Right now, it just seems Lake Superior State has the Chargers’ number.
The Chargers saw its three-game unbeaten streak end Friday night with a 3-1 loss to the Lakers at the Von Braun Center.
UAH (3-7-1 overall, 2-2-1 WCHA) has now lost the last five meetings with Lake Superior State (3-7-3 overall, 2-3-2 WCHA).
LSSU goaltender Nick Kossoff was a big reason for the Lakers’ victory. He stopped 26 of 27 UAH shots, making big stops to prevent the Chargers from completing a rally.
UAH could only get a Madison Dunn goal late in the second period, and its power play could not convert on seven opportunities.
Game two of the series at Propst Arena is Saturday at 7:07 p.m.
The struggling UAH penalty kill struggled some more in giving the Lakers the early lead. Following a Josh Kestner boarding penalty, LSSU had numbers and allowed Diego Cuglietta to score at the 5:18 mark of the game.
It was the fourth straight goal allowed via the power play for UAH going to last Saturday’s 3-3 tie with Alaska Anchorage.
The Chargers tried to answer on their first man advantage, and made some nifty passes, but could not find the net. They had four shots on net, including three by Kestner, who was denied by Kossoff going post to post.
The Lakers extended their lead during 4-on-4 hockey after coincidental minor penalties to UAH’s Christian Rajic and LSSU’s Brayden Gelsinger. Jake Hand put in a rebound with 1:27 left in the first for a 2-0 score.
UAH came out of the second period with more aggressiveness, but it didn’t result in any scoring right away. Much of that had to do with Kossoff, who made some big saves, including a close-range shot by Christian Rajic and another robbery of Kestner during a major power play late in the period.
The Chargers outshot the Lakers 17-6 in the second period.
UAH finally got its first goal with 53 seconds remaining in the second, but not without a little controversy. Tyler Poulsen put a shot on net, but then made impact with Kossoff. The rebound went to Madison Dunn, who buried his second goal of the season to cut LSSU’s lead to 2-1.
The Lakers wanted goaltender interference called on Poulsen, but after a couple of minutes of video review the goal was confirmed.
The Chargers kept plugging in the third period, but Kossoff was still there. He made another big save early on Levi Wunder, who was all alone in front.
Fortunately the UAH penalty kill was perfect the rest of the way. UAH survived a two-man advantage for Lake State as the minutes started to dwindle, staying one goal behind with five minutes to go.
UAH had one final shot after Aiden Wright went off for tripping with 1:25 left. However, after Uhelski was pulled for an extra attacker, Max Humitz scored on the empty net with 8.6 seconds remaining to seal the Laker win.
Charger goaltender Jordan Uhelski made 19 saves on 21 Laker shots.