An electric atmosphere greeted the Chargers in their home opener, but Minnesota State continued its dominance over UAH on Friday night at the Von Braun Center with a 5-1 decision.
“I like the way our guys battled,” Corbett said. “This is the difference between a young group and an older group like they do coming down the stretch. We kind of run out of gas.”
“They don’t want me to tell them about moral victories right now. They don’t want to hear that and neither do I, but this is the (No. 2) team in the country for a reason, and they do a lot of really good things that we can learn from. And our guys have to accept that.
“They know how to win, they know how to score, they know how to finish, and those are things we’re trying to teach our guys right now.”
UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair made 45 saves, one short of his career high, on 50 MSU shots. The Chargers finished with 15 shots on goal.
“We know we have a good goaltender,” Corbett said. “He got a little tired towards the end there, too.”
Minnesota State asserted themselves early, taking a 2-0 lead on two short-range goals by Charlie Gerard at 8:32 and 10:56 of the first period.
UAH cut the Mavericks’ lead to 2-1 as Jack Jeffers roofed the puck over Dryden McKay’s right shoulder. His first goal of the season was assisted by Bauer Neudecker.
Sinclair made 17 saves in the first period as the Mavericks started getting plenty of open looks late in the frame.
“I thought in the first period we were playing good and moving the puck,” UAH senior forward Austin Beaulieu said. “We weren’t getting to rattled and putting the puck behind their D.
“We were in the right spots and we were making them pay when we made mistakes.”
It was more of the same in the second period, as MSU outshot UAH 19-3. One of those shots went in off the stick of Walker Duehr to make it 3-1 Mavericks at the 9:44 mark.
The Chargers entered the third period within striking distance, but a opening flurry gave Chris Van Os-Shaw a wide open net to put MSU up three just 34 seconds in.
Parker Tuomie scored with 11:11 remaining for the final 5-1 score.
With 8:58 remaining, the Chargers took exception with Connor Mackey charging into Sinclair. The result was numerous roughing penalties and Mackey getting a five-minute major.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7 p.m., with Homecoming festivities. Corbett says the Chargers will look at video before their next attempt at the Mavericks.
“It’s never as good as you think it is and it’s never as bad as you think it is. We’re going to focus on those fundamental things that we can quickly improve. The effort’s there, the compete level is there, now we’ve got to work a little smarter.”
“We have to show that we can be consistent,” Beaulieu said. “And we proved it in the first and second period, but we’ve got to do it for all 60.”
UAH implemented some measures for more fan engagement, and it didn’t go unnoticed.
“The crowd was awesome,” Beaulieu said. “We appreciate them coming out and hopefully we can get a win for them tomorrow.”