ANCHORAGE — The 3-0 bagel Nebraska-Omaha fed UAA on Friday night marked the sixth time this season the Seawolves have been shutout victims.
As if that were not humbling enough — on Parents Night at Sullivan Arena, no less — the Seawolves mustered 10 shots on goal, a season low.
Lack of offense in general and lack of scoring depth in particular have been two of the Seawolves’ most glaring shortcomings in a season in which they have not won consecutive games and are 1-13-3 in their last 17 games.
The Seawolves (4-18-7, 2-17-6 WCHA) have been limited to one goal or none in 13 of 29 games this season (44.8 percent), which is why they rank 57th of 59 Division I teams nationally in goals per game (1.93).
In 12 games, or 41.4 percent of their schedule thus far, the Seawolves have managed 18 shots or fewer, which doesn’t exactly jack up the odds of cracking a goaltender.
Mavericks sophomore Dayn Belfour, making his second start this season, occasionally looked shaky. Then again, having the puck shot at him was a rare enough occurrence to prove startling. Bottom line: He owns his first college shutout.
Granted, Nebraska-Omaha (17-12-2, 13-8-2 WCHA) is ranked No. 16, but UAA’s inability to string together a series of passes, coupled with abundant turnovers, prevented it from mounting much of a challenge Friday. Some power-play time certainly might have helped the Seawolves generate some shots and buoy their confidence — UAA didn’t receive a power play for the first time all season — but it could also be argued they didn’t display enough pace and tenacity to draw penalties.
“Like coach said, it all starts in our end,’’ said UAA junior winger Jordan Kwas. “We didn’t really have many quick breakouts. We didn’t carry the puck into their end with poise or confidence.
“When you’re always trying to get the puck back, it wears on you.’’
Even so, UAA trailed just 1-0 midway through the third period — Ryan Walters’ backdoor tap-in of a Matt White feed midway through the first period held up for nearly 40 minutes. Until, that is, Nebraska-Omaha senior winger Brent Gwidt went all highlight-reel.
Gwidt carried the puck into UAA’s zone on left wing, skating 1-on-1 against Seawolves defenseman Scott Warner. Gwidt made an outside-in move as he cut to the middle of the ice and, with only his right hand on his stick as he fell to the ice, swept the puck between the wickets of UAA goaltender Chris Kamal (16 saves) to give the Mavericks a 2-0 cushion.
White sealed victory inside the last two minutes when he took a stretch pass up the middle of the ice from defenseman Bryce Aneloski and beat Kamal stick-side on a breakaway.
While the Mavericks didn’t exactly turn Kamal’s crease into a shooting gallery, he made several key stops in the first period to hold the deficit at 1-0.
Meanwhile, his teammates could not mount a consistent attack.
“We have to be accountable for all those turnovers,’’ said Scott Allen, UAA’s leading goal scorer. “We’ve got to find a way to get through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone.’’
As it was, the Mavericks blocked exactly as many UAA shots (10) as the Seawolves managed to get to the net.
Nebraska-Omaha snapped its three-game losing streak and moved into a tie with Minnesota for third place in the league entering tonight’s series finale with UAA.
The Seawolves are all but assured of finishing last in the 12-team league for the second straight season. With three league games and six available points remaining, they sit five points below 11th-place Bemidji (Minn.) State and six points behind 10th-place Michigan Tech.
Michigan Tech and Bemidji State each have five league games remaining and each already owns a tie-breaker over the Seawolves.
Kwas’ six-game point streak, the longest by a UAA skater this season, came to an end.
Only eight of UAA’s 18 skaters were credited with at least one shot on goal to mark the fewest players to fire a shot on goal for the club in a game this season. Only Matt Bailey and Hayden Trupp, with two shots each, fired more than one shot on goal.
At 2 hours, 5 minutes, Friday’s game tied for the fastest UAA game this season. That’s the third time the Seawolves have played a game in 2:05.
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UNO 1 0 2 — 3
UAA 0 0 0 — 0
First Period — 1, UNO, Walters 18 (White, O’Rourke), 10:04. Penalties — Williams, UAA (slashing), 5:33.
Second Period — None. Penalties — Docken, UAA (holding), 15:36; Crowell, UAA (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:38; Raubenheimer, UNO (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:38.
Third Period — 2, UNO, Gwidt 6, 9:25; 3, UNO, White 15 (Aneloski), 18:39. Penalties — None.
Shots on goal — UNO 10-6-3—19. UAA 3-4-3—10.
Power-play Opportunities — UNO 0 of 2. UAA 0 of 0.
Goalies — UNO, Belfour, 1-1-0 (10 shots-10 saves). UAA, Kamal, 2-10-3 (19 shots-16 saves).
A — 2,563 (6,251). T — 2:05.
Referees — Don Adam, Tim Walsh. Assistant referees — Travis Jackson, Brent Johnson.