KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Michael Rebry scored 34 seconds into overtime to give Western Michigan a 2-1 win over the Omaha hockey team and a 2-1 win in their best-of-three NCHC Quarterfinal series.
The Mavericks finished their season with a record of 17-17-5 while the Broncos advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff in Minneapolis with a record of 22-10-5. They will play Minnesota Duluth in one semifinal game.
On the game-winning goal, Rebry collected a bouncing puck along the left wing wall. He cut to the net and slipped a backhander between the legs of Evan Weninger for his second goal of the weekend.
For the second night in a row, the Mavericks got on the board first. On a power play, Austin Ortega carried the puck behind the Western Michigan net and then yanked a pass back to Tyler Vesel. Vesel was uncovered, and he knocked the puck past surprised goaltender Ben Blacker at 6:31.
The Broncos tied the game on a penalty kill late in the period. Griffen Molino got loose on a breakaway and beat Weninger through the five hole at 19:31.
Western Michigan carried the play in the second period, outshooting the Mavericks, 18-7, but Weninger made several tough saves to preserve the deadlock.
The third period was more even with the teams trading chances.
Weninger made 30 saves while Blacker stopped 22 shots.
The loss ends the careers of seniors Ian Brady, Austin Ortega and Justin Parizek. Ortega finishes his college career fourth all-time in scoring at UNO with 139 points and second with 70 goals. Brady ranks third all-time in defenseman scoring with 77 points.