UAH’s top scorer this season was suspended. UAH’s No. 1 goaltender took a rest.
The Chargers still poured it on, and ended some long droughts in the process.
Matt Larose stopped all 31 shots he faced, earning UAH’s first shutout since 2010, and the Chargers won 5-0 over Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday night for their first road sweep since 2009.
UAH (3-2-1 overall, 2-1-1 WCHA) is off to its best start after six games since beginning the 2004-05 season at 4-1-1. Lake Superior fell to 2-6-0 overall and 0-2-0 in the WCHA.
It was a complete game for UAH in every facet except shots on goal. The Lakers outshot the Chargers 31-19, but UAH won the faceoff battle 29-15.
Lake Superior State had the shots on goal advantage from the start, but UAH would catch up and draw first blood on the scoreboard late in the first period.
Cody Marooney, who scored the game-winning goal in overtime Friday night, received a beautiful pass from Richard Buri, tipping the puck past Laker goaltender Nick Kossoff for a 1-0 Charger lead with 1:18 remaining in the first. It was Marooney’s third goal of the season, with Max McHugh getting the second assist.
On the other end, Matt Larose, spelling Carmine Guerriero, had an adventurous first period in his first start of the season. He made a big pad save and cover-up on LSSU’s Owen Headrick after a Laker 3-on-1 break, and later had a little contact to the head as a Laker tripped over him on another rush.
The Chargers broke it open in the second period with three goals.
UAH led 2-0 after Brandon Carlson, who moved to the fourth scoring line from defense with Brennan Saulnier serving a one-game suspension from the WCHA for connecting with the head of Laker Gus Correale near the end of Friday’s game, knocked in a rebound from the slot off an Adam Wilcox shot at 3:09.
Then with 13 seconds left in the second, the Chargers took a commanding 4-0 lead after Adam Wilcox beat Kossoff all alone in front. Tyler Poulsen with the helper.
Yet, while the Chargers were getting the goals, the Lakers were getting shots. Lake Superior outshot UAH 14-9 in the second period, but Larose was feeling it with save after save, particularly when the Lakers had the power play. On Lake Superior’s two power plays in the frame, Larose stopped nine shots — with the body, with the pad, and with the glove.
The third period was more of the same — Lake Superior kept getting the shots, but not getting the goals. UAH only got five shots on goal, but one was a goal for Poulsen, assisted by Prince and Gosselin, with 2:46 to go for a 5-0 UAH lead.
Larose kept his cool as the Lakers continued the pressure. Lake Superior’s best chance came after Knight brought down Diego Cuglietta, which drew a penalty shot. But Larose made the save there, and the only thing left was to finish off the clock.
The shutout ended a streak of 171 consecutive games allowing a goal for UAH, dating back to Cam Talbot’s shutout of Robert Morris on March 12, 2010. During that streak, the Chargers were shut out 42 times, and Talbot had eight shutouts in the NHL with the New York Rangers.
The five-goal victory was UAH’s largest margin of victory since beating Robert Morris 7-2 on Nov. 18, 2006. Along with the 5-4 overtime win on Friday, the 10 goals in the weekend was the most by the Chargers since tallying 10 at Wayne State on Oct. 20-21, 2006.
The Chargers return home next weekend to face their toughest opponent to date, Michigan Tech. Game time is 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7.