The Chargers finally get their first victory of the season. And Mark Sinclair finally gets the first win of his collegiate career.
Sinclair was phenomenal, making 44 saves in UAH’s 3-1 win over Alaska in Fairbanks on Friday.
UAH improved to 1-10-0 overall and 1-4-0 in the WCHA. Sinclair, a sophomore, was playing well this season but came into tonight with an 0-12-0 record at UAH.
Alaska dropped to 1-8-2 overall and 1-3-1 in WCHA play. The Chargers and Nanooks play again Saturday night at 10:07 p.m. CST at the Carlson Center.
UAH also got enough offense when they urgently needed it.
The Chargers took an early 1-0 lead when Jack Jeffers scored from the slot as a puck bounced off the back boards right to him all alone. It was Jeffers’ third goal of the season, assisted by Jesper Ohrvall and Christian Rajic, at the 4:35 mark.
It was only the second lead of the season for the Chargers, but it didn’t last long. Just over 10 minutes later, Alaska tied it up as Tristan Thompson’s shot from the left point deflecting off of Kylar Hope’s skate in the slot. The deflection plus the screen tied up Sinclair, which is what it took to score against him Friday.
Despite the 1-1 score after the first period, it was the Nanooks who had the majority of chances, outshooting the Chargers 14-2.
The Chargers were more aggressive offensively in the second period, and they regained the lead at 2-1 with 8:37 left.
After winning the faceoff in the defensive zone, the Chargers put together an offensive rush. Connor Merkley from the slot passed to Bauer Neudecker in the right circle, and Neudecker threaded the needle between the crossbar and Alaska goaltender Anton Martinsson for his first collegiate goal and point.
Merkley and John Teets, a Fairbanks native, notched his second assist of the season.
UAH extended its lead to 3-1 at 1:25 of the third period. Austin Beaulieu, tied up in the right corner of the offensive zone, backhanded the puck to the slot, where Madison Dunn received it all alone. Dunn beat Martinsson five-hole for his second goal of the season.
The rest was up to Sinclair, who withstood everything the Nanooks could throw at him. Twenty of his 44 saves came in the third period, from deflecting Chris Jandric’s shot from the left side off the post, to stopping Kylar Hope’s breakaway.
Martinsson finished with 17 saves for UAF.
Header file photo by Doug Eagan/UAH Athletics