ANCHORAGE - The Nebraska Omaha Mavericks earned the Western Collegiate Hockey Association split Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at the Sullivan Arena in front of 3,793 fans.
The Seawolves (11-16-3, 10-14-2), who won 3-2 on Friday night, outshot the Mavericks, 30-18, but three unanswered goals gave the Mavericks their first win in Anchorage. UAA received its lone goal from senior Sean Wiles halfway through the third frame on the man advantage, before UNO netted the empty netter in the final minutes.
With the loss, the Seawolves maintain their No. 8 ranking in the conference with 22 points and just two points out of sixth place Minnesota (24 points) and home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The Mavericks (19-11-2, 15-7-2 WCHA) sit in a two-way tie for third in the league with Minnesota Duluth.
Following a scoreless opening stanza, the Mavericks recorded three goals - two in the second and one in the third. Joey Martin recorded an even-strength tally at 3:39, before Matt White gave UNO a 2-0 lead at 9:01. With just 52 seconds expired on the clock in the third, Brock Montpetit handed UNO the 3-0 lead.
It wasn't until the midway point of the third when UAA got on the board with Wiles' second goal of the series and eighth on the season. With UNO's Alex Hudson in the box for cross checking, senior forward Tommy Grant fired on goaltender John Faulkner, who made the original save. Wiles, stationed near the crease, picked up the rebound for his fourth goal in the last five games.
At 17:52, UNO registered the empty-net goal for the 4-1 final.
Freshman forward Matt Bailey, UAA's second-leading scorer, didn't dress for the third frame after suffering a knee sprain during the game, while senior defenseman Luka Vidmar missed his first game of the season with a pulled groin.
The Seawolves return to non-conference action when they face in-state rival Alaska Fairbanks of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for the annual Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup in an away-and-home series on Feb. 25-26. Friday's game will take place at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks at 7:05 p.m., while Saturday's contest with commence at 7:07 p.m. at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage.