ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Soon perhaps, Anthony Stolarz will get his due.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s freshman goaltender cooled off a red-hot St. Cloud State team Saturday night but was still saddled with a 2-1 defeat in front of 4,119 at the National Hockey and Event Center.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ second-round draft pick dropped to 1-4. His only win was a shutout. All his losses have been by one goal, and he hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game.
And the Mavericks had two third-period goals disallowed Saturday after video review.
“I’d rather have bad luck now than towards the end of the year,” Stolarz said. “Luck can swing just like that. Hopefully towards the end we’ll be on top in those one-goal games.”
Jonny Brodzinski scored with 9:45 left in regulation as No. 17 St. Cloud State (9-7, 7-5 WCHA) earned a split of the two-game series with 14th-ranked UNO (10-5-1, 6-3-1).
The Huskies jumped into a tie for third place in the league with 14 points while the Mavs slid into a tie for fifth with North Dakota at 13.
But UNO trails first-place Denver by three points, second-place Minnesota by two and — like North Dakota — has played two fewer league games than the teams ahead of them.
So, ultimately, it was still a mission accomplished type of weekend considering the Friday night win on the road against a tough opponent.
“We were coming for four points,” Mav captain Matt White said. “That’s what we expect. So we’re disappointed with the outcome, but not disappointed with the team. All the boys played really well.”
Both Brodzinski’s goal — set up by Ben Hanowski on a pass from close range in front — and a first-period goal by Nick Jensen off a screen, came on plays where there wasn’t much Stolarz could do.
“We just have to score more goals for him,” UNO coach Dean Blais said.
The Mavs thought they should have gotten at least one of the disallowed goals when Andrej Sustr followed up his own rebound as it sat in the crease with 16:05 to go.
Ryan Walters had led a rush and sent the puck to Sustr for a shot. Meanwhile, Brock Montpetit slid across the crease toward goalie Ryan Faragher. Sustr eventually got to the rebound and stuck it in the open net.
But the goal was denied after review as Montpetit was ruled to have interfered with the goaltender.
“I thought that goal should have counted,” Blais said. “The puck was laying there. But I told the team, ‘Don’t be surprised if it’s not good. Don’t be demoralized.’ After two goals, it’s tough. Every time they disallow a goal, it’s momentum for the home team.”
The second disallowed goal came 1:21 later, when Aaron Pearce, sprawled on the ice at the right post, kicked it past Faragher.
“They were playing much stronger and you were wondering if all of the momentum was going to shift their way,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “But you could see from the bench that both those goals were going to be disallowed and the right call was made.”
The Mavs finished the two-game series having skated on a power play once. And they were forced to kill off another five-minute major penalty — and this one included a game misconduct for captain Brent Gwidt, called for kneeing late in the first period.
UNO won the battle — White scored on a short-handed breakaway with two seconds left on the power play — but ultimately playing with 11 forwards might have sapped some of its energy. It also led Blais to break up the highly-productive line of Walters, Dominic Zombo and Josh Archibald for the final two periods.
Stolarz got the start in goal one night after John Faulkner made 29 saves, many on difficult chances, in UNO’s 6-5 win. After drawing difficult duty Friday, Faulkner probably needed the night off both mentally and physically.
Stolarz didn’t flinch. He made 12 first-period saves and 26 overall. His goals-against average is 2.16.
“I just wanted to limit the goals St. Cloud had, play my game, simplify everything and not give them any second-chance opportunities,” Stolarz said. “I thought I did a pretty good job of that.”
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