Lake Superior State scored six first-period goals and cruised to a 7-2 win over UAH on Friday in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
The Chargers (4-19-0 overall, 4-11-0 WCHA) could only play better in the second and third periods to get ready for Saturday night’s series finale.
The 18th-ranked Lakers (14-6-1, 9-5-1) won their seventh straight game.
UAH found themselves in a hole right away when Diego Cuglietta scored just 26 seconds in to put Lake Superior up 1-0. Cuglietta has been red hot for the Lakers with his seventh goal in the last five games.
The Chargers answered with Cam Knight’s shot from the blue line trickling between the pads of Laker goalie Nick Kossoff at 2:16 to tie the game at 1-1. Adam Wilcox got the assist.
But things fell apart quickly when the Lakers got another two goals before the halfway point of the first period.
The Lakers took a 2-1 lead after two straight saves by UAH goalie Jake Theut left an open net for Max Humitz at 4:15. Then Gage Torrel beat Theut from the left side of a 2-on-1 break at 9:22.
After allowing three goals on six shots, Theut was replaced in goal by Mark Sinclair.
It didn’t get any better. Melvin Karlsson made it 4-1 at 12:03. Jacob Nordqvist made it 5-1 at 14:32.
A Steven Ruggiero goal in 4-on-4 play with five seconds left completed an utterly disastrous period for the Chargers. It was the worst period for UAH since also allowing six goals in the third period against Bowling Green on Nov. 19, 2016.
UAH played better in the second period to stop the bleeding, but couldn’t chip into the deficit.
The Chargers continued to play well in the third period and Austin Beaulieu scored a power play goal with 11:57 remaining, his fourth goal in the last three games, to cut LSSU’s lead to 6-2.
Humitz’s second goal of the game put the Lakers up 7-2.
Sinclair finished the game with 27 saves. The Chargers were outshot 37-20.