Hockey team finds split at Western Michigan

Justin Kies

The UNO Hockey team’s shaky start to the 2018 season continued this past weekend on the road against a conference opponent: the Western Michigan Broncos.

Game one of the series took place Nov. 9 and was completely dominated by the Broncos. Western Michigan scored three goals in the first period and at one point held a 6-0 lead.

Fredrik Olofsson finally broke the seal for the Mavericks when he found the back of the net during a power play. Kevin Conley added another goal for the Mavs about halfway through the third period to make the score 6-2. That was the closest Omaha would get to the lead, as Western Michigan pulled away.

Western Michigan’s Drew Worrad was able to capitalize for the Broncos late and with 2:01 remaining in the period he put a stamp on a 7-2 game one victory for the home squad.

As Saturday approached and the puck dropped for game two, Omaha found themselves in an early 1-0 deficit behind the stick of Western Michigan’s Austin Rueschhoff. As opposed to Friday’s two-period shutout, the Mavs quickly answered this time during a power play and a contested goal from Dean Stewart to tie the game at 1-1 almost halfway through the first period.

UNO continued to be aggressive and scored two goals (from Tristan Keck and Steven Spinner) within the last two minutes and 12 seconds of the first period. This capped off a 3-0 run for the Mavs and granted them a two-point lead entering the second period.

Mattias Samuelsson of Western Michigan finally ended the scoring drought about five minutes into the third period to try and put the Broncos in a position to win the game only down one goal. Zach Jordan was able to add a late goal for Omaha with only 19 seconds of play on the clock to make the final score 4-2.

After splitting the series, UNO is now 2-7-1 overall and 2-2 in NCHC play and look forward to a rematch with Arizona State on Nov. 23 and 24 at Baxter Arena in Omaha. ASU and UNO last played in late October when the Sun Devils swept the Mavs in Tempe, Arizona.