UAH 2, Bemidji State 1

Coming into tonight, it wasn’t so much about the first 38 tilts between UAH and our hated rival, the dirty Beavers of Bemidji State University.  It was about the last 34 of them, where the rivalry was more like the old joke about Yankees-Red Sox before 2004: hammer and nail.  Yes, Bemidji State was 28-3-3 in the stretch of games from 2006 (where we already know that things started falling apart) through the beginning of the 2013-14 UAH home schedule.  Even worse, the Beavers were nearly unstoppable in the first city on the Mississippi.  It didn’t look good for the Blue and White.

In fact, I had started running a Monte Carlo simulation-based model of this week’s games.  UAH’s chances of winning a game tonight?  1.6%.  In fact, the Beavers were predicted to sweep around 94% of the time.  The remainder of the spread goes to the Chargers picking up a tie.  (You’ll see that there’s some variation in the model — what’s linked from last night doesn’t have as many runs (1,000) as it does now (10,000).  Also, I’ve been tweaking it a bit.)

Well, 1.6% it was.  How’d it happen?

Matt Larose was really good.  The freshman from Nanaimo, British Columbia (1-16-1) made 40 saves, many of them difficult.

He also had a big pinwheel save on a 3-on-1, pad-stacking to his left before rolling onto his back.  The Bemidji announcers raved about him all night, especially with the number of stick saves.  This was Larose’s sixth 40-save effort of the season, and his last three starts have been 42, 42, and 40.  After a great night last Friday, it was wonderful to see 30 get the win.  His teammates have really wanted this for him.

Jeff Vanderlugt picked a corner.

The goal was the junior’s fifth of the season, and it left the fine folks of Richmond Hill, Ont. happy.  It’s also Vandy’s 13th career goal, which leads the roster.  It’s great to see him back healthy.

The Beavers tied it up in the third when John Parker dumped the puck into the UAH zone, but instead of going into the boards, it bounced off of an official and back to him.  He picked the puck up in the left wing circle, had time and space, forced Larose to commit, and roofed it.

But back came Jack.

Photo Credit: Timothy Burns

Photo Credit: Timothy Burns

We’re going to hashtag tweets about Jack Prince (Leicester, England) with #UnionJack going forward.  The big forward had a little time, a little space, and a closing defenseman.  Seeing that his window was closing, he decided to rip it, and when it went off of Matt Prapavessis’s stick, it redirected past Wilkins for the winning marker.

The numbers say that the Beavers will come back tomorrow night and get the split.  The numbers are generally on the Beavers’ side, but tonight, they weren’t.

I bet the Beavers’ fans really hate Huntsville now that their team has lost to them.  After all, they hadn’t seen the home team lose to the Chargers in seven years.  I bet it smarts.  I bet it smarts a lot.

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