For the first two periods, it seemed UAH was determined to build on Friday’s 1-1 tie at Northern Michigan and steal more points — even if it wasn’t a conference series against another WCHA team.
The Wildcats quashed that feeling emphatically in the third period, scoring twice and outshooting the Chargers 20-1, to turn a one-goal game into a 4-1 win over UAH on Saturday in Marquette, Mich.
UAH fell to 0-7-1 on the season, while Northern Michigan remained undefeated at 5-0-1. It was the fifth straight game where the Chargers scored one and only one goal.
In an interesting twist, the Chargers came out with the bulk of offensive chances in the first period. UAH made NMU goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom, who faced only 19 shots all game on Friday, stop 14 shots on goal while only allowing eight.
UAH could not get the lead, though, and the Wildcats ended up with the first score of the contest like they did on Friday: crashing the net. Reed Seckel’s initial shot hit Matt Larose’s left pad, and Seckel put in the rebound for a 1-0 Northern Michigan lead at 8:05.
NMU made it 2-0 at 2:59 of the second period, as Brock Maschmeyer’s shot from the right circle beat Larose. Even though the Chargers were exceeding their shot on goal total from yesterday halfway through this game, they found themselves in another hole.
The game started to turn with 5:40 left of the second. During a Northern Michigan power play, Matt Salhany, who scored UAH’s lone goal in Friday’s game, stole the puck and took it down ice. He lost the puck after crossing into the NMU zone, where he was hit in the head by NMU’s John Siemer. Salhany was slow to get up, but did make his way to the Charger bench and would continue to play.
Siemer received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the hit. On the ensuing major power play, Brennan Saulnier, all alone in the right circle, beat Dahlstrom high to cut NMU’s lead to 2-1 with 3:51 left in the second. Saulnier’s first goal at UAH was assisted by Josh Kestner and Brandon Carlson.
The power play was cut short after UAH committed a too many men on the ice penalty. It would remain a one-goal game heading into the final frame.
But the final frame was all Wildcats. They fired away at Larose, notching the first 15 shots on goal en route to 20 for the period. UAH simply could not mount much of an offensive threat.
Meanwhile, NMU built their lead. Maschmeyer scored his second goal of the game at 5:18 on another rebound, and Gerard Hanson made it the final 4-1 score on a tally four minutes later.
The Wildcats finished the game with a 41-23 shots advantage. Larose made 37 saves in another busy night for UAH goaltending. Dahlstrom had 22 saves for NMU.
The Chargers go on the road for the third straight series next weekend when they visit Air Force on Friday and Saturday. UAH returns home Nov. 14 and 15 to face Lake Superior State.