The Chargers came back from a 3-0 deficit and had a blistering third period, but Lake Superior State came away with a 5-4 victory Friday in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
UAH (7-16-2 overall, 7-10-2 WCHA) had two goals early in the third to tie the game at 4-4, but the Chargers, who have lost five straight games overall, saw their program-record-tying four-game road win streak snapped.
Mitch Hults scored the game-winning goal for Lake Superior (10-12-3, 7-9-3) with 6:50 left in regulation, his second goal of the game.
Through the first half, the Lakers took command of the game.
UAH outshot the Lakers 8-7 in the first period, but the Lakers scored first as the Chargers allowed their sixth shorthanded goal of the season.
While on the power play, the Chargers had a giveaway in the neutral zone. Diego Cuglietta went up the left side, centered it to Gus Correale, who popped it over UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski at the 8:30 mark.
The scoring picked up in the second period, with Lake Superior dominating the first half of the frame.
LSSU took a 2-0 lead as Mitch Hults, from the right doorstep, deposited the puck around Uhelski’s right side at the 7:36 mark.
The Lakers made it 3-0 just 1:23 later, as a JT Henke beat Uhelski with a one-timer from the right circle. LSSU had a 9-1 shots advantage at that point, and it didn’t help that UAH committed four icings in that stretch.
UAH got on the board with 8:31 left in the second. Hunter Anderson stole the puck in the Laker end. His initial shot rebounded left to Brandon Salerno, who pitched it back to the Laker net. The puck bounced off Anderson’s stick to a charging Josh Kestner, who had an open net for this seventh goal of the season.
Video review confirmed the goal after the Lakers protested that Anderson had interfered with LSSU goalie Gordon Defiel.
It looked like UAH would take the momentum going into the second intermission, as Kurt Gosselin beat Defiel five-hole with 49.6 seconds left to cut LSSU’s lead to 3-2. Cam Knight got the assist.
However, the Lakers bounced right back and regained their two-goal lead 18.8 seconds later as Henke scored his second goal of the game.
UAH substituted Uhelski, who finished with 15 saves, with Carmine Guerriero to start the third. The Chargers then came out firing, and didn’t take long to make it even.
Just 1:06 in, Brent Fletcher gloved a high puck, played it in front of the Laker net, and deked Defiel to notch his second goal of the season. The UAH captain was assisted by Gosselin and Knight to make it a one-goal game.
Matt Salhany had a chance to tie it even when UAH was shorthanded, but Defiel came out to knock the puck away from him.
But Defiel could not stop a blast from Brandon Parker from just inside the blue line with 12:06 to go. Parker’s seventh goal of the season tied the game at 4-4.
Then Hults got the game winner, a wrister from the right circle dot that beat Guerriero high.
UAH pulled Guerriero for the extra attacker over the final 1:49, but Defiel made the last of his 29 saves down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
The Chargers outshot the Lakers 15-5 in the third period and 33-24 for the game.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:07 p.m. Central Time. It can be seen online with a WCHA.tv subscription.