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Hockey: Mavericks, Irish trade victories

Dan Murphy | Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nebraska-Omaha defenseman Juha Uotila scored a power-play goal with 2:16 remaining in the third period to give the Mavericks a 3-2 win and a weekend split with No. 5 Notre Dame in Omaha.

Uotila’s goal was a result of two Notre Dame penalties that gave Nebraska-Omaha a 5-on-3 advantage late in the game. Seniors Jason Paige and Tom Sawatske were called for obstruction holding within a minute of each other.

“It is the first time all year long that we have beaten ourselves,” Irish coach Jeff Jackson said. “Obviously I’m disappointed with that and it will be addressed in practice.”

Despite the outcome Jackson was still pleased overall with his teams play on Saturday night. Notre Dame controlled the puck for most of the game with plenty of opportunities to pull away late in the game, but the Irish could not sneak one past freshman goaltender Jeremie Dupont. Dupont finished the night with 25 saves.

Notre Dame’s two goals in the game came courtesy of the special teams unit. Senior defenseman Noah Babin got the scoring started with a shorthanded goal at 11:11 in the first stanza.

The Mavericks answered just over a minute later with two goals of their own from Bryan Marshall and Mark Bernier on the first shift of the third period.

Several minutes later, freshman Kevin Deeth got open along the crease and buried a Ryan Thang pass to tie the game on the power play. Sophomore Erik Condra also picked up an assist on the play to add to his team-leading 16 points.

“Kevin has played consistently well for us,” Jackson said. “The most important thing for a guy his size is that he competes and always gets himself in position to score goals.”

Deeth, who was named CCHA Rookie of the Week Monday, also had a goal and an assist in Friday’s 4-2 Irish win.

He picked up his assist when the line of Condra, Thang and Deeth capitalized on an odd-man rush just over a minute into the game. Thang hit his fellow freshman breaking toward the net and Deeth shoveled the puck over to a wide-open Condra who redirected it past Maverick goaltender Eric Aarnio to give Notre Dame an early lead.

“We want to go out and establish the tempo of the game,” Jackson said. “It is proven in hockey that the team that scores first usually wins about 70-75 percent of the time.”

Senior Josh Sciba and freshman Dan Kissel kept things rolling as they both tallied their fourth goals on the season to give the Irish a 3-0 lead heading into the last period.

Nebraska-Omaha was able to cut the margin to one in the third period with two quick goals.

Junior Brandon Scerco put the Mavs on the scoreboard when he dumped the puck on net from outside the blue line. The shot trickled past goalie Dave Brown and over the crease.

Senior defenseman Phil Angell quickly followed with his first goal of the year as sophomore Dan Charleston spotted him streaking in from the point and got him the puck in the high slot.

The Irish once again called on their lifeline to provide an insurance goal with just over six minutes remaining. Thang recovered a loose puck on the forecheck, which he fed in front of the net to Deeth, who secured a Notre Dame victory with his sixth score of the year.