Bowling Green spoiled UAH’s Senior Day upset bid Sunday, scoring twice halfway through the third period toward a 4-2 win at the Von Braun Center.
The Chargers (3-14-1, 3-9-0 WCHA) led the 13th-ranked Falcons 2-1 at the second intermission in their season home finale, but could not capitalize on crucial power-play opportunities at the start of the third period.
UAH finishes the regular season next weekend at Bemidji State. The Chargers are locked into the seventh seed in the WCHA playoffs, which begin in two weeks.
Bowling Green (19-8-1, 8-5-1) made its grip on the second seed tighter with the victory, leading Lake Superior State by seven points. If the Falcons hold, they would be hosting UAH in the best-of-3 quarterfinals. Bowling Green has finished its regular season.
The Falcons outshot the Chargers 27-18 and won the possession battle most of the game, but UAH that held the lead twice.
The Chargers got an unlikely goal from an unlikely spot to open the scoring. Defenseman Lucas Bahn took the puck up the right half-wall to just in front of the goal line, threw it toward the net and banked it off Falcon goaltender Zach Rose with 1:26 remaining in the first period.
It was Bahn’s first goal of the season and second of his UAH career, assisted by Connor Merkley, playing for the first time since February 5, and Adrian Danchenko.
UAH gave away the lead almost immediately after starting the second. A turnover lead to a two-on-none breakaway for the Falcons. Tim Theocharidis finally scored after playing catch with Brandon Kruse to tie the game at 1-1 just 35 seconds into the period.
The Chargers got the lead right at 2-1 back with their first short-handed goal of the season. Drew Lennon’s slapshot from the right circle, off a nifty cross-ice pass from Bauer Neudecker, beat Rose for his second goal of the season near the halfway point in the contest.
The Falcons used a short leash on Rose, pulling him for senior Eric Dop, who shut out the Chargers in Bowling Green on Wednesday. Dop continued to stymie UAH, stopping all nine shots he faced.
UAH had a huge chance to increase its lead at the end of the second period and the start of the third. Anton Malmstrom drew a major penalty and a game misconduct with a hit from behind on Connor Wood, and T.J. Lloyd took a roughing minor to give the Chargers a two-man advantage for two minutes.
The Chargers could not capitalize despite getting five shots on Dop over the five minutes of power-play time.
That would bite UAH halfway into the third, when Bowling Green scored two quick goals to take a 3-2 lead. Connor Ford stuck in a rebound in front during a power-play with 10:43 remaining, and Sam Craggs then scored high on the doorstep 54 seconds later.
Ford then added an empty-net goal with 49 seconds remaining for the final 4-2 score.
Before the Chargers’ final home game of the season, UAH honored seniors Merkley and Wood.