UAH’s offense has gotten as cold as the Bemidji, Minnesota air, which had a temperature of 15 below zero at game time.
The Chargers lost 3-1 at Bemidji State on Friday night, their fourth loss in a row. UAH has only scored three goals in the skid.
UAH (6-13-2 overall, 5-8-2 WCHA) was outshot 42-19 for the contest. In the losing streak, the Chargers have been outshot 157-62.
The Chargers played their best period in the third, outshooting the Beavers 8-6 but failing to find the equalizer down 2-1. They can take this into the series finale Saturday night.
Despite dominating most of the game, Bemidji State (8-6-5 overall, 5-4-4 WCHA) needed an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left to extended its unbeaten streak to six games. BSU moved into fifth place in the WCHA standings, keeping the Chargers in sixth.
Jordan Uhelski was the prime reason UAH stayed in the game. The senior goaltender made 39 saves, 20 of them in the second period alone.
If the Christmas break put some rust on the Chargers, it showed. UAH was not sharp in the first period, turning the puck over and giving the Beavers the bulk of scoring chances and the first goal of the game.
Adam Brady took a T.J. Roo pass, then beat Uhelski from the right side at the 6:04 mark. The Beavers outshot the Chargers 16-6 in the first period, and most of those UAH shots came late.
It didn’t get better during the second period, although the Chargers were able to tie the game on the power play.
Josh Kestner ripped a one-timer from the left circle at 5:45 of the period, his 13th of the season. With 13 games left in the regular season, Kestner has the most goals in a season by a Charger since Grant Selinger’s 17 in 2006-07.
Kestner was assisted by Tyler Poulsen with his team-leading 11th of the year, and Cam Knight, his ninth helper.
But UAH hardly sniffed the offensive zone the rest of the period, and Bemidji State reclaimed the lead with 4:03 left in the second. Zach Whitecloud beat Uhelski high from the slot as the Beavers relentlessly put 20 more pucks on net in the period while UAH only had five.
Hands down, the third period was the best for the Chargers, who finally applied some stretches of sustained pressure. That kept the Beavers from getting a shot on goal in the first eight minutes.
But UAH couldn’t tie the game against all-American goaltender Michael Bitzer, who had 18 saves.
Brady put the game away with his second goal of the game, an empty-netter with 24 seconds left after Uhelski was pulled for the extra attacker.