UAH had a chance to win with a two-goal lead and another hot outing by Mark Sinclair, but Bowling Green rallied to stun UAH 4-3 in overtime on Friday at the Von Braun Center.
The Chargers had built a 3-1 lead over the first half of the game while withstanding another barrage of shots. UAH was outshot 58-17, and had a chance at victory thanks to a Sinclair’s career-high 54-save performance.
“(Sinclair has) made those games close, and you want better for him, without a doubt,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “He’s gives us a chance to win and you want to reward him.”
UAH (2-25-6, 2-19-6-1 WCHA) will finish the season Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. with Senior Day festivities prior.
After they were shellacked at Minnesota State by a combined score of 18-0 last weekend, the Chargers showed some fight despite the shot disadvantage and built a two-goal lead.
“It’s easy to quit,” Corbett said. “It’s nice that they showed up and have pride in their performance and pride in the jersey and give these guys a run.”
UAH struck first on a nice goal by Ben Allen in the slot, his first of the season. Daneel Lategan gave him the feed from the left corner, and Allen went forehand to backhand to beat Eric Dop top shelf with 3:06 left in the first period.
Bowling Green (18-13-4, 13-10-4-3 WCHA) tied the game just 55 seconds into the second period, when Cameron Wright skated through the right circle and beat Sinclair high.
But the Chargers took the lead again almost halfway in the contest. Brandon Salerno, like Allen before him, was left alone with the puck in the slot on another feed from Lategan, and scored his third goal of the season.
Lucas Bahn got the second assists on both goals.
“Ben Allen’s line was dynamite tonight,” Corbett said. “They were probably our best line tonight and had the most energy, so I rewarded them with more ice time. We’re a team that over the course of time, that’s how it’s got to be.”
Tyr Thompson put UAH up 3-1 on yet another goal from the slot in front of the Falcon net. This time it was a rare power-play goal, assisted by Christian Rajic and Tanner Hickey, with 7:28 remaining in the second.
All three UAH goals came from down low.
“That’s why I say we have to get more pucks and bodies to the net, because there are not a lot of one shot goals any more,” Corbett said. “You have to get second chances. Goals are scored at the net.”
The Falcons trimmed UAH’s lead to 3-2 two minutes later on an Alex Barber power-play goal.
The Falcons outshot UAH 30-14 over the first two periods, but that wasn’t the end of it. BG got 17 more shots on Sinclair in the third before the Chargers finally got one a Dop with around 8:00 left in regulation.
Bowling Green tied the game at 3-3 when Will Cullen’s deflection of a centering pass easily gets by Sinclair with 11:14 left in the third.
In overtime, Max Coyle was called for a tripping penalty with 3:33 left, setting up a power play for Bowling Green. Barber was able to lift one over Sinclair to give the Falcons the victory.
“It’s the story of our season,” Corbett said. “We’re that close to being able to finish a team off. Just having that leadership in the locker room, that alpha dog who doesn’t let (giving up the lead) happen.”