After last night’s win, everyone’s hopes bubbled: could this be a sweep? After all, our last sweep had come on February 28th at Niagara, completing a sweep started on February 12th, the day of the Amy Bishop rampage. (Charge on.) Our last two-game winning streak came during the final CHA tournament with wins over Robert Morris and Niagara. The thought on all our minds was this: we’re due.
Once again, the Lakers came out strong; unlike last night, they lit the lamp in the first stanza. Worse, they did it three times. Whether it was a matter of Gregg Gruehl (13 SV) not seeing the puck (probable) or the boys not being up to the early pressure (more probable), things just didn’t go right from the start.
Speaking of that opening: the Lakers’ first goal came just :24 in, but only because the Chargers were reeling a bit from a hit on Curtis deBruyn that looked like a classic boarding minor to me. He slumped to the ice, and it seems as if everyone—including one Laker—anticipated a whistle that did not come. Ben Power wriggled free and it was a quick 1-0 deficit.
Goals from Chris Ciotti (12:40) and Stephen Perfetto (15:02) made the gap quite wide; the Chargers hadn’t scored four goals in a game since Jan. 14, 2011 over Merrimack in Nashville. A UAH team that’s struggled to score this season could still have done that given the great efforts that we’ve seen in the last two weeks, but it wasn’t in the cards. Kevin Murdock was much stronger tonight than on Friday, stopping all 25 shots, including some high-quality opportunities by the good guys.
Johnny Griggs (33 SV) came out for Gruehl to start the second frame, and the boys were buzzing: forechecking hard, intercepting passes, and laying the wood to the bad guys. The increased activity was rewarded in the shots column, with nearly half the game’s attempts in the middle frame. Sadly, the Lakers held on to their end of things, and a Ciotti goal (12:23) in the third put this one out of reach.
The road warriors are almost done with their brutal stretch! As of tonight, the team has played half of their road games for the season, and the last of the six-straight trips comes next weekend at Nebraska-Omaha. We’re not sure when the bus will leave with classes still in session on Wednesday, but we do know that everyone will miss American Thanksgiving in Huntsville.