The good news is that the Chargers officially shut out the Lakers. The bad news is that the Chargers still couldn’t win.
The first scoreless tie in UAH’s 41-year hockey history occurred Friday in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as the Chargers and Lake Superior failed to score in three periods and overtime.
The Lakers took the second WCHA point in the shootout, and even that took a while to see a goal. Yuki Miura had the lone tally in the fifth round.
Also historic was UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair. He is credited with his third career shutout, setting a new UAH record for saves in a shutout with 44.
The Chargers (2-21-6, 2-15-6-1 WCHA) matched a program record with their sixth tie of the season. However, they also extended their UAH-record road winless streak to 20 games (0-17-3) going back to last season.
Plus, UAH was shutout for the second straight game. The Chargers haven’t scored in the last seven periods.
UAH has been on the short end of these “extra point” situations following a tie a lot this season. The Chargers have only gotten two points once out of six opportunities.
Lake Superior State improved to 9-20-4 overall and 7-12-4-4 in WCHA play.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6 p.m. across the Soo Locks at GFL Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.
While the bulk of the Lakers’ chances were from firing away at Mark Sinclair, the Chargers’ chances were from Laker miscues on their end.
Sinclair’s glove was plenty active as he kept the Lakers off the board. The junior made 17 saves in the opening period. Mitens was on the spot on the chances he saw, stopping six shots.
The Chargers stepped it up in the second period while the Lakers looked off. But like the first, neither squad could dent the twine. UAH had 12 shots in the middle frame compared to 10 for Lake Superior State.
The Lakers dominated the third period with a 12-4 shots advantage, but once again Sinclair was big, including two stops in the final minute to force overtime.
Each team had one shot on goal in the extra period, but after five minutes the scoreless tie was official.
Each team had a 4-on-3 power-play chance in the 3-on-3 second overtime, but Sinclair and Mitens came up big late to send it to the shootout.
Jack Jeffers, Peyton Francis, Tyr Thompson, Brandon Salerno, and Connor Merkley came up empty in the shootout, the second for UAH this season.
Mitens had 23 total saves in his shutout.
The old UAH record for saves in a shutout was 39, which Mark Sinclair shared when he blanked Michigan Tech last season. The other holders were Derek Puppa (against Minnesota State in 1995) and Scott Munroe (against Robert Morris in 2005).