The Chargers need points in any shape or form to make the WCHA playoffs. So getting one against the top team in the league is a bonus.
Madison Dunn got two goals — one albeit on a bizarre empty net score during a delayed penalty — and Matt Larose made 34 saves as UAH tied 17th-ranked Minnesota State 3-3 on Friday at the Von Braun Center.
The Chargers (6-17-4 overall, 4-13-4 WCHA), now 2-2-2 in their last six games, pulled to within four points of Lake Superior State (who lost) and Alaska Anchorage (idle) for one of the last of the eight playoff spots in the WCHA. Minnesota State (15-10-6 overall, 13-4-6 WCHA) increased its WCHA lead to three points over Bowling Green and Michigan Tech.
Dunn got the scoring started for the Chargers at the 9:22 mark of the 1st, putting in a rebound from the right circle for his first collegiate goal and a 1-0 UAH lead. Brennan Saulnier and Adam Wilcox got the assists.
The lead lasted for three minutes as Bryce Gervais knotted the game at 1-1 for the Mavericks.
Brent Fletcher led off the second period with a shorthanded goal just 28 seconds in, unassisted, to make it 2-1 UAH. That Charger lead was also short-lived as Zach Stephan scored on that same MSU power play 1:20 later to tie it again at 2-2.
UAH retook the lead yet again halfway through the third on an own goal by the Mavericks. MSU had pulled goaltender Cole Huggins on a delayed penalty call for an extra attacker, but the Mavericks passed the puck out of the offensive zone, bouncing it off the near boards all the way down the ice and into their own net. Dunn was the last UAH player to touch it, so he was credited with his second goal of the game.
Minnesota State equalized the game one last time with 6:10 remaining in regulation, as Gervais struck again with his second goal of the game.
Larose and the Chargers withstood a seven-shot barrage in the five-minute overtime period for the final score. The Mavericks continued their puck possession mastery over UAH, outshooting the Chargers 37-18 for the game.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:07 p.m. Military Appreciation Night continues with all active military and veterans getting free admission.