Season ends with loss to Bowling Green

UAH finished the 2019-20 season with a 4-1 loss to Bowling Green on Saturday at the Von Braun Center.

The Chargers end the year at 2-26-6, with a 2-20-6-1 record in WCHA play.

It was the final game at UAH for five Chargers: Austin Beaulieu, Connor James, Sean Rappleyea, Teddy Rotenberger, and Brandon Salerno.


The Falcons outshot the Chargers 39-22. UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair had 35 saves.

Bowling Green (19-13-4, 14-10-4-3 WCHA) scored the first goal on the power play. Taylor Schneider skated in front of the UAH net and tucked the puck just inside Sinclair’s near pad with 11:15 left in the first period.

At the end of the first period, Bowling Green’s Sam Craggs puts Connor James into the boards and gets a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.

The Chargers didn’t score during the major power play, but did score a 5-on-3 power-play goal to tie the game after a multitude of penalties on both sides.

Beaulieu deflected Connor James’s shot past Zach Rose to tie the game at 1-1 at the 7:11 mark of the second period.

It was the sixth goal of the season for Beaulieu and sixth assist for James. Josh Latta got his team-leading 11th helper.

Connor Merkley’s night ended early after crunching Jacob Dalton from behind in the Bowling Green zone. Merkley received a five-minute major and a game misconduct with 8:43 left in the period.

On the ensuing power play, the Falcons regained the lead with two goals. With 5:39 left in the second, Brandon Kruse roofed the puck from Sinclair’s left to make it 2-1. Almost two minutes later, Connor Ford’s blast from the left point slid in to make it 3-1.

Special teams will be a focus for next season, according to head coach Mike Corbett. The Chargers finished with only a 7.9 percent efficiency on the power play, and a 74 percent efficiency on the penalty kill.

It was a mostly uneventful third period. The Falcons got an empty-net goal from Carson Musser with 59.8 seconds remaining for the final score.

UAH matches the program record for fewest wins in a season with two, set in the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons.

Corbett was frank about what needs to be done during the offseason:

“Frustrating year. It could have been a lot better than what we thought. We had a lot higher expectations than the way it ended. We’ve got to learn from it.

“We’ve got to get our guys to understand what this commitment thing is. Just our entire program. Get people to understand that it’s a privilege to play. Our seniors understand now. You don’t think about it until the buzzer blows, but it’s a privilege to play Division I hockey.

“We’ve got too many guys in this room taking it for granted, and it bothers me. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be around that. We have to clean that up. I’ll talk to our seniors afterwards and ask them, what do we need to clean up? They’ll have a say in what we do and the way we move forward.

“Everybody has a different button that needs to be pushed. And when you’re with them as much as we are, you understand what that button is, and if you can’t find that button, it’s time to move on. It’s time to find players who are going to represent this university the way we need them to represent it.

“I like the young guys, but we’ve got to get them stronger for games like this, for teams like Mankato last weekend. We’ve got to really do a good job in the offseason to get our guys stronger. They’re not going to grow, but they have the ability to get stronger and we have to push them to get stronger. That’s going to be our No. 1 focus this spring.”