Minnesota State's Pairwise ranking suffered a blow Tuesday night as Nebraska-Omaha scored a 4-2 upset. UNO swept the series, captured the Spirit of the Maverick Trophy for the first time since 2002 and knocked MSU from a tie for seventh in the Pairwise to a tie for 11th.
"We didn't come out with any fire," MSU captain Joel Hanson said, "like it was a must win."
While the traveling trophy meant little to the Mankato Mavericks, who just wanted a win, it was special for the Omaha Mavs, who snapped an 11-game winless streak against MSU during their meeting in December.
"I have two assistants who are former players, and they were on the last team that won it," UNO coach Mike Kemp said. "That tells you how long it's been. This was hard-fought for the seniors."
Omaha was without its top scorer Bryan Marshall, who has missed the last five games with a knee injury. Marshall was second in the nation in scoring and first in assists when he got hurt. UNO also started sophomore goalie Jeremie Dupont, who made 28 saves for his first win of the season. It was Omaha's final regular-season game.
Minnesota State 0-1-1--2
Penalties: Agosta, UNO (checking from behind) 14:12
Scoring: 1. UNO-Ambroz 3 (Goulet 7, Martin 9) ppg 2:11; 2. UNO-Goulet 6 (Koehler 6) ppg 4:53; 3. MSU-Hanson 8 (Irwin 9, Sackrison 13) ppg 19:54
Penalties: Bruess, MSU, major (kneeing) 1:44; UNO (bench minor) 4:53; Kilburg, MSU (cross-checking) 11:42; Goulet, UNO (tripping) 18:08
Scoring: 4. UNO-Lawrence 21 (Fanto 5, Von Bokern 4) 9:24; 5. MSU-Berge 16 (Davis 10, Kalinski 5) 18:37; 6. UNO-Koehler 5 (unassisted) eng 19:49
Penalties: Klempa, UNO (hooking) 4:02; DelGrosso, UNO (cross-checking) 15:
Shots on goal: UNO 6-12-7--25; MSU 6-12-12--30. Penalties: UNO 5 for 10 minutes; MSU 2 for 7 minutes. Power-play opportunities: UNO 2 for 4; MSU 1 for 5. Goalie saves: UNO-Dupont 6-11-11--28 (2 GA); MSU-Zacharias 6-10-5--21 (4 GA)
MSU called its timeout at 18:17 of the third period.
Referee: Derek Shepherd. Assistant referees: Jarod Moen, C.J. Beaurline.