Alaska scored four unanswered goals, erasing a 2-0 deficit to beat UAH 4-2 on Friday at the Von Braun Center.
UAH (8-21-4 overall, 7-17-1 WCHA) was outshot 41-15 for the game. The Chargers’ magic number to clinch a WCHA playoff spot dropped to one after Alaska-Anchorage lost 4-3 to Bowling Green late Friday night. A UAH win or tie or an Anchorage loss or tie puts the Chargers in the playoffs.
Alaska, which is ineligible for the postseason, improved to 16-13-2 overall and 11-12-2 in the WCHA.
The Chargers have their home season finale Saturday night at 7. It will be Senior Night, and the first 500 fans receive a mini space shuttle, courtesy of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.
Carmine Guerriero came up big in a hectic first period that saw the Nanooks outshoot the Chargers 13-4.
Despite this, the Chargers took the first lead of the game. Alaska’s Marcus Basara cross-checked UAH’s Alex Carpenter, and on the ensuing power play, a scrum in front of Nanook goaltender Sean Cahill led to a goal with 1:52 remaining.
Brandon Carlson got credit for his fifth goal of the season, and he was assisted by Carpenter (his fifth) and Cody Champage (his third).
Alaska had more chances early in the second period after a questionable five-minute major penalty and game misconduct was called on Jeff Vanderlugt. Guerriero made three saves during the Alaska power play, but they were early in the advantage as the Nanooks could not get it set up afterward.
UAH responded by increasing their lead. Josh Kestner beat Sean Cahill on a breakway to make it 2-0 Chargers at the 9:26 mark of the second, right after Garrick Perry found iron for the Nanooks. It was Kestner’s third goal of the season, helped by Ben Reinhardt’s second assist.
Alaska kept putting rubber on Guerriero, and finally found the net at 14:14 of the second. Marcus Basara cut UAH’s lead to 2-1, which would be the score after two periods despite Alaska holding a 29-7 shots on goal advantage.
Things fell apart for the Chargers as they gave up three goals in the third period. Tyler Morley tied the game at 2-2 on a shorthanded goal with 9:17 left. It was UAH’s eighth short handed goal allowed this season.
Kestner was penalized for kneeing with 5:07 to go, and Basara notched his second goal of the game just seven seconds later to give Alaska a 3-2 lead.
Colton Sparrow then added the insurance goal for the Nanooks with 3:27 to go.
Guerriero finished with 37 saves. Cahill had 13 for Alaska.