UAH 3, Air Force 3

It was the best of seconds, it was the worst of thirds.  It was the age of the Bulldog Line, it was the age of bad penalties and worse kills.  It was the epoch of belief that maybe we had turned the corner, it was the epoch of incredulity that we blew a three-goal lead.  It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.  We had a road sweep before us, we had a blown three-goal lead before us.  We were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the sin bin.  In short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

It was a tie, but man, I never expected to be disappointed in a three-goal weekend against a non-conference opponent.  (Okay, WCHA brethren, we did our job for PWR help.)

UAH scored three goals in 5:08 in the second half of the second period, two off of the stick of senior forward Craig Pierce (Roswell, Ga.) to take their first three-goal lead against a Division I foe since a road game against Maine in February 2012.  In fact, that game also saw a hot line, with forwards Kyle Lysaght (Marietta, Ga.), Justin Cseter (Menomomie, Wisc.), and Mac Roy (Chiliwack, B.C.) each netting a goal and two assists.

Pierce’s goals came as the Bulldog Line brought the pressure to Falcon sophomore goaltender Chris Truehl (Stoughton, Wisc.), with Pierce streaking through the slot to pick up rebounds from sophomore forward Brent Fletcher (New Westminster, B.C.) and then senior forward and captain Doug Reid (Innisfail, Ont.) to finish a flurry of UAH scoring attempts.

Unfortunately for UAH, the Falcons must have read the script from that Maine game during the second intermission, as the Falcons equaled the Black Bears’ three-goal output in the final regulation frame.  After killing the first nine penalties of the weekend, UAH conceded three power play goals in four opportunities, the last two coming just 1:31 apart, to bring the game to level 5:48 in regulation.

Unlike last night, there were no late-game heroics.  But unlike that Maine result, the Chargers kept the puck out of their net in the overtime, and the boys in blue hop a plane ride home with three more points in the CHA standings (hey wait) but sadly without their first road sweep in five years (also against Air Force).

Mike Corbett is now 2-3-1 all-time against the Serratores.

There was a lot to like in this game.  Chief among them is sophomore goaltender Matt Larose (0-4-1, Nanaimo, B.C.), who was solid in net (36 sv).  Next comes the pressure from the aforementioned Bulldog Line, who played good transition hockey and really brought the pressure from the tops of the circles on in.  Third was the forechecking game, which wavered in the first part of the second period but was always at least passable the rest of the game — and often better than that.

In the end, what we’ll all remember from this one is that the boys had a three-goal lead and gacked it with four third-period penalties and a fifth from the second that carried 1:48 into the third.  Setting yourself up to kill nearly half the period in penalties is asking for disaster, and that’s exactly what the Chargers got in this one.  Simply put, the Chargers have to learn how to win games like that, and staying out of the box is high on the list of things that influence that, even if the refs are making bad calls.

We’ll see you next week at the VBC for games against Lake Superior State University.  Puck drop is 7:07 Central both nights.

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