OMAHA, Neb. - For the third time in three games, the Northern Michigan University hockey team fell behind. Only this time, there would be no comeback for the Wildcats.
Northern staked Nebraska-Omaha to a three-goal lead before falling to its former CCHA rival, 5-2, in non-conference play on the road Friday night.
Both teams will meet again tonight in Omaha with puck drop scheduled for 8 p.m.
The Wildcats (2-1-0), ranked No. 15 in the nation by USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine and No. 17 by USCHO.com, trailed Wisconsin a week ago 1-0 in both games of the season-opening series, only to rally both nights for a sweep of the Badgers in Green Bay.
"Maybe it was a hangover from getting a couple wins last week, maybe a little entitlement," NMU head coach Walt Kyle said. "I don't know what it was, but whatever it was, we're going to have to fix it."
On Friday, the Mavericks (2-1-0), now of the WCHA, outshot Northern 13-1 in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. UNO got an even-strength goal by junior forward Brock Montpetit and a power-play score by junior defenseman Michael Young off a faceoff only 10 seconds into the Mavs' first man-advantage of the night.
Northern Michigan University head coach Walt Kyle talks with his team during a break in the action Friday night against Nebraska-Omaha at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Semsich)
Senior forward Brent Gwidt gave UNO a 3-0 lead 3:48 into the second period, slipping a short-handed goal through the five hole of NMU junior goaltender Jared Corea.
Wildcat NMU freshman Darren Nowick scored his first collegiate goal at 9:14 of the second period with an assist from fellow freshman Justin Rose. But the Mavs went back up by three almost 90 seconds later via a goal by junior forward Matt White.
Northern's other goal came late in the third period from sophomore forward Reed Seckel, who now has two scores in two games this season. He missed Game 2 against Wisconsin due to injury.
Nebraska-Omaha 5, Northern Michigan 2
NMU 0 1 1 - 2
UNO 2 2 1 - 5
UNO - Brock Montpetit (Nick Seeler), 10:36.
UNO - Michael Young (Monteptit), 11:53 (PP)
UNO - Brent Gwidt (Young, Bryce Aneloski), 3:48 (SH)
NMU - Darren Nowick (Justin Rose), 9:14
UNO - Matt White (Ryan Walters), 10:42
UNO - Andrej Sustr (White, Montpetit), 6:49
NMU - Reed Seckel (Matt Thurber), 13:12
Goalie saves - NMU 36 (Jared Coreau 22, Michael Doan 14); UNO 11 (John Faulkner 11).
Shots on goal - NMU 1-6-6-13, UNO 13-8-20-41. Penalties - NMU 7-14, UNO 9-18. Power play - NMU 0-5, UNO 1-3.
Seckel was assisted by Matt Thurber, who has also totaled points in all three games with a goal and three assists.
"I wasn't happy with the way we played at all," Kyle said. "We got out competed. I thought we turned over way too many pucks. You have to give the Mavericks a ton of credit. They came at us and forced us into turnovers. They won every one-on-one battle. We were not very good and they certainly deserved to win."
The Wildcats, who went 0-5 on the power play, were outshot 41-13 over the 60 minutes.
Coreau finished with 22 saves on 27 shots and was chased from the Northern net in the third period following a 4-on-4 goal by UNO junior defenseman Andrej Sustr of the Czech Republic that put the 'Cats down 5-1.
NMU freshman goaltender Michael Doan, one of seven freshman who suited up for Northern on Friday, relieved Coreau and made 14 saves in his first regular season collegiate appearance.
UNO senior goaltender John Faulkner only needed to make 11 saves in the win.
Editor's note: Matthew Semisch of USCHO.com and Radio Free Omaha (radiofreeomaha.com) contributed to this report.