A flurry of hits, then a flurry of goals. But the result is the same: The Chargers lost to Bowling Green.
The 15th-ranked Falcons finished a two-game sweep of UAH with a 4-3 win in Ohio on Saturday night. UAH has lost eight straight and 15 of 16 to BGSU.
This despite outshooting the Falcons 36-28. But UAH could not capitalize where Bowling Green could in a jagged game which saw several boarding, cross-checking, and hitting from behind penalties.
Brandon Carlson, Brandon Parker, and Brent Fletcher scored the goals for the Chargers (3-6-1 overall, 2-5-1 WCHA), who have lost four straight games heading into their holiday series with rival Bemidji State.
Bowling Green (7-3-3 overall, 4-2-2 WCHA) extended its home unbeaten streak to nine games.
Each team had its share of offensive zone time in the first period, but no goals to show for it. The Chargers had a 12-8 shots on goal advantage for the period thanks to two power plays.
UAH lost the services of its leading scorer, Brennan Saulnier, for late in the first and early in the second because of a 10-minute misconduct penalty, earned after slapping the puck in frustration after the whistle on an offsides call.
Speaking of frustration, the hitting level started to rise in the second period. Richard Buri was penalized for boarding Bowling Green leading scorer Kevin Dufour. Then Dufour was cross-checked by Cam Knight, and the Falcons took advantage of that power play as Matt Pohlkamp beat UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero on a rising shot at 10:04 for a 1-0 BG lead.
Then it was the Chargers’ turn on the power play after Fletcher was creamed into the boards by Jakob Reichert. It didn’t take long for UAH to level the game as Carlson deflected a Max McHugh shot, trickling the puck past BG goalie Chris Nell at 11:32. It was Carlson’s second goal of the year, assisted by McHugh and Jetlan Houcher.
The minor penalties did not deter the hitting, and Bowling Green’s Mark Cooper finally was the first to be served a major as he crunched Parker from behind in the corner of the UAH zone. Cooper was also given a game misconduct with 5:28 left in the second.
On the ensuing major power play, the Chargers were able to pass the puck well, but Nell, who led the WCHA with a 1.28 goals against average coming into the game, was able to weather the storm with some big saves and covers. The second period ended with the Chargers holding a 29-17 shots on goal advantage, but with the teams tied at 1-1.
Bowling Green took control of the game in the third period with the first even-strength goal by either side in the series. Pohlkamp netted is second goal of the game on a nice centering pass from Pierre-Luc Mercier to give the Falcons a 2-1 lead at 3:26.
At 7:26 of the third, UAH’s Madison Dunn received a major checking-from-behind penalty and a game misconduct, which had to be called after Cooper’s penalties in the second period. The Falcons made them pay, with Brent Tate scoring to make it 3-1 at 8:41.
The Chargers weathered the rest of the major penalty — and another penalty for too many men on the ice. By then, UAH had yet to register a shot on goal, while Bowling Green had 10.
UAH then got its chances to stay in the game. However, the Chargers could not capitalize on a Tate roughing penalty (that occurred during a scuffle between UAH’s Buri and BG’s Pohlkamp) with 6:56 to go and Mitch McLain’s intereference penalty with 4:45 to go.
A total of 15 penalties were called in the game, eight on the Chargers for 27 minutes, and seven on the Falcons for 33 mnutes.
But then came the barrage in the final two minutes. Carlson’s second goal of the year came from the left circle with 1:24 remaining to cut the Falcons’ lead to 3-2. He was assisted by Matt Salhany.
UAH pulled Guerriero, who finished with 24 saves, for the extra attacker in the final minute, but Pierre-Luc Mercier won the draw and later took the puck to the house for an empty netter and a 4-2 Falcon lead with 26 seconds left.
UAH was still not done. Fletcher found the net after a scramble in front to make it 4-3 Bowling Green with 10.2 seconds left.
A desperation shot by UAH from its own zone in the final seconds turned into an icing call, and Bowling Green was able to secure the win.
UAH hosts Bemidji State at the Von Braun Center on Wednesday and Friday. Puck drop is 7:07 both nights.
Notes: The Chargers had two scratches. Jack Prince, who has hurt in Friday’s game, was substituted with Tyler Poulsen at right wing, which moved Cody Marooney to left. Chad Brears was a late scratch, replaced with Hans Gorowsky.