UAH had its largest offensive output of the season, but couldn’t hold on to a two-goal game late.
The Chargers and Alaska officially had a 6-6 tie on Friday at the Von Braun Center, with the Nanooks scoring early in the 3-on-3 extra overtime period to take two of three WCHA points.
But UAH (2-20-5, 2-14-5-1) held a 6-4 lead with five minutes to go before Alaska stormed back with two quick goals. The Chargers, who finally won their second game of the season last Saturday, were on the verge of back-to-back victories.
“Frustrating,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “These are the games that we have to learn how to win, and we’ve got to shut the door. You’ve got to play the right way from start to finish and understand situational hockey when the score is 6-4.”
The Chargers will try to at least keep an unbeaten streak going in the series finale Saturday at 7 p.m.
The game was out of the ordinary for its high scoring, particularly for the Chargers, who had only scored more than three goals twice this season.
Daneel Lategan put the Chargers up 1-0 just 1:34 into the game, as his deflection in front beat goaltender Anton Martinsson. His fifth tally of the season was assisted by Liam Izyk and Bauer Neudecker.
Izyk quickly made it 2-0 at the 5:57 mark when he tipped a Tanner Hickey blast up the middle for his third goal of the season. Connor Merkley also got an assist.
The freshman Izyk has been heating up with a three-game point-scoring streak. He also had a goal and an assist in last Saturday’s win over Michigan Tech.
Alaska (13-13-3, 11-9-3-1 WCHA) got on the board with a power-play goal from the right circle by Tyler Kline with 7:17 remaining in the opening period.
The Chargers went back up two at 3-1 when Austin Beaulieu drove up the right side and beat Martinsson high with a wrister with 2:23 remaining. Christian Rajic and Lucas Bahn with the assists.
That concluded an energetic first period with each team getting 12 shots on goal.
“We started well, besides their power-play goal,” Corbett said. “We took care of our chances in front of the net. We got two tipped goals and Austin Beaulieu scores a nice shot coming off the wing.”
Alaska switched to Gustavs Grigals in goal to start the second, and made it a one-goal game almost immediately.
Nanooks leading scorer Steven Jandric beat Mark Sinclair on a backhander through the slot just nine seconds in.
The Nanooks tied the game when Kyler Hope, all alone in front, had two chances on Sinclair following a centering pass. The goalie stopped the first, but not the second, and it was 3-3 just short of five minutes into the second.
UAH regained the lead at 4-3 with 8:34 left in the period. Tyr Thompson, who had a shot hit the post just a minute earlier, found the puck in the slot and whipped it around past Grigals.
The Chargers went up two again on another tipped shot. This time it was Connor Wood getting his fourth goal of the season by deflecting Max Coyle’s shot from the right circle with 3:58 left in the second.
UAH had its season high in goals at five with a period to spare. And they weren’t done yet.
Markus Komuls scored with 58 seconds left in the second to trim UAH’s lead to 5-4, but just nine seconds later, Rajic scored on the doorstep off a centering pass from Beaulieu and it was 6-4 UAH at the second intermission.
Josh Latta notched his team-leading 10th assist.
The scoring got quiet for most of the third until the Nanooks tied the game at 6-6 on back-to-back goals 18 seconds apart with just under five minutes left in regulation. James LaDouce and Max Newton did the deeds for Alaska.
Alaska had the most of the third period, outshooting the Chargers 13-5. The Nanooks had a 43-28 shots advantage for the game. Sinclair finished with 37 saves.
Despite the six-goal output, Corbett says there will be changes to the lineup for Saturday’s game.
“Our group has to understand that this is unacceptable,” Corbett said. “If you want to be a team that gets into the playoffs, this is unacceptable, and it’s disappointing.”
No goals occurred during the regular 5-on-5 overtime, leading to the Chargers’ fifth tie of the season. They are 0-0-5 after OT.
Tyler Cline ended the extra 3-on-3 overtime quickly, scoring 29 seconds in. UAH has only gotten one point in five extra-point opportunities this season.