The Chargers’ WCHA era came to a end in frustrating fashion on Saturday, as UAH lost 4-1 at Lake Superior State.
The Lakers swept the WCHA quarterfinal series in two games, ending UAH’s season at 3-18-1.
LSSU (17-6-3) killed the Chargers on the power play, converting 3-of-8 opportunities. UAH committed a season-high nine penalties, and could have gotten more as the officials kept whistles mostly quiet in the first period.
David Fessenden came up big numerous times to keep the game scoreless through one period. He made 13 of his 31 saves in the frame, denying former Charger Jack Jeffers taking a centering pass in the slot, stopping Benito Posa from the same spot, and sliding from post to post to steal a backhander from Brandon Puricelli.
Fessenden needed to make those saves as the Lakers took the possession battle in the first, helped by winning 17 of 23 faceoffs.
Meanwhile, UAH got only five shots on Laker goalie Seth Eisele, who was making only his second start of the season instead of their No. 1, Mareks Mitens. Eisele finished with 16 saves in the game.
Dayne Finnson was given a highly questionable boarding penalty in the last minute of the first, and Lake Superior took advantage 18 seconds into the second. An unchecked Louis Boudon tipped in a centering pass from Jeffers.
Boudon later went flying on Connor Wood’s hip check, and had to crawl back to the Laker bench. Wood was likely fortunate to get only two minutes for the hit, but Lake Superior capitalized anyway as they were already on the power play.
Puricelli’s blast on Fessenden left a big rebound for Will Riedell, who scored on the ensuing open net to give LSSU a 2-0 lead at the 7:15 mark.
Three minutes later, the Lakers scored yet another power-play goal after a UAH too many men on the ice penalty. Hampus Eriksson’s deflection in the slot made it 3-0.
Puricelli scored with 6:40 to go for the Lakers’ fourth goal.
Mick Heneghan prevented the shutout with a power-play goal with 2:12 remaining in the game. His blast up the middle, his first college goal, was assisted by Brian Scoville and Connor Merkley.
UAH now enters an uncertain offseason as it looks for a new conference to call home. UAH is courting Atlantic Hockey and the CCHA, which will have seven members of the disbanding WCHA.