighth in the league with Colorado College (although CC has played two fewer games). Recaps from the News Tribune here, the Bemidji Pioneer here and sports information offices of UMD here and Bemidji State photos, video interviews and story.

In Duluth, in the first round of the NCHA playoffs, St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior met for the final time as conference rivals, as the Saints prevailed 2-1 to claim the series 2-0 and advance to face defending Division III champion St. Norbert in the league semifinals. Rick Weegman of the News Tribune has a recap here.

At Anchorage, Alaska, after being shut out the night before, the homestanding Alaska Anchorage Seawolves piled up five goals Saturday and lost 6-5 in OT. The Seawolves led 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4. After earning a 3-0 win the night before, Omaha goalie Dayn Belfour was pulled after 25 minutes Saturday. And with more than three minutes left in regulation, goalie John Faulkner came off the ice for an attacker (with the Mavs already on a power play), and Josh Archibald tied the game 6-on-4 with 3:27 left. Johnnie Searfoss scored (his second of the night) with 32 seconds left in OT. Blake Leask had his first two goals of the season for Anchorage. Omaha led in shots 37-27 (Anchorage had 10 shots in Friday’s loss). Anchorage was 4-of-6 on power plays. Anchorage is 1-14-3 the last 18 games. Attendance 2,660. From the Omaha World Herald here and Anchorage Daily News here.

At Mankato, Minn., the Purple Mavs of Minnesota State-Mankato rolled to a fourth straight win in beating Michigan Tech 6-1. Mankato reached 20 wins during the regular season for the first time in the program’s Division I history. Mankato has scored 19 goals the last four games and is 6-1-1 the last seven. After holding a 1-0 lead after one period, Mankato scored three in the second on a power play, shorthanded and at even strength. Eriah Hayes 18 connected on the power play. Tech, 4-6-1 the last 11, led in shots 38-28. Attendance 4,363. From the Mankato Free Press here.

WCHA Standings and Summaries Courtesy of College Hockey Stats.net

 1 St. Cloud State   31  22 15- 6- 1 .705  74- 47   30 18-11- 1 .617  99- 72
 2 Nebraska Omaha    30  24 14- 8- 2 .625  83- 70   32 18-12- 2 .594 112- 88
 3 Minnesota State   29  24 14- 9- 1 .604  77- 57   32 20- 9- 3 .672 104- 71
 4 Minnesota         28  21 12- 5- 4 .667  71- 50   29 20- 5- 4 .759 108- 56
   North Dakota      28  22 11- 5- 6 .636  72- 56   30 16- 8- 6 .633  96- 74
 6 Denver            25  22 10- 7- 5 .568  70- 64   29 15- 9- 5 .603  98- 77
   Wisconsin         25  23  9- 7- 7 .543  51- 51   29 12-10- 7 .534  65- 60
 8 Colorado College  20  22  8-10- 4 .455  72- 77   30 11-14- 5 .450 100-105
   Minnesota Duluth  20  24  8-12- 4 .417  59- 72   30 10-16- 4 .400  73- 89
10 Bemidji State     16  24  5-13- 6 .333  50- 72   30  6-17- 7 .317  62- 89
   Michigan Tech     16  24  6-14- 4 .333  62- 82   30 10-16- 4 .400  89- 94
12 Alaska Anchorage  10  26  2-18- 6 .192  50- 93   30  4-19- 7 .250  61-104
  Minnesota Duluth   1 at Bemidji State      1, tie  Box   
  Michigan Tech      1 at Minnesota State    6       Box   
  Nebraska Omaha     6 at Alaska Anchorage   5, OT   Box

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