North Dakota dominated the Mavs in the second period, thanks in no part to a five-minute major power play after Tony Turgeon leveled NoDak's Dan Senkbeil in front of the benches. Watching it live, I didn't see anything illegal, but I wasn't focused on it either. North Dakota blogger Eric Burton watched it on replay and he didn't see anything bad on it.
ESPN's John Buccigross went on Twitter to express his outrage over the call.
What a terrible call in Omaha against Tony Turgeon. Just brutal. Instant replay if you think someone might warrant ejection.Judge for yourself.
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) February 9, 2013
UNO was able to kill off the penalty, but the Mavs had to extend way too much energy fending off the ferocious North Dakota pressure. A scrum in front of the net resulted in two Mavs falling on top of UNO goalie Dayn Belfour, giving Danny Kristo an easy rebound goal for the game winner.
Belfour had a solid game in his first start of the season. It was a curious choice in the pregame, but solid in hindsight. Perhaps Dean Blais thought Belfour would be extra sharp and motivated in facing off against his father Ed's alma mater. Perhaps he thought that with the short turnaround for tomorrow afternoon's game, he wanted John Faulkner to have a night off. Frankly, I don't know that Faulkner could have done much better. North Dakota was simply the better team on the ice tonight.
And North Dakota's 2,000 fans were the louder fans on the night. Credit the students for showing up tonight. It was a good UNO crowd. But the North Dakota fans that headed south in advance of the upcoming blizzard showed Omaha what they need to aspire to in support. Tradition. Enthusiasm. Dedication. That's what North Dakota fans showed us with all of those green Sioux jerseys in the concourse.
@husker_mike UNO is to und what k state was to Nebraska back in those days....a wannabeSome will claim that tonight was proof that UNO had better limit themselves to a 7500 seat arena. There's only one problem with that idea. North Dakota fans would find their way into Tranquility if UNO decided to play in a Muni rink. I speak from experience with a rabid fan base. Ask Notre Dame about Husker fans. Ask Northwestern. So hey...if you want to sell your program short to try and keep out the invading hordes from Grand Forks, be my guest...but don't be surprised if you find out it backfires miserably.
— Huskers_3531 (@Huskers_3531) February 9, 2013
There's a better solution out there. Don't worry about the other team's fans. Worry about building your own home ice advantage.