The Chargers rallied from two goals down in the third to force a 4-4 tie with Alaska Anchorage at the Von Braun Center on Friday night.
Anchorage took two points in the WCHA standings after taking the shootout in two rounds, while UAH got its first league point of the season.
UAH (0-8-1 overall, 0-4-1-0 WCHA) reached a season high in goals and outshot the Seawolves 37-32. The Chargers will try again for their first victory in game two of the series at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“We’re always talking about possessing the puck and having the puck more,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “It was our third straight game where we outshot a team and that’s exactly what we want to do.”
It was the second straight tie for Alaska Anchorage (1-4-2 overall, 1-1-1-1 WCHA).
UAH got on the board quickly as Josh Latta scored his first collegiate goal just 34 seconds in. Latta picked the puck inside the UAH blue line and broke away, beating UAA goaltender Kristian Stead.
Stead (33 saves) had to deal with other breakaways in the first period, but was able to make saves on Peyton Francis and Bauer Neudecker.
“We scored on a breakaway with the first goal,” Corbett said. “We had two other breakaways in the first period. We’re getting those opportunities and we have to capitalize on them.”
The Seawolves tied the game at 1-1 with 9:45 left in the first as Drake Glover tucked the puck around the left post by Mark Sinclair (28 saves).
UAA went up 2-1 on a Tanner Schachle goal at the 2:34 mark of the second, finishing a one-timer all alone in front following a UAH turnover.
The Chargers answered with 11:14 remaining when Christian Rajic, not long after serving an elbowing penalty, put in a rebound to tie the game at 2-2.
“We’re starting to put some minutes together,” said Rajic, who had a three-point night. “It’s just unfortunate that we can’t put 60. As soon as we do that, we’re going to start winning some games.”
UAH continued to put on pressure but two lapses gave UAA two-goal lead.
Jared Nash drove to the net, cut across Sinclair right to left and scored with 6:58 left in the second. Then after a bad pass in the UAH zone, Taylor Lantz made it 4-2 UAA with 3:05 to go.
“We made big mistakes that ended up in our net,” Corbett said. “Just being hard on pucks and being able to support each other — those are the biggest things we really need to work on going into tomorrow.”
But the Chargers roared to life in the third period.
Jack Jeffers notched his third goal of the season at the 1:32 mark, assisted by Rajic and Latta.
“That was huge for us,” Corbett said. “We didn’t feel great about ourselves going into the locker room after (the second period). We came out and got that goal early right after the power play expired and was able to roll with that.”
Then on a short 5-on-3 power play, the Chargers tied it up at 4-4 on Dayne Finnson’s first college goal, a one-timer blast from the right circle with 8:12 remaining in regulation. Jeffers and Rajic got the assists.
“I was lucky enough,” Finnson said. “Jack put it right there on the tapes so I just ripped it.”
“It started off with our leaders,” Finnson said of the third-period rally. “They pushed the pace in the third and we followed up with that.”
“Dayne was having a really good game and we just kind of rode him,” Corbett said. “He’s done a lot of it in practice and it’s nice for him to be rewarded.”
The Seawolves came close to winning late in regulation and in the first overtime, but Sinclair made crucial saves to force the tie.
No scoring occurred in the 3-on-3 overtime period, although the Chargers were shorthanded in the final 1:45.
In the shootout, Jack Jeffers and Christian Rajic did not score. Sinclair made a save in the first round against Nick Wicks, but Brayden Camrud scored in the second round to earn the extra point for UAA.
“We’re going to keep moving forward here, forget about this one, and look forward to tomorrow,” Finnson said.