Oh man, it’s been a while since we could say that. We knew the boys had it in them to defend home ice for a full weekend, and they did it.
UAH took both games of a two-game series against a Division I opponent for the first time in nearly five years, beating Alaska-Anchorage 2-1 on Saturday night at the Von Braun Center. The Chargers won 3-2 on Friday night. It’s UAH’s first-ever sweep of a WCHA series.
The last time the Chargers did that was January 29-30, 2010, in a College Hockey America series against Niagara at the VBC.
The Chargers (5-14-3 overall, 4-10-0 WCHA) moved into sole possession of eighth place in the WCHA standings with eight points, two ahead of UAA (5-9-4, 2-8-2 WCHA) and idle Lake Superior State. UAH is one point behind seventh-place Bemidji State, which will host the Chargers next weekend (Jan. 9-10).
Carmine Guerriero had another big game, stopping 26 of 27 shots. The lone goal allowed came in the first to give UAA the early lead, but UAH scored two nice second-period goals to win a second straight game.
UAH actually had more scoring chances in the first period, but it only took one mistake to get down early. Austin Azurdia stole the puck in the UAA zone and started a two-on-one break. He kept the puck himself and beat Guerriero to give the Seawolves a 1-0 lead 6:28 into the contest on their first shot on goal.
While there was many hits on both sides during the first period, the only two penalties were slashing calls against the Chargers, one on Graeme Strukoff and another on Craig Pierce.
Despite all that, UAH outshot UAA 8-4 in the first period. But the Chargers broke out in the second period.
Near the halfway point, UAA’s Austin Coldwell cross-checked Regan Soquila. On the ensuing power play, Brandon Carlson, from the slot, redirected a Brandon Parker blast past Jared D’Amico to tie the game at 1-1 with 9:10 left. It was Carlson’s fourth goal of the season, with Parker and Max McHugh picking up assists.
Just two minutes later, Cody Marooney gets his third goal of the season to put the Chargers up front at 2-1. Marooney followed up on a big rebound from a shot off the stick of Jeff Vanderlugt, who got his fifth assist. Parker also helped for his team-leading ninth assist.
Parker’s two assists on the night earned him the first star of the game.
The Seawolves tried to get as much rubber on Guerriero as they could early in the third, notching the first five shots on goal — some on the power play after a Frank Misuraca holding penalty. UAA had 16 of their 28 shots on goal in the final frame, and Guerriero had to make key saves during the final minutes.
Anchorage’s last gasp was in the final 1:18, when D’Amico was pulled for the extra attacker and, with 45 seconds remaining, the Chargers were penalized for too many men on the ice. Guerriero came up big with two saves during UAA’s 6-on-4 situation in the waning moments.
After UAH visits Bemidji State next weekend, the Chargers return home to host Northern Michigan on Jan. 16-17.
Notes: Announced attendance was 2,143. … Max McHugh’s seven goals and 15 points lead all WCHA freshmen. … The Chargers have allowed at least one goal in 150 straight games. UAH’s last shutout was a 1-0 win over Robert Morris on March 12, 2010 in the CHA semifinals. The goaltender was current New York Rangers netminder Cam Talbot. … UAH’s last two-game sweep was actually in Dec. 2012, but that was against Division III Finlandia at the VBC. … The Seawolves have yet to win a road game this season (0-7-1).