Brock Bremer and Jake Harrison, along with Kaden Bohlsen, have had a lot of fun living together this year. Although they were away from their dorm room for most of December, Bremer and Harrison have been ‘holding down the fort’ since they were able to return.
The pair had their fill of fun on the ice Friday night, as Bremer recorded a hat trick, and the two combined for seven points in a 7-1 victory over Colorado College.
“He had a phenomenal game,” Harrison said of his roommate. “I’m just happy for him and he deserves it. He’s such a hard-working kid and a great guy on and off the ice.”
Harrison said he could feel the energy all day long from Bremer, who struck twice on the same 5-minute power play in the second period. He completed his first hat trick in over two years with just 18.5 seconds left in the contest.
Bremer scored three goals and added an assist against Green Bay (USHL) while playing with the Lincoln Stars on Jan. 26, 2019.
“It was exciting,” he said. “You obviously don’t get too many of those in your career so you’ll always remember it.”
The freshman finished the night with three goals and two assists, which ties him for the school record for points in a game (five). Jason Smallidge did the same earlier this season against Western Michigan with a goal and four assists. It was also the first hat trick by an Omaha skater since Taylor Ward’s on Feb. 1, 2020.
As for Harrison, the defenseman has only appeared in five games this season, but Friday night was one of, if not his best. Harrison said he just tried to focus on communicating, moving his feet and advancing pucks quickly all night long.
It’s been tough at times to find a rhythm this season, as he’s battled injury for most of the year. However, Harrison said he’s still tried to gain confidence in practice in order to prepare for when his number was called.
“He’s been out for a while with an injury and he was cleared last week, but he was fresh off that injury so he got another week of practice,” said head coach Mike Gabinet. “We wanted to get him into the game tonight as the seventh defenseman to get him some minutes and some experience at this level, and he was excellent.”
Gabinet said the freshman competes and works hard in practice, especially this week. That’s what earned him a spot in the lineup Friday night. Harrison made an impact early on as it was one of his plays that got the Mavericks going.
After catching a Tyler Weiss pass at the top of the right point, Harrison skated to the middle of the ice and rang one off the pipe behind CC netminder Dominic Basse. However, the rebound bounced out to a waiting Chayse Primeau in the slot, who buried it for his eighth of the season. Primeau’s tally came 9:07 into the game.
“I walked the blueline and saw the lane, and nobody was really in front,” Harrison said. “Kind of a lucky bounce off the post right to his stick and he (Primeau) doesn’t make a mistake there in the slot usually.”
That was the first of two assists on the night for Harrison. His roommate knows the offensive potential he has.
“He’s really skilled, he can get pucks through, and then he’ll make the smart play when he has to,” Bremer said. “When he shoots the puck I always know it’s going to be a good shot and that last one I happened to tip.”
That tip he talks about was the Mavericks seventh goal of the night and gave Bremer his hat trick. The three goals are what will stand out, but behind the bench, it’s the all-around game that impressed.
“He was great tonight and I think it started in Denver,” Gabinet said. “I thought he had a really good game Saturday night at Denver and you could kind of see his confidence growing. Early on in the season and in training camp we thought he was really going to make an impact coming in here. So it’s nice to see him skating well, competing hard, his play away from the puck is improving, and now he’s making plays with the puck.”
Bremer found himself on a line with Jimmy Glynn and Kevin Conley, who also combined for a goal and two assists in the contest. Glynn could’ve had another goal, but it was wiped out for contact with the goaltender. The trio were strong defensively and generated chances all night long.
“In training camp they were together and they were really good,” Gabinet said. “With (Joey) Abate out of the lineup, it’s nice for Jimmy to slide in there, and then we have (Martin) Sundberg out as well, so Bremer went up there. With the number of guys we had out over the last 10 days, guys are in different spots, and they’ve seemed to gel into a great line here.”
Bremer’s two goals came at the 4:05 and 7:09 marks of the second period, both on the man advantage. The second one came off a beautiful cross-ice feed from Jack Randl, who fed Bremer cutting into the right circle and he buried it into the top corner.
Glynn thought he had stretched the lead to four at the 8:33 mark, forcing the Tigers to use their timeout and make a goaltending change. However, that goal was overturned following the review. A little over seven minutes later, Glynn got his redemption and knocked a Nolan Krenzen rebound into a gaping net for his second of the season.
Ryan Brushett tacked on one more, finishing a pretty passing play with Sundberg, and gave the Mavericks a 5-0 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
“Nice to get rolling and we could’ve had a couple more,” Gabinet said. “That goalie interference one was pretty tight, I didn’t see a lot of contact there and they called that back, and obviously the net coming off as well. Good opportunity for us tonight to work on our focus.”
Along with that focus, another big point of emphasis this week was coming out strong in game one. The Mavericks came into Friday night 1-3 in the series opener to start the second half, that one previous win also coming against CC. On the flip side, they’re a perfect 4-0 in game two.
“That was a big message tonight,” Bremer said. “Obviously the last few Fridays we haven’t come out that hard and have been beat, and we’ve come out on Saturday to prove something. Tonight was a statement win I think.”
Jackson Jutting spoiled the shutout bid for Isaiah Saville with just 6:18 left, but Omaha tacked on two more. Brandon Scalin blasted one home from the point with 5:34 remaining in the contest for his second of the season, and Bremer tacked on the final blow with 18.5 left.
“When you see guys producing it’s really nice,” Bremer said. “It’s nice to get out to that early
lead and we knew tonight to throw pucks on these goalies and see what happens.”
The Mavericks will now try to take care of business and grab all six points this weekend tomorrow night. A win would also complete the season sweep of CC. Game two is set for 6:07 p.m. CT Saturday night at Baxter Arena.
News and notes
- With a goal and assist Friday night, Brandon Scanlin is tied for third in scoring by NCHC defensemen with 14 points.
- Jonny Tychonick and Kevin Conley both finished the night with two assists.
- Isaiah Saville finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots.
- Omaha is now 10-1-0 when scoring the first goal this season.
- The Mavericks outshot CC 46-27, including 22 SOG in the second period alone. Those 46 were a single-game season-high for Omaha.
- Friday night was the second time Colorado College has had to make a goaltending change against Omaha this season.
- Tigers defenseman Bryan Yoon left the game with an injury during the first period.
- With the win and St. Cloud’s 3-2 loss to Miami, Omaha is now two points back of SCSU with a game in hand.