Ten months ago, Omaha came to Ralph Engelstad Arena for a two-game series.
UND won the series opener 2-1 on a third-period goal by Nick Jones. It would have been impossible to know at the time, but that goal and victory kicked off a historic run.
The Fighting Hawks reeled off 13 straight home victories, the longest home win streak in the history of Ralph Engelstad Arena, which opened in 2001.
They went 321 days without losing at home.
But that streak ended Friday night against the same team it started against.
Omaha scored on its first two shots of the game, chased UND starting goalie Adam Scheel by the second period and beat UND 6-3 despite only registering 13 shots on goal in the game.
It marked UND's first home loss since Feb. 23, 2019 against Minnesota Duluth, and its first overall loss in 76 days since an Oct. 19 defeat at Minnesota State-Mankato.
So, when the teams line up for the series finale at 7:07 p.m. Saturday, No. 1-ranked UND (16-2-2) will not be carrying the nation's longest unbeaten streak anymore. That ended at 15 games.
"It's never fun losing," said forward Jasper Weatherby, who scored in the third period to make it a 4-3 game before the Mavericks iced it with two empty-netters. "Losing is never fun. The less losing you do, that's better."
UND coach Brad Berry, who had to address his team for just the second time after a loss this season, said: "Hats off to them, they played a good road game. They did what they had to do and we didn't. We weren't sharp, obviously, to start the game, giving up another goal on a Friday night like that. We were a little sporadic in our play as far as not being able to put shifts together to sustain anything. We were a little bit, but we weren't a whole lot tonight."
Omaha sophomore forward Taylor Ward, the son of UND great Dixon Ward, scored just 49 seconds into the game and finished with two points, while Chayse Primeau, Jason Smallidge and Zach Jordan added goals to send Scheel to the bench after allowing four goals on eight shots.
Junior Peter Thome replaced Scheel, marking the first time another goaltender entered a regular-season game for UND this season. Thome faced just three shots in 25:15 and stopped all of them.
The six goals allowed marked a season high.
"I think there was a combination of everything," Berry said. "Adam's been a rock all year. He's been outstanding. And tonight, he didn't play his game, probably, that he thought he would. In saying that, we didn't as a team, either. It's a team game and we have to be better tomorrow in all of those areas. We made it difficult on ourselves tonight. We weren't efficient with the puck. We weren't efficient playing in their end of the rink. It came tough tonight.
"We have to be a whole lot better, because obviously, the NCHC doesn't permit you to play a little bit (off)."
The game marked UND's first loss in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play this season, dropping the Fighting Hawks to 7-1-1. Omaha, which received 26 saves from Isaiah Saville, improved to 9-9-3 overall and 3-5-1 in league play.
UND received goals from Mark Senden, who snapped a 13-game goal drought, Grant Mismash and Weatherby.
"We have to be better," Weatherby said. "That's obvious. We know inside that locker room when we play our style of hockey, not a lot of teams can play with us."
In the series finale, Omaha will attempt a first in program history: Winning a series in Grand Forks. The Mavericks have played eight series all-time in Grand Forks. Six have ended in splits. One ended in a UND sweep -- the series in March of last season. And one ended with a UND win and tie.
"It definitely grabs you a little bit and shakes you back," Poolman said of the loss. "You've got to hate that feeling of losing almost more than you want to win sometimes. We maybe got a little bit of a kick in the butt and maybe get some sense back into us and then be better tomorrow."
Omaha 6, UND 3
First period -- 1. OMA, Taylor Ward 11 (Joey Abate 5, Dean Stewart 7) :49; 2. UND, Mark Senden 3 (Cole Smith 4, Gavin Hain 5) 3:22; 3. OMA, Chayse Primeau 6 4:56
Second period -- 4. OMA, Jason Smallidge 3 (Tristan Keck 7, Noah Prokop 1) 3:01; 5. UND, Grant Mismash 6 (Jordan Kawaguchi 19) 4:19; 6. OMA, Zach Jordan 10 (Keck 8) 12:43
Third period -- 7. UND, Jasper Weatherby 7 (Dixon Bowen 2) 7:26; 8. OMA, Martin Sundberg 3 (Ryan Jones 6, Teemu Pulkkinen 10) 17:33 (en); 9. OMA, Abate 8 (Ward 7) 19:34 (en)
Penalties -- Bench minor, OMA, too many on ice, 8:53 first; John Schuldt, OMA, holding, 15:24 first; Andrew Peski, UND, tripping, 18:19 first; Nolan Sullivan, OMA, kneeing, 17:28 second
Goalie saves -- UND: Adam Scheel 2-2-x -- 4 (4 GA), Peter Thome x-0-3 -- 3 (0 GA); OMA: Isaiah Saville 11-4-11 -- 26
Penalties-minutes -- UND 1-2, OMA 3-6
Power plays -- UND 0-3, OMA 0-1
Attendance -- 10,907
Referees -- Nick Krebsbach and Ian Croft
Linesmen -- Justin Hills and Mike Eslinger