A night after getting pulled from net for just the second time in his career, Adam Scheel faced another dangerous Omaha opportunity just two minutes into the game.
UND defenseman Jonny Tychonick tripped retreating into the zone and the Mavericks came in 2-on-1 to test Scheel early.
Omaha's Zach Jordan slid a pass to Noah Prokop but Scheel slid over to make a confident save.
"At the moment, you aren't thinking anything but making the save," Scheel said. "It doesn't matter what time of the game, whether it's the first shot or the last shot. All that matters is keeping the puck out."
That save set the tone for Scheel re-establishing his solid presence during a 4-1 win over the Mavericks at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
"It was good," Scheel said. "Last night wasn't in my head tonight. It was a whole new experience."
UND assistant coach Dane Jackson knew that save was critical, both for Scheel's mental state and the momentum it prevented from providing to the Mavericks.
"It's a big deal," Jackson said. "That chance starting the game I think gave him confidence and made him feel good and kind of settled in.
"I thought we didn't give up a lot of chances (Friday), but we gave up a lot of good chances from the critical area which we normally defense well in our critical area. So even though it wasn't Scheel's best night we gave up a lot of pretty good chances."
Scheel, the goalie of the month for the NCHC in both November and December, finished with 18 saves a night after getting pulled in a game for the first time since Nov. 17 of last season against Western Michigan.
Jackson said the staff waffled on whether to start Scheel or backup Peter Thome for the series finale.
"We debated it a lot," Jackson said. "Thome went in and did a good job last night, but we thought in the decision-making that Adam put a lot of money in the bank this year and has played very well. We thought about the idea of getting him back in there and kind of having the chance to redeem a little bit. There was definitely some back and forth over the night and morning about giving Peter a chance because he's working hard and battling. But Adam went in there and did a good job."
Scheel was appreciative of the opportunity.
"Any time I get a chance to play a game for this team is an honor," Scheel said. "I want to play as many games as possible. Those nights (like Friday) happen. They happen no matter what level you're at. You try not to think about it ... don't dwell. You get back to your normal routine and have a normal day."
Not only was it an important bounce back for Scheel, but the Fighting Hawks as a whole wanted to get back on track after letting a 15-game unbeaten streak end in the series opener.
"We never want to lose, and you don't want to lose two in a row especially at home," Scheel said. "The team showed a lot of resiliency. We got punched in the mouth last night, so it was good to see."