Chargers bedevil ASU to split series

The Chargers defeated Arizona State 3-1 on Saturday night in Tempe, Arizona, to force a series split and put a happy end to a long and occasionally frustrating road swing to start the season.

UAH (2-6-0) overcame a 1-0 deficit with two second-period goals and held the Sun Devils (2-6-2) to 19 shots on net.


UAH came out firing and making ASU goaltender Joey Daccord work in the first period, something the Chargers didn’t do in their 3-2 loss on Friday. UAH had 14 shots on goal Saturday as opposed to just one on Friday.

However, the Chargers couldn’t convert any of those shots into goals. They had some good looks, including a Levi Wunder breakaway and a Brennan Saulnier shot that trickled in the crease before finally being cleared.

On the other end, the Sun Devils only managed two shots on goal despite having three power play opportunities.

While the first period was relatively quiet, the second period was anything but.

Kurt Gosselin got a boarding penalty at 5:06, and ASU converted on the power play with a Brinson Pasichnuk goal for a 1-0 lead. UAH has given up the first goal in all eight games this season.

But the Chargers quickly with a tic-tac-toe goal. Cam Knight sent it forward to Gosselin in the slot, who tapped it to Christian Rajic in the right circle, who beat Daccord to tie the game at 1-1. It was Rajic’s second goal of the season.

Things got rough after that. With 10:25 left in the second, Steen Pasichnuk was assessed a five-minute major penalty after boarding Gosselin. A fracas in the corner of the UAH end ensued after that, resulting in two roughing calls on both sides.

During UAH’s major power play, each team traded minor penalties, but the Chargers finally got a power play goal. Brennan Saulnier, out of the box following a high-sticking call, one-timed a Gosselin pass from the right side to give UAH a 2-1 lead with 5:28 left in the period. Connor James got the second assist for his first point of the season.

The goal ended a long drought on the power play for UAH, which had failed in its last 23 opportunities dating back four games to Oct. 21 at Michigan Tech.

The Sun Devils came out strong in the third period, and applied plenty of pressure on UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski. ASU put 11 shots on net in the period, but Uhelski used the body and glove to stop them all.

ASU played the last minute with Daccord on the bench for the extra attacker and produced a last flurry, but Josh Kestner was able to fire in the clinching goal, his fourth of the year, from the neutral zone with 26 seconds left.

The win ends a 13-game losing streak for UAH against non-conference opponents.

Senior defenseman Brandon Parker was not in UAH’s lineup on Saturday, missing his first game since his freshman season. Parker had played in 105 consecutive games for the Chargers.

Next up, UAH hosts Alaska Anchorage at the Von Braun Center for a WCHA home-opening series. Puck drop is 7:07 on Friday and Saturday for Homecoming and Military Appreciation Weekend.