Michigan Tech scored four unanswered, third-period goals to take down UAH 4-1 at the Von Braun Center on Friday.
UAH (1-20-4, 1-14-4-1 WCHA) held a 1-0 lead after two periods, but still saw its winless streak go to 12 games in front of a crowd of 2,113.
“We played hard. We played I’d say closer to 50 minutes than 40, and then we run out of gas,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “Then you make mental errors, you turn pucks over, and you put yourself in a bad position.”
Michigan Tech (15-12-3, 10-9-2-0 WCHA) pulled to within three points of fourth-place Alaska in the WCHA standings.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The Chargers were fortunate that it was scoreless at the first intermission, because the Huskies dominated possession in the opening period.
Michigan Tech had 19 shots on goal, coming from about all angles. But Mark Sinclair, making his 13th straight start, made all the stops despite not feeling 100 percent.
“They were taking it to us,” Corbett said. “They were winning races to pucks. We were winning faceoffs, but they were winning the races to the pucks. We just had to get the pucks first so we could have a better first touch on our puck.”
UAH started the second period putting on pressure of its own, and scored the opening goal at the 8:27 mark.
Liam Izyk drove the puck through the left circle toward the net. Husky goaltender Matt Juruski was got a piece of the puck with his left pad, but Daneel Lategan followed up to tip the puck in the net for his fourth goal of the season.
That was the only goal of the period, even though Tech had a few chances just wide late. UAH outshot MTU 8-5 for the second period.
The Huskies started out strong again in the third period, and burst ahead with three goals in a span of 5:05.
They tied the game at 1-1 on Raymond Brice’s rebound backhander with 15:39 to go. Sinclair had made 28 straight saves at that point en route to 40 total.
Tech took a 2-1 lead just 1:25 later after a Sinclair turnover led to a goal by Parker Saretsky.
The Chargers committed a couple of cross-checking penalties, and on one of the power plays, Brian Halonen won the battle in front of the UAH net to make it 3-1 with 10:34 remaining.
“You gotta fight through (those penalties), especially penalties behind the play or a lazy penalty,” Corbett said. “Nobody wants to kill those, but that’s the point where it hurts us. And we have to be able to fight through that.”
The Huskies tacked on another goal with 5:28 left as Logan Pietila scored.
MTU had 20 shots on goal in the third period and finished with a total of 44. UAH only had four shots in the third for a total of 19.
The Chargers did not have sophomore forward Jack Jeffers or senior defenseman Connor James in the lineup.
“Coach’s decision,” Corbett said. “We want to set a little bit of a tone with some of the guys, making sure they’re earning their spots and working hard at practice every day.”