Brandon Svendsen and his Bowling Green linemates did what more than 80 players before them could not do this season; they scored against Nebraska-Omaha’s penalty kill, which had been perfect in 28 chances until Svendsen one-timed a Dan Sexton rebound past goalie Jerad Kaufmann 10 minutes into the first period at the BGSU Ice Arena.
“It got the pressure off our shoulders,” Svendsen said. “They’re a strong, fast team and it’s tough to set something up because someone’s always on you.”
Nebraska’s penalty kill had not allowed a goal in the team’s first five games
While Svendsen found a way to do it, the rest of his team was silenced by UNO’s tight forechecking, as the Mavericks went on to win 5-3.
“We want to keep the game simple,” said Nebraska-Omaha Coach Mike Kemp. “We’re not a team that’s going to be able to run and gun. We don’t have the offense and punch that we had a year ago.”
Maybe not, but Saturday’s second period version of the Mavericks could have been mistaken for the team that averaged more than three goals per game a year ago.
In fact, they scored three goals in the second period alone.
Alex Hudson beat Falcons’ goalie Jimmy Spratt five-hole three minutes into the second, and Nick Fanto followed seven minutes later by finishing a pass from Matt Ambroz.
Joey Martin scored his first of two goals on the night just two minutes and 40 seconds later when he beat Spratt with a quick shot from the blue line, making it 3-1 UNO.
“They have skilled players and they are good in transition,” said Falcons’ Coach Scott Paluch. “They capitalize.”
The Falcons looked as if they would capitalize on a mental lapse in the first half of the third period when David Solway and Kai Kantola each scored four minutes apart, sending the 1,597 fans in attendance into a frenzy.
However, it would be UNO’s John Kemp (no relation to his coach) who would decide the game’s outcome.
The freshman from Arcadia, Calif. took the puck from a corner in the Falcons’ zone and found an open shooting lane to fire the puck past Spratt to make it 4-3.
“Actually, the play before that I made a bad mistake with a big turnover,” Kemp said. “I came over to the bench and one of our seniors, Dan Charleston, said ‘Just let it go. It’s over-with.’
“The next shift helped me to forget.”
The Falcons outshot the Mavericks 39-22, including eight by Dan Sexton for the second night in a row. The Falcons (3-4-1, 2-2-0 CCHA) still have not been outshot by an opponent this year.
Martin capped the scoring with an empty net goal at 19:39 of the third.