Chargers continue to be no match for Mavericks, fall 4-1

Minnesota State showed why they are the class of the WCHA and the long way the Chargers have to go to reach their level.

The Mavericks scored three unanswered goals in the second period and rode another large shots advantage to beat UAH 4-1 in Mankato on Saturday night. MSU finished the two-game sweep while outshooting the Chargers 41-15.


UAH (3-11-2, 2-10-2) saw its winless streak extended to 10 games. Minnesota State (10-6-4 overall, 9-1-4 WCHA) maintained a three-point lead over Michigan Tech atop the conference standings.

The first period on Saturday was almost a carbon copy of the first period on Friday. Minnesota State had more than double the shots on goal as UAH (this time 12-5), but it was the Chargers again with the 1-0 lead.

Jetlan Houcher scored his fourth goal of the season, firing the puck from the left circle past MSU goaltender Jason Pawloski at the 8:13 mark. Matt Salhany got the primary assist, his third of the season, with his feeding pass from the slot. Adam Wilcox also got his third assist.

In the second, the Mavericks asserted the dominance they have enjoyed over the Chargers over the past three seasons. They had 14 shots on goal before UAH got their first, getting 21 in all, and scored three unanswered goals.

Michael Huntebrinker, who got the equalizer for MSU on Friday, got the tying goal again at the 4:12 mark, assisted on a nice centering pass from Casey Nelson.

The Mavericks took the lead on a costly UAH mistake. A turnover in the offensive zone led to an MSU 3-on-1, and CJ Franklin finished with a one-timer at 9:57. Jaden Schmeisser got the assist.

MSU made it 3-1 as Schmeisser, a sophomore defenseman, fired the puck through traffic and past Charger goaltender Carmine Guerriero at 13:05.

UAH had a couple of chances late in the period as Minnesota State laxed a little on defense, but Jason Pawloski kept the Chargers off the board.

The Chargers could not do much in the third period, and MSU finished the scoring with a Huntebrinker empty-net goal with 1:42 left in the contest.

Guerriero, who started in net for UAH for the third straight game, made a season-high 37 saves in what has become typical of a UAH-Minnesota State game. The Mavericks outshot the Chargers 73-24 in the series as they are now 8-0-0 against UAH since both have been in the WCHA.

One bright spot for the series was the penalty kill for UAH. The Chargers killed all three Minnesota State power plays Saturday, extending their streak to 21 straight kills over the last six games.

UAH finishes the 2015 portion of the schedule next weekend back home at the Von Braun Center. The Chargers host Colorado College of the NCHC on Dec. 11 and 12.

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