Carmine Guerriero did all he could to keep the Chargers in the hunt, but UAH could only muster a late shorthanded goal in a 3-1 at Alaska-Anchorage.
While UAH’s freshman goaltender made 30 saves, the offense could only get 14 shots on net. Alex Allan’s breakaway goal with 1:56 to go — UAH’s first shorthanded goal since Sebastian Geoffrion’s tally against New Hampshire on Nov. 26, 2011 — denied UAA’s Rob Gunderson the shutout.
At least the Chargers were in the game throughout on a Friday night. They had been blown out on the first three Friday games of the season.
There was lots of action in the first period, but most of it was in the UAH end. Alaska-Anchorage won 10 of 16 faceoffs and benefited from two power plays to mount a 22-5 shots taken advantage (8-4 on goal).
For the most part, Guerriero was up to the challenge. However, on the second power play, the Seawolves crashed the net and fired away. Guerriero made three straight saves before Brett Cameron put in a rebound to give UAA a 1-0 lead.
Guerriero was still sharp in the second as the Seawolves continued to pressure. Meanwhile, UAH’s few chances to equalize were so close.
Brandon Clowes made a nifty move to put the puck between a defender’s legs, but his shot hit the post. Frank Misuraca hits another post as a Charger power play expired. Gunderson somehow made the stop after going down during a Charger 3-on-1, and then just got a piece on a Cody Marooney shot on a nearly wide-open net. But after two periods, Alaska-Anchorage maintained the 1-0 lead.
Those types of opportunities vanished in the third period. UAH could not get any offensive rhythm, and the Seawolves eventually broke through.
Matt Bailey’s one-timer from the right circle beat Guerriero on the top shelf and made it 2-0 UAA with 15:17 to go in regulation.
Allan got his goal — his third of the season — late in a Seawolves power play to cut the lead to 2-1. He picked off a slow pass from the UAH blue line and took it to the house.
The Chargers’ chance to tie the game was hampered after Anderson White was called for tripping. Scott Allen’s backhanderd shot past Guerriero with 1:28 left sealed the game for UAA.
Game two of the series is later Saturday at 10:07 Central Time.