- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The North Dakota men’s hockey team might be the best team in the nation, but Nebraska-Omaha is still the best team in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference after beating UND 3-2 in overtime on Friday.

Austin Ortega notched his nation-leading ninth game-winning goal at 4:27 of the extra period with the Mavericks on a 5-on-3 power play.

Ortega set up on the back side and redirected a pass from Ian Brady past UND goalie Zane McIntyre.

“We were scrambling around and I saw Ian Brady get the puck on the side. I found the back door and there was no one on me. I found the open area,” Ortega said.

The Mavericks (16-6-3, 10-4-1-1) blew a 2-0 lead in the third period before taking advantage of two ill-timed penalties in overtime on North Dakota’s Colten St. Clair and Mark MacMillan.

“I thought we did all the things right,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “Really unfortunate the way this hockey game ended and I’ll leave it at that. I feel bad for our guys in the locker room, they put it out there.”

Tyler Vesel and Avery Peterson skated the Mavericks to an early lead. Vesel scored in the first period and Peterson in the second for a 2-0 lead heading into the final period.

“We had pretty good opportunities spread throughout the game,” Hakstol said. “Even when it went 2-0 we couldn’t get one to go.”

Nebraska-Omaha goalie Ryan Massa made it difficult for UND (18-6-2, 9-5-1-0) with 33 saves. He kept North Dakota off the board for nearly nine minutes of power play in the third period.

Luke Johnson got UND on the board seconds after a power play expired at 5:23.

Massa was knocked down from behind by MacMillan, who was pushed into Massa by Grant Gallo. Massa couldn’t recover in time to stop Johnson’s shot and Gallo was given a penalty.

Caggiula scored with 47 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. North Dakota was skating 6-on-4 after a late tripping penalty on Brian Cooper and pulling goalie Zane McIntyre. It was UND’s only power-play goal in seven attempts.

Just over two minutes into overtime, St. Clair was called for roughing. Thirty seconds later, MacMillan cross-checked Ortega in front of the net, giving Nebraska-Omaha a two-man advantage.

Zane McIntyre made one of his 28 saves on the power play before Ortega netted the game-winner.

“We didn’t get down on ourselves,” Ortega said. “Taking out a No. 1 team is amazing and exciting.”

North Dakota is unbeaten on Saturdays, but regardless of what happens in the series finale, the Mavericks will still lead the conference race.

“These three points are off the table. We need to get the three (Saturday) night,” Hakstol said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide