The Chargers withstood the storm, and finally got back in the win column.
UAH defeated Michigan Tech 3-1 on Saturday at the Von Braun Center, ending the Chargers’ 12-game winless streak.
The Chargers (2-20-4, 2-14-4-1 WCHA) took a lead into the third period for the second straight night, but this time finished the job. On Friday, a 1-0 lead turned into a 4-1 loss.
“The boys deserved it,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We played hard and we’ve been close many times, but we were able to finish it off tonight.”
Another solid performance by goaltender Mark Sinclair helped. The junior, who was a little under the weather this weekend, stopped 29 of 30 shots.
“I think we sweated it out of him,” Corbett said. “He played well. Mark’s been our guy all year. Once again, it was another well-deserved win for him.”
Michigan Tech (15-13-3, 10-10-2-0 WCHA), battling inconsistency in recent weeks and sit in fifth place in the WCHA, suffered a defeat to UAH for the third straight season.
The Chargers scored the first goal for the second straight night, and a bit earlier this time. Connor Wood drove toward the net from the right circle, deflected the puck off a Tech defender and past goaltender Matt Jurusik.
It was Wood’s third goal of the season. Ben Allen got his second assist.
UAH took a 2-0 lead with 2:23 left in the second period.
Bauer Neudecker drew a hooking penalty on a break after getting around a Husky defender. On the ensuing power play, Jack Jeffers pocketed in a loose puck in front for his sixth goal of the season. Liam Izyk and Christian Rajic had the assists.
“Izyk put it through the crease and I was lucky enough to have a wide-open net,” Jeffers said. “It was a great play by him.”
The goal wound up being the game-winner for Jeffers, who along with senior defenseman Connor James were left out of the lineup on Friday.
“Sometimes you sit a night and you get a little kick in the butt,” Corbett said. “And they know it. They’re two of our core players and they need to be our core players, and they responded well.”
It was an odd game for Neudecker, who committed three penalties. He had only one penalty in 61 career games with UAH coming in.
Michigan Tech dictated the action again in the third period. The Huskies cut UAH’s lead 2-1 on Tommy Parrottino’s goal in 4-on-4 play.
The Huskies had three opportunities on the power play in the third period. They pulled Jurusik for the extra attacker during the last chance after a Lucas Bahn slashing penalty with 2:14 to go.
“We always make it a little hard for ourselves at the end, but it was nice to get a win,” Corbett said.
UAH sealed the victory when Izyk scored from behind his own goal line into the empty net. It was Izyk’s second goal and the first short-handed goal for the Chargers this season.
The game was riddled with penalties, with each team getting 10 for 23 minutes. UAH went 1-for-7 on the power play, while Michigan Tech went 0-for-6.
“We just played period by period and you see what we can do when we play a complete game,” Jeffers said. “When we’re going up 2-0 going into the third, we have to win that game. From here on out, we’ve got to get points in every single game. You never know what can happen, and hopefully we can make a run at the playoffs.”
The Chargers still have a ways to go to get back into that WCHA playoff contention. UAH is eight points behind Alaska Anchorage for the eighth and final spot with eight games remaining and two games in hand.
UAH hosts Alaska, which is currently fourth in the league, next weekend at the VBC.
“We’ve got to beat some really good teams,” Corbett said. “We’ve got to beat the teams that are in the top three or four. To me, that’s the challenge. We put ourselves in this position, now we’ve got to be able to go for it.”