UAH hockey head coach Mike Corbett was to the point about the Chargers’ 2-1 loss Saturday night to Lake Superior State.
“We should’ve put them away early,” he said. “We’ve got to finish; we’ve got to put ’em away.”
The Chargers, who had a strong second and third period in Friday’s game, carried some of the momentum into Saturday night’s game. There were good scoring chances in the first period as they outshot Lake Superior State 10-8. However, UAH couldn’t put anything past Lakers’ goalie Mareks Mitens.
“Their goalie played a great game,” Corbett said.
But Jack Jeffers put the Chargers on the board with 4:08 gone in the second period for a 1-0 lead – the first time UAH led an opponent this season. It was Jeffers’ second goal of the season.
Chargers’ goalie Mark Sinclair, making back-to-back starts, kept the Lakers at bay through the first two periods as he turned away 18 shots.
UAH had a couple more opportunities early in the final period to extend their lead, only to be stymied by Mitens.
Austin Beaulieu had a breakaway from the blue line just under 3 minutes into the period, only to see Mitens come up with the save. Tyr Thompson had the puck in the crease but couldn’t convert at the 4:38 mark.
Sinclair continued his stellar play, including stopping a wrap-around attempt about a minute later.
But, the Lakers finally put one past the sophomore netminder when Anthony Nellis scored at 7:08 of the period to tie the game. Then, about five minutes later, Hampus Erickkson scored the eventual game-winner for a 2-1 Lakers’ lead.
The Chargers, though, kept up the pressure as they tried to get the game-tying goal.
Madison Dunn found himself on the doorstep with the puck with less than 5 minutes to play but Mitens came up with the save.
Then, perhaps the best scoring opportunity for UAH came with 3;37 left in the game on a 3-on-2 break. Mitens was drawn to his right to cover Connor Merkley. However, Merkley passed to Bauer Neudecker on his right, but Neudecker shot wide of the net.
The Chargers fall to 0-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and 0-8 overall. The Lakers are 4-0, 2-0. UAH will host Michigan Tech next Friday and Saturday.
Despite the missed chances, Corbett was quick to find high points in the game.
“I’m proud of this group; they responded well,” he said. “There are so many good things that came out of this game.
“We’ll build on this … we’ve got to get our mindset to finish.”