The Chargers scored on their first shot of the game, but a sequence of misplays in the second period was the difference in Friday’s 5-3 loss to Bemidji State in northern Minnesota.
UAH remains winless at 0-10-1 overall and 0-6-1 in WCHA play. Bemidji State improved to 5-4-2 and 5-2-0. Game two of the series is Saturday at 6:07 p.m.
UAH took the lead at the 2:50 mark when Connor Merkley, back in the lineup after missing five games due to injury, fired a one-timer from the right slot to beat BSU goaltender Zach Driscoll.
Ben Allen, making his season debut, made the cross-ice pass for the primary assist. Max Coyle got the other assist for his first collegiate point.
Bemidji State tied the game on the power play after UAH was caught having too many men on the ice. Tommy Muck scored from the high slot as UAH goalie Mark Sinclair had a Beaver on top of him. Video review determined a Charger pushed the Beaver into the crease, and the goal was confirmed with 13:40 left in the first.
The Beavers scored their second power play goal in two opportunities with 5:48 left in the period. After four quick consecutive Charger blocks, an Adam Brady shot was deflected by a skate and in.
Bad mistakes allowed BSU to up its lead to 4-1. First was a misplay right in front of Sinclair, allowing Alex Adams to pounce with a backhander with 15:22 left in the second.
Adams scored again just 24 seconds later on another turnover and another backhander in the slot.
Sinclair, who couldn’t have done much to stop the onslaught, was pulled at that point for David Fessenden. Sinclair had made 15 saves on 19 shots.
UAH cut Bemidji’s lead to 4-2 when Austin Beaulieu redirected a Tanner Hickey shot from the left point over Driscoll with 2:26 remaining in the second. It was the senior captain’s first goal of the season.
The second intermission came early with 1:52 left on the clock. Ice issues around the UAH net forced the teams to the locker room early.
The last 1:52 was played followed immediately by the start of the third period.
Tyler Kirkup scored with 6:56 to go to put BSU up 5-2.
UAH answered right back with 6:00 left as Liam Izyk scored his first college goal, a point-blank rebound after another Hickey shot. Hickey and Christian Rajic with the assists.
After BSU outshot UAH 27-7 in the first two periods, the Chargers had a 10-6 shots advantage in the third as they tried to mount a comeback.
Fessenden finished with 14 saves on 15 shots faced.