ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The No. 20 Omaha hockey team lost to No. 17 St. Cloud State, 4-2, in the final game of a six-game road trip on Saturday.
The loss, UNO’s first on the road this season, drops it to 9-6-3 overall and 4-4-0-0/0 in the NCHC. The Huskies snapped a five-game home losing streak to improve to 8-7-1 overall and 4-5-1-0/0 in the conference.
The Huskies blitzed the Mavericks for two goals in the first 2:03 of the game. Niklas Nevalainen scored on a backdoor play during a delayed penalty at 1:34. On the ensuing power play, Jack Ahcan fired a shot through traffic that beat Evan Weninger at 2:03.
The Mavericks settled in and got on the board at 16:53 of the period. Joel Messner did a good job to keep the puck at the right point and fed Jake Randolph along the end boards. Randolph then threw a pass to Tyler Vesel who roofed a shot for his seventh goal of the season.
St. Cloud State retook the two-goal lead early in the second period. Ryan Papa set up Judd Peterson for a shot that slipped just inside the right post at 5:10.
The Mavericks countered later when the teams were playing 4-on-4. Steven Spinner forced the puck free from a St. Cloud State defenseman at center ice. Fredrik Olofsson jumped up and took the puck, beating goalie Jeff Smith with a backhander for his fourth of the year.
The Huskies got an insurance goal at 8:47 of the third when Peterson knocked in his second of the game.
Weninger made 32 saves for the Mavericks and had a personal three-game unbeaten streak snapped. Smith got the win with 22 saves.
The Mavericks have almost three weeks off before hosting Lake Superior State of the WCHA on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 30-31.