The Chargers needed this in so many ways.
UAH scored twice in the final 3:25 of regulation, then Austin Beaulieu’s tip found the back of the net 3:13 into overtime, lifting the Chargers to a 4-3 win over Ferris State at the VBC on Saturday.
The Chargers (4-18-0 overall, 4-10-0 WCHA) regained eighth place in the WCHA standings over the Bulldogs, who took game one by a 6-5 score on Friday, also in overtime.
UAH finally got a victory at Propst Arena this year, the first in 10 games. And, the Chargers ended on the good side of a one-goal affair, improving to just 2-9 in a tough season of several close calls.
The first period was up-and-down, with Ferris State (6-15-1, 3-10-1) again getting the first goal of the game.
Nate Kallen took a centering pass in the slot from Cooper Zech, and directed the puck past UAH goaltender Jake Theut with 2:43 remaining in the period.
UAH answered right back on the power play following a Jason Tackett roughing penalty. Kurt Gosselin fired a one-timer from the right point to tie the game at 1-1 with 1:37 to go.
It was the first goal of the season for Gosselin, who returned to action Friday after missing over two months with a broken hand. Bauer Neudecker fed Gosselin for his second assist of the year, and Cam Knight got his fourth assist.
Ferris State took a 2-1 lead at 5:02 of the second when Trevor Recktenwald tucked the puck under Theut from the right doorstep.
FSU had its first multi-goal lead of the weekend after starting a 4-on-1 break from its own end. Cooper Zech finished the job for a 3-1 Bulldog lead with 8:43 left in the second.
FSU also won the possession battle in the second period, outshooting the Chargers 14-6.
The Bulldogs kept the Chargers at bay for a chunk of the third period, keeping Theut busy making 13 of his 33 total saves on the night. But they could not do it for all of the third period.
With 3:25 remaining in regulation, Beaulieu scored from the slot after taking a centering pass from Hans Gorowsky to cut the deficit to 3-2.
That gave the Chargers a boost, and they used that energy to put more pressure on FSU goalie Roni Salmenkangas (30 saves).
It eventually paid off. With just 11 seconds to go, Brandon Salerno tied the game from about the same spot, this time Beaulieu providing the feed after Connor James barely tipped the puck from a Ferris State player at the blue line and preventing the puck from leaving the offensive zone.
In overtime, FSU’s Cameron Clarke was called for a hook as Madison Dunn put a shot on net. It was just the third penalty called all game, but it gave the Charges a power play at the most opportune time.
UAH capitalized 25 seconds into the man advantage, as Beaulieu’s stick deflected Cam Knight’s shot from the left point. Beaulieu’s second goal of the game and fourth of the year sent the announced crowd of 1,308 home happy.
The Chargers travel to Lake Superior State next week. They return home in two weeks, hosting Alaska Anchorage.
1. Austin Beaulieu, UAH (2 goals, 1 assist, GWG in OT)
2. Brandon Salerno, UAH (game-tying goal with :11 left in regulation)
3. Bauer Neudecker, UAH (2 assists)
Notes: Gosselin now has 17 career goals, tying him with Mike Salekin (2004-07) for fourth place among UAH defensemen in the Division I era. … Charger forward Andrew Dodson had to leave the game after his hand was hit by a puck. The sophomore missed a chunk of last season with an injury. … UAH scored a total of nine goals in the series, the most since scoring 10 at Lake Superior State in Oct. 2015. The nine goals also accounts for 28 percent of the Chargers’ scoring this season.
File photo of Austin Beaulieu by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography