OMAHA, Neb. - Playing in front of a record crowd at Qwest Center Omaha on Friday, the Badgers (19-9-3, 11-8-2 WCHA) fell, 4-1, to Nebraska-Omaha (17-10-2, 13-6-2 WCHA).
Late in the first period, the Badgers got on the board first. With the Badgers in the offensive zone, Mark Zengerle fed a pass into the high slot. Jordy Murray received the puck and fired a quick wrist shot into the back of the net. The goal gave Wisconsin a 1-0 lead at 14:54 of the first period. Wisconsin took a one-goal lead into the first intermission with the shots on goal being 9-8 in favor of UW.
In the second period, the Mavericks came roaring back with two quick goals to start the period. The Mavericks tied the game on a power-play goal at 1:21 of the period. Joey Martin scored from the left faceoff dot, beating Badger goaltender Scott Gudmandson to tie the game at 1-1.
Then, less than 90 seconds later, UNO took the lead. Johnnie Searfoss buried a rebound, giving the Mavericks a 2-1 lead at the 2:43 mark of the second stanza.
Despite some late power play pressure by the Badgers, they trailed 2-1 after two periods. Nebraska Omaha recorded a 16-7 edge in shots on net during the period.
UW came out strong in the third period, but it was the Mavericks who scored first. UNO got a 2-on-1 rush when a Wisconsin defenseman fell, and Alex Hudson took the puck in and scored on a backhander. The goal increased the Maverick lead to 3-1 at 1:41 of the third period.
The Badgers kept pressuring the Maverick net, outshooting UNO 16-8 in the final stanza. The score remained 3-1 until the final minute of the period when UNO added an empty-net goal. Rich Purslow netted the tally to make the final 4-1 in favor of the Mavericks.
The shots on goal were even for the game, with each team recording 32. Nebraska Omaha was 1-for-4 on the power play, while the Badgers were held to 0-for-5.
Gudmandson made 28 saves for the Badgers, but fell to 14-7-1. John Faulkner got the win for Nebraska Omaha, making 31 stops and improving to 16-9-2.
A total of 15,137 fans packed Qwest Center Omaha to set a new program attendance record for the Mavericks by over 2,000. The total was just short of a sell out.