While goals and comebacks have been in short supply, Minnesota Duluth did its best to make up for both Friday night to open its final regular-season series.
The Bulldogs rallied twice, sparked by a four-goal second period, to dispose of No. 16-ranked Nebraska-Omaha 5-4 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s game before 5,871 fans at Amsoil Arena.
UMD trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before recording four straight goals, led by Mike Seidel’s consecutive power-play scores on consecutive shots with less than seven minutes remaining in the second period. The Bulldogs (13-17-5, 9-13-5 WCHA) are 3-1-2 the last six games and have a three-game win streak, matching a season high. And they broke a three-game losing streak to the Mavericks (18-15-2, 14-11-2).
“Winning like this filled our locker room with life and gives us confidence to make a run here the rest of our season,” said UMD sophomore winger Caleb Herbert, who had two assists.
Less than eight minutes into the game, Omaha led 2-0 and it was 3-1 after one period, and 32 seconds into the third period the Bulldogs lost Justin Crandall to a five-minute checking-from-behind major penalty. Not a good spot for the home team.
Yet the Omaha power play was shut down and 19 seconds after it expired, senior winger Dan DeLisle stuffed home a Herbert rebound. Ninety seconds after that Joe Basaraba tucked in a Tony Cameranesi pass. The game was tied 3-3.
“We have been playing better the last three weeks and this was another step,” said DeLisle, with eight career goals, and his first at Amsoil Arena in his 100th career game. “Give credit to our special teams, they made the difference.”
Seidel tipped a Herbert power-play drive at the crease with 6:07 to go in the second period for a 4-3 lead and Omaha coach Dean Blais replaced starting goalie Ryan Massa with John Faulkner. And the first shot Faulkner faced went in as Seidel redirected an Austin Farley pass with a backhand attempt in the crease 37 seconds later. A barrage by any standard, but certainly significant in a season with UMD averaging 2.88 goals a game.
The Bulldogs were outscoring the second-highest scoring team in Division I.
“We got behind, but kept positive. When we started getting goals we said ‘Now we’re going,’ ’’ said Seidel, who leads UMD with 16 goals. “We stressed getting shots to the net on the power play (which is 9-of-24 the last five games).”
Omaha, still battling for home ice for next week’s opening playoff round, scored twice in 40 seconds for a 2-0 lead. Winger Josh Archibald scored from the slot at 6:32 and 6-foot-8 defenseman Andrej Sustr of the Czech Republic followed at 7:12.
Farley scored his 15th goal of the season with 5:10 left in the opening period and later added three assists, and has 11 points in a five-game scoring streak. Zahn Raubenheimer’s power-play goal made it 3-1 for Omaha.
“We took some undisciplined (second-period) penalties and (UMD) found a way to get the puck in the net,” said Blais. “I don’t know if the goalies were a big factor on either side, there were just a lot of nice going-to-the-net goals. We worked hard, but we didn’t play disciplined in some areas and missed a couple of backchecks.”
The Mavericks scored 61 seconds into the third period, on a Johnnie Searfoss goal, but were shut down in the closing minutes. Omaha is 2-6 the last eight games and has lost three straight. The win put UMD 8-8-1 at home with one game remaining, at 7:07 p.m. today.
“We battled back, took a lead and we closed it out. That hasn’t happened to us a lot and it was good to see a good effort throughout our team,” said UMD coach Scott Sandelin.
Minnesota Duluth……………. 1-4-0—5
First period — 1. Nebraska-Omaha, Josh Archibald 19 (Ryan Walters, Michael Young), 6:32; 2. Nebraska-Omaha, Andrej Sustr 9 (Archibald, Dominic Zombo), 7:12; 3. UMD, Austin Farley 15 (Tony Cameranesi, Joe Basaraba), 14:50; 4. Nebraska-Omaha, Zahn Raubenheimer 9 (Matt White, Bryce Angelosi), 15:40 (pp). Penalties — Tim Smith, UMD (tripping), 12:33; Dan DeLisle, UMD (interference), 15:17.
Second period — 5. UMD, Dan DeLisle 2 (Caleb Herbert, Mike Seidel), 5:51; 6. UMD, Joe Basaraba 8 (Cameranesi, Tim Smith), 7:22; 7. UMD, Herbert 7 (Farley, Cameranesi), 13:53 (pp); 8. UMD, Seidel 15 (Farley, Andy Welinski), 14:30 (pp). Penalties — Justin Crandall, UMD (5-minute checking from behind, 10-minute game misconduct, served by Farley), :32; Brock Montpetit, Nebraska-Omaha (tripping), 9:45; Brian O’Rourke, Nebraska-Omaha (interference), 12:35; Johnnie Searfoss, Nebraska-Omaha (hooking), 14:24; Tony Turgeon, Nebraska-Omaha (boarding), 16:27.
Third period — 9. Nebraska-Omaha, Johnnie Searfoss 11 (White, Michael Young), 1:01. Penalties —None.
Shots on goal — Nebraska-Omaha 13-5-10—28, UMD 11-12-5—28. Goalies — Ryan Massa, Nebraska-Omaha (21 shots-17 saves); John Faulkner (15-8-2), Nebraska-Omaha (7 shots-6 saves); Matt McNeely (10-11-3), UMD (28 shots-24 saves). Power plays — Nebraska-Omaha 1-of-3, UMD 2-of-4. Referees — Todd Anderson, Brad Shepherd. Linesmen — Nick Bradshaw, Sam Shikowsky. A — 5,871.