UAH got its first ever victory over 15th-ranked Michigan Tech on Saturday, beating the Huskies 4-2 in Houghton.
The Chargers, whose first win of the season earned a series split, were 0-13-2 all-time against Michigan Tech and 0-8-1 at the MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
The Chargers (1-3-0 overall, 1-1-0 WCHA) came up big on the penalty kill, which had struggled in the first three games of the season. Michigan Tech (4-2-1 overall, 2-1-1 WCHA) came up empty on eight power plays, including four in the third period alone while UAH was nursing a two-goal lead.
Jordan Uhelski was a big reason for the victory, and not just during the penalty kill. The senior goaltender made 41 saves, limiting rebounds and getting the cover ups when needed.
The Chargers were outshot 43-20, partly a result of being shorthanded a bunch, but got the timely goals: one on the power play and one shorthanded.
UAH had to play without its leading goal scorer in Tyler Poulsen, who was suspended by the WCHA on Saturday for his vicious elbow hit on Raymond Brice in the third period of Friday’s game.
Michigan Tech got on the board early again in this game, with Thomas Beretta one-timing a centering pass in the slot over Jordan Uhelski at the 4:56 mark.
UAH’s hot power play got its first shot after Cooper Watson checked Madison Dunn into the boards. And Kurt Gosselin tied the game … twice.
First, Gosselin ripped one from the high slot to beat Tech freshman goaltender Robbie Beydoun, who was making his first collegiate start, with 11:15 left in the first. However, the officials waved the goal after consulting the video replay.
No matter. Thirty-two seconds later on the power play, Gosselin did a replay of his own, and this time it counted. Gosselin’s first goal of the season tied the game at 1-1, assisted by Brandon Parker and Brennan Saulnier.
It was the fourth straight power play opportunity converted by the Chargers.
Beydoun got the quick hook, and MTU coach Joe Shawhan put in Patrick Munson, last night’s goalie, in net.
The Huskies, who scored three power play goals their 5-4 win on Friday, got three power play chances after Gosselin’s goal, but UAH was able to kill them off without incident.
MTU had plenty of scoring chances, however, and was able to put 17 shots on goal in the first period to UAH’s four. Uhelski kept steady, stopping 16 of them.
The Chargers made their fourth shot on goal count, taking a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. Josh Kestner, driving toward the net, backhanded a Christian Rajic pass in mid-air past Munson with 3:57 left in the period.
Connor Merkley got the second assist on the goal for his first career point at UAH.
The Chargers were able to get more consistent offensive pressure and limiting Michigan Tech in the second period. The Huskies still had a shots advantage in the period, but it was only 13-10.
UAH got the lone goal of the second, however, and this time it came on the Huskies’ power play.
With Saulnier in the box for a roughing penalty, defenseman John Teets picked off a puck near the Charger blue line for a breakaway, then scored on a trickler between Munson’s legs for a 3-1 lead with 9:31 remaining in the frame. It was UAH’s first shorthanded goal of the season.
UAH had to withstand a continuous onslaught by the Huskies in the third period, partly because the Chargers couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. MTU had four power plays in the final frame, but couldn’t convert on any.
It wasn’t until a mistake at center ice led to a two-on-none that Tech was able to cut UAH’s lead to 3-2 with 2:10 left. Gavin Gould had an easy open net as Uhelski had no chance.
Tech was forced to pull Munson for the extra attacker, but Hans Gorowsky was able to score on the empty netter with 1:17 remaining to regain the two-goal advantage and the final 4-2 score. Brandon Salerno and John Teets got the assists.
UAH’s season-opening road swing continues next Friday and Saturday with a series at ECAC opponent Cornell.