Carmine Guerriero did all he could — as he tends to do in these types of games — but UAH lost at No. 2 North Dakota on Friday by a 1-0 score.
Bryn Chyzyk’s second-period goal was the only tally for the Fighting Hawks (17-2-2), but it was Cam Johnson who was their star. The goaltender posted his fourth straight shutout and broke North Dakota’s 62-year record for consecutive scoreless streak, now having not allowed a goal in 278 minutes and 38 seconds.
It was the first time the Chargers (4-13-2) have been shut out this season, but they didn’t go without a battle down to the final minutes. And Guerriero stood tall to keep UAH in striking distance, making 38 saves for his fifth 30-plus save game this season.
Guerriero got warmed up in the first 20 seconds of the contest. He made a couple of close saves on Johnny Simonson, and needed to go side to side to deny Coltyn Sanderson with 3:39 left in the period. That’s when Brandon Parker was called for holding, and Guerriero needed to make three saves in the ensuing North Dakota power play. He finished with 13 saves in the frame.
On the other end, Johnson had to make a couple of saves to keep history in his sights. The best Charger scoring chance came when Brent Fletcher centered Jetlan Houcher, who was stopped by Johnson with about five minutes left in the first. Johnson made seven saves in the period.
The Chargers got their first power play at 2:54 of the second period, but UND turned it into two shorthanded opportunities. Top Fighting Hawks scorer Drake Craggiula was all alone receiving a lob pass but Guerriero made the save, then Simonson was stymied on a shorthanded break.
North Dakota then got an extended two-man advantage after penalties on Hans Gorowsky and Richard Buri 13 seconds apart. Right as Gorowsky’s penalty expired, Chyzyk beat Guerriero alone from the right circle at 9:35 of the second period for a 1-0 UND lead.
Chyzyk’s power play goal ended UAH’s streak of consecutive penalties killed at 34 dating back to November 25.
About halfway through the second period, Johnson broke a 62-year North Dakota record for longest consecutive scoreless streak, which was 249:41 set by Gerald “Spike” Schultz in 1954.
Johnson’s streak continued after making a save on a Tyler Poulsen penalty shot at 1:28 left in the second. Johnson made saves on Adam Wilcox and Jack Prince as UAH put on some extended pressure to end the period.
The third period had little flow with many whistles, many caused by UAH icings. The Hawks kept putting the pressure on the UAH defense and Guerriero, who continued to see the puck well and make the saves.
As the period progressed, the Chargers started to find chances to make that tying goal, but not convert. With around seven minutes to go, a puck bounce in front of the UND net found Max McHugh‘s stick, but he put the puck wide. About a minute later, Johnson made a nice save on a rising shot from Prince.
But the biggest chance came with about a minute left, when Fletcher made an offensive zone steal and drove in toward Johnson, who finished with 19 saves in front of a crowd of 11,334 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. The game can be seen via subscription on NCHC.tv.