Charger head coach Mike Corbett has consistently said that UAH’s goaltenders are and have been our most valuable players. They certainly kept the Chargers within sniffing distance of the favorites of the WCHA.
One night after Carmine Guerriero made 54 saves to give UAH a chance, it was Matt Larose who did all he could to help UAH stay close with No. 13 Minnesota State. He made 37 saves in the Chargers’ 4-1 loss on Saturday, and the four goals he allowed were simply the result of the Mavericks’ speed and skill advantage. Larose had to deal with 41 Maverick shots on goal while the Chargers could only muster nine.
UAH fell to 0-6-0 overall and 0-4-0 in the WCHA. The Mavericks are now 4-2-0 and 2-0-0 after the two-game sweep.
The Mavericks were firing early again, and Larose was able to make the stops until Minnesota State broke through at 13:52 of the first. Chase Grant in the slot deflected a Jordan Nelson drive from the right wing, and the puck cleared Matt Larose’s pad for a 1-0 Maverick lead.
UAH had only one shot on goal in the first: A drive by Cody Marooney, gloved by MSU goalie Stephon Williams, who played in Friday’s game. Williams made eight saves in the game.
The Chargers finally started to take some shots in the second, and tied the game up as Josh Kestner deflected a Brandon Parker drive at 9:07. It was the Huntsville native’s first collegiate goal. Brennan Saulnier also got a stick on the puck to pick up the primary assist.
However, it wasn’t long until Minnesota State regained the lead. Cody Marooney got a cross-checking penalty just 12 seconds after Kestner’s goal. Bryce Gervais found himself all alone in front of Larose, made Larose commit to his right, and slipped the puck to the left for a 2-1 Maverick lead at 11:01.
Still, it was another close game going into the third. But Minnesota State asserted its dominance again with two goals that Larose couldn’t have done much more to prevent.
At 5:07, C.J. Franklin made a nice left side to right side pass to Teddy Blueger, who drive in on Larose and tucked the puck behind him for a 3-1 Minnesota State lead.
UAH finally got a power play at 10:06 of the third. The Chargers immediately give up a shorthanded breakaway to Gervais, who beat Larose again to make it 4-1 Mavericks.
The Chargers head up to Marquette, Mich., next week to face Northern Michigan in a non-conference series (finishing a contract signed before UAH became a member of the WCHA).