OMAHA, Neb. – No. 1 Denver scored two goals in the third period to snap a tie game and hand the Omaha hockey team a 4-2 loss on Friday night at Baxter Arena.
The loss and North Dakota’s win at Miami meant that the Mavericks will start the NCHC Playoffs on the road next week. UNO is now 16-14-5 overall and 9-12-2-0/0 in the NCHC, putting them in sixth place. The Pioneers clinched the NCHC regular season championship by winning their 10th straight game. They are now 25-6-4 overall and 17-3-3-0/2 in the conference.
With the game tied at two entering the third, the Mavericks were whistled for two boarding penalties 10 seconds apart, giving the Pioneers a 5-on-3 advantage. Henrik Borgstrom, a first-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers, hammered home a pass from Will Butcher at 2:11 to put Denver ahead for good.
Borgstrom added another goal at 9:56, redirecting a pass from Troy Terry for his 19th of the year. Terry finished the night with a goal and two assists.
The Pioneers opened the scoring at 3:52 of the first period. Jarid Lukosevicius grabbed a loose puck at center ice and went the other way. He fed Terry who snapped a shot just past the glove of Evan Weninger for his 16th goal of the year.
The Mavericks tied the game later in the period. Steven Spinner threw the puck to Lukas Buchta at the right point. His shot was tipped in by Mason Morelli at 9:16. It was Morelli’s seventh goal of the season.
UNO took its only lead of the game early in the second period. Austin Ortega tipped in a shot by Luc Snuggerud from the left point for his team-leading 19th goal of the season at 4:27.
Denver fought back to tie the game late in the period. Logan O’Connor jammed home his own rebound at 15:23.
Weninger made 28 saves while Denver’s Tanner Jaillet stopped 23 as the Pioneers outshot the Mavericks, 32-25.
Denver has now won nine straight games against UNO.
The two teams finish the regular season on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. Senior Night festivities will precede the game.