Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sergott Be Damed: Mavs Advance to take on #1

I had to miss tonight's game three due to a family conflict... though as it turns out, I probably could have caught most of it despite arriving back in town in the third period. With the game nearing the end of the second overtime, I briefly thought about driving downtown, but decided that with my luck, I'd make it downtown just in time to get caught up in the postgame traffic.

Probably was right because early in the third period, J.P. Platisha scored his first goal of the season to give the Mavs a 2-1 victory over Alaska in triple overtime. It's the longest game in UNO history (beating a double overtime victory against Ohio State in 2001), and apparently the eighth longest game in college hockey history.

The series was marked by inconsistent and questionable refereeing by Keith Sergott, who very well might take over the label of "most hated referee" label from Brian Aaron, who has held the title with UNO fans for many, many years. Thursday night's game one featured a series of questionable calls in the second period, but Saturday night's game two was filled with so many more that radio announcer Greg Harrington wondered whether the coaches would ask the CCHA to fly in a different referee for the deciding third game.

To be sure, UNO was their own worst enemy Saturday night, with a major penalty call to Eddie DelGrosso in the opening three minutes leading to his ejection and a long penalty kill. All night, UNO ended up needing to play catchup and with inconstent calls from Sergott, tentative play killed the Mavs in the second period. UNO turned it up in the third period and pulled to within one goal late in the game, but couldn't get the game tying goal.

So now it's on to face the #1 Michigoon Weasels. What a weekend for UNO goaltender Jared Kaufmann; he only gave up 1 even strength goal during nearly 12 periods of hockey. Other goalies may have more "potential", but this is the only goalie to lead UNO into the NCAA tournament. He's earned his playing time to be sure.

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