The Chargers got another huge game from Mark Sinclair, and a big win to put them one step closer back to the WCHA playoffs.
Sinclair stopped all 35 shots he faced as UAH defeated Ferris State 2-0 in Big Rapids on Friday. The sophomore became the first UAH goaltender with multiple shutouts in a season since Scott Munroe had three in 2004-05.
UAH (7-24-2 overall, 7-16-2-2 WCHA, 25 points) extended its lead over Ferris State for the eighth and final conference playoff spot to seven points. The Chargers can clinch the berth with one point (a tie or better) in Saturday’s series finale (6:07 p.m. CST).
UAH also pulled to within six points of Alaska for seventh. The Nanooks were hosting first-place Minnesota State late.
Ferris State fell to 8-22-3 overall and 5-17-3-0 (18 points) in WCHA play.
Drew Lennon put the Chargers on top in a mostly uneventful first period. His shot through traffic from just outside the left circle at the 6:44 mark could not be seen by FSU goalie Roni Salmenkangas and was his first collegiate goal and point.
Austin Beaulieu and Jack Jeffers got the assists.
The Bulldogs did put on some pressure in the latter half of the first period, putting 13 shots on UAH netminder Mark Sinclair, who stopped them all.
Sinclair made another 12 saves in the second period, which had a bit more up-and-down action.
It wasn’t until two minutes remaining in the second when the first penalty occurred. Kurt Gosselin went off for tripping FSU’s Lucas Finner, but the UAH power play, which had struggled as of late, put a solid kill to end the period still leading 1-0.
UAH almost took a 2-0 lead with 9:27 left in the third, but Andrew Dodson’s goal was disallowed after video review showed he kicked the puck in.
The Chargers seemed to pick it up in that third period, keeping the Bulldogs at bay until FSU started getting more chances late. UAH had its only power play early in the period as there were only two penalties called all game.
FSU pulled goaltender Roni Salmenkangas (24 saves) with 1:40 left, and maintained extreme pressure for the rest of regulation.
But eventually, UAH would get that goal to seal the game. Bauer Neudecker deflected a pass out of the Charger zone, and the puck traveled all the way into the empty net with four seconds left.
It was Neudecker’s sixth goal of the season.