OMAHA, Neb. - The Northern Michigan University hockey team salvaged a nonconference series split at Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday, prevailing 2-1 over the Mavericks to improve to 3-1-0 overall on the season.
"We came out and showed up and competed right from the get-go," NMU head coach Walt Kyle said. "Last night we were really passive, willing to let them punch us in the mouth and not do anything about it. I thought tonight we showed up and had some guys that really competed."
NMU sophomore forward Ryan Daugherty picked up his second goal of the season 17:52 into the game with an assist from junior forward Stephan Vigier, giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in a game for the first time in four regular season contests this season.
Freshman forward Ryan Aynsley, who took the spot of injured junior forward Kory Kaunisto of Sault Ste. Marie on the second line, scored his first collegiate goal 4:19 into the second period with assists from linemates Reed Seckel, a sophomore forward, and Matt Thurber, a senior forward.
"We showed up and competed much, much harder tonight," Kyle said. "We did a much better job taking care of the puck tonight, we did a good job killing penalties tonight and it was much more the game we need to play."
UNO cut the Wildcat lead in half 61 seconds after Aynsley's goal when Josh Archibald beat NMU junior goaltender Jared Coreau with assists from Zach Raubenheimer and Bryce Aneloski.
Northern Michigan University freshman defenseman Ryan Trenz (5) battles for the puck along the boards while Nebraska-Omaha’s Brent Gwidt closes in during the first period at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Semisch)
Coreau, who didn't finish Friday's 5-2 NMU loss, totaled 35 saves on Saturday after giving up five goals on 27 shots the night before.
"It was a good way to come back," Coreau said. "Last night was a rough night for all of us and I am accountable for a lot of it too. I tried to forget about that one, come back tonight and get the win."
Freshman Anthony Stolarz made 21 saves for the Mavericks, who outshot NMU 36-23 in the game and 31-15 over the final two periods.
Both teams came up empty on the power play with the Wildcats getting six chances and UNO four.
Northern returns home this weekend to open its final season of CCHA play against Notre Dame at 7:35 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Berry Events Center.
Editor's note: Matthew Semisch of USCHO.com and Radio Free Omaha contributed to this report.