Back to the drawing board, as they say.
UAH lost 4-1 to Bowling Green on Saturday, swept by a combined score of 9-1 in the two-game home opening series with the Falcons.
After a couple of one-goal games at Colorado College, the Chargers (0-4-0 overall, 0-2-0 WCHA) had a much rougher time against a stronger conference opponent. UAH was outshot 47-21 on Saturday, and Bowling Green (3-1-0, 2-0-0) took advantage of eight power plays, scoring twice.
Still, UAH coach Mike Corbett said the Chargers played better on Saturday, at least in 5-on-5 situations. But the Chargers took 15 penalties, which led to eight Falcon power plays, with two converted into goals.
“They got 17 of the 47 shots on the power play and we’ve got to be more disciplined,” Corbett said. “That was our biggest thing this morning is just to be more disciplined in what we’re doing. We put ourselves behind the 8-ball penalty-wise.
“You figure all four of their goals, two on the power play and two turnovers. It’s pretty simple right there. Our turnovers were minimized compared to yesterday, but in big-time D-I hockey, you turn the puck over, the other team is going to score.”
The Chargers kept it close at the start, finally going into a first intermission without trailing. Bowling Green peppered UAH goalie Matt Larose with 15 shots, though, but he was able to stop them all.
UAH’s best scoring chance came with about eight minutes left in the first, as a Matt Salhany breakaway was denied by Falcon goaltender Tomas Sholl.
Bowling Green had a power play goal with 1:34 left in the frame as Ben Murphy fired on a wide open net. However, video replay showed why it was wide open: Dan Salvo’s right leg strayed into the crease and tripped Larose. The goal was overturned, leaving the game scoreless after one.
It didn’t take long, however, for UAH to fall behind again. Brandon Hawkins squeaked the puck between the pipe and Larose on the power play at 2:29 of the second for a 1-0 Bowling Green lead.
At 8:13, Jakob Reichert made it 2-0 on a forehand-backhand deke on Larose. Mitch McLain got the assist.
Then Kevin Dufort scored his fifth goal of the season at 14:51, poking it past Larose after a shot from Pierre-Luc Mercier. The goal came on the power play following a questionable clipping call on Brent Fletcher, who had upended Ben Murphy in front of the penalty boxes.
The Chargers were desperate for a goal to keep it close going into the third, and they got it from Frank Misuraca. His goal from the slot with 1:56 left in the second, on a nice pass from Brent Fletcher, cut Bowling Green’s lead to 3-1. It was Misuraca’s second goal of the season and sixth of his career.
UAH could not muster a rally in the third, partly because of penalties that led to eight power plays for the Falcons. The Chargers had 15 penalties for 41 minutes, while Bowling Green had 11 for 22. Another was Bowling Green sophomore goalie Tomas Sholl, who made the saves when necessary – 20 in all.
The final nail in the coffin came from Dufour, whose second goal of the game came with 6:38 to go.
Larose had a total of 43 saves in the loss.
The Chargers are now winless in their last 19 regular season home games, and their last 30 against Division I opponents.
UAH visits Minnesota State next week, the first of three road series. The Chargers return home on Nov. 14-15 against Lake Superior State. Corbett remains confident in his club.
“I like our team. Our team’s got to get better on the defensive zone and we’ve got to eliminate the turnovers. To me, that’s the biggest thing. If we don’t turn the puck over, I like to think we have more offensive end zone time.
“We just got to continue to get better in every facet of our game. Now got our freshman who got four games under their belt. Richard Buri gets his first game tonight and he was very solid. Is it one thing? No. It’s every aspect of our game. And that’s going to be a recurring theme. Our guys have to understand, even our older guys, they remember how hard it is in this league, how hard it is to be a Division I player, and that’s what we talk about. There aren’t any nights off, there aren’t any shifts off. We’ve seen what happens when we take a shift off.”