It’s become the typical UAH-Minnesota State game: The Mavericks build a large shots on goal advantage, the Chargers somehow stay in it, but the Chargers do not win.
And so it was in No. 19 MSU’s 3-0 victory over UAH on Friday at the Von Braun Center. The Mavericks outshot UAH 33-18, yet needed an empty-net goal to finally put the game away.
UAH (7-14-2 overall, 7-8-2 WCHA) was shut out for the third time this season, the first since October 8 and the first against a team not named Connecticut. Minnesota State (12-7-2, 8-5-2) got the shutout for junior goaltender Aaron Nelson, who was making his first official college start.
UAH fell to fifth place in the WCHA standings. Minnesota State moved into a tie for third with Bowling Green pending BG’s game with Bemidji State.
UAH got a couple of tests early on Nelson, but the Mavericks took control of the game during an early power play from a Hans Gorowsky tripping penalty.
UAH killed the penalty, but the Mavericks continued the pressure and took a 1-0 lead on a tip-in goal by Brad McClure at the 6:11 mark.
With 7:37 left in the 1st, UAH’s Tyler Poulsen leveled Sean Flanagan with a high elbow along the boards of the MSU zone. The contact to the head penalty earned him a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
The Chargers didn’t allow many chances through most of the Mavericks’ major power play until a couple of intense flurries around the UAH net. Jordan Uhelski scrambled to make saves as the Chargers finished off the kill and kept the deficit at 1-0.
The first period ended up being the same old song for UAH against Minnesota State as the Mavericks outshot the Chargers 12-4.
The second period was more up-and-down, with MSU getting 10 shots on goal to UAH’s nine. But the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead on a Parker Tuomie goal with 3:27 left that Uhelski thought he had covered up.
UAH could not get much offense going in the third period, only getting five shots on goal. Uhelski did his part, finishing with 30 saves in the contest.
Uhelski was pulled for an extra attacker with 2:32 left, but McClure was able to tally an empty-netter for his second goal of the game and 10th of the season.
Game two of the series is at 7:07 p.m. Saturday at the Von Braun Center.