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Chargers’ special teams show the way in win over Seawolves

The Chargers’ special teams took center stage Saturday in a 6-3 win over Alaska-Anchorage.

UAH scored a pair of short-handed goals – the team’s first of the season – and a power-play goal in a four-goal second period en route to the win and a sweep of the weekend series.

“This was a shot in the arm for our special teams,” said UAH head coach Mike Corbett. “That’s where the special teams’ play is huge.”

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It was UAH’s first series sweep of the season and the first since the 2016-17 season.

Kurt Gosselin and Hans Gorowsky each scored twice to lift the Chargers to 6-11-1 in the WCHA and 6-19-1 overall. Gosselin’s goals lift him to fourth all-time among UAH defensemen in the Division I era with 19.

Gorowsky and Gosselin each scored a short-handed and a power play goal. Gorowsky’s tally was UAH’s first short-handed goal of the season. Cam Knight had a goal and an assist for the Chargers and Jesper Ohrvall also scored. Gosselin had an assist to go with his two goals and Austin Beaulieu added two assists.

“The special teams were working together,” Gosselin said. “We watched the film and we’re able to adapt.”

The Chargers trailed 1-0 and were outshot 13-5 after the first period that more resembled the opening game of a series, instead of the second game.

“It was our typical Friday start,” Corbett said of the Chargers’ sluggish first period. “We’re lucky we weren’t down 3-0.”

Goaltender Mark Sinclair finished the game with 26 saves in posting his fourth win of the season and back-to-back victories this weekend.

It was a rare back-to-back start for the sophomore netminder but Corbett said he was up to the task.

“We felt he played well (Friday) and we needed him to play well (Saturday),” he said.

The Seawolves (1-16-1, 2-21-1) opened the scoring with a power play goal at 11:11 of the first period.

While they were sluggish in the opening period, the Chargers came out and played a solid second period.

Just three minutes into the period, Knight put a backhand shot past UAA goaltender Kristian Stead to tie the score at 1-1.

But the tie was short-lived as the Seawolves regained the lead just 42 seconds later.

With 5:02 gone in the period and UAH on the power play, Gosselin’s slap shot from the blue line evaded Stead to tie the game at 2-2.

About midway through the period with John Teets in the penalty box for cross-checking, Gorowsky took a breakout pass from Gosselin and put the puck over Stead for a 3-2 lead. It was the Chargers’ first short-handed goal of the season.

Gosselin ran the count to 4-2 with 16 seconds left in the period as he scored on a 2-on-1 break with Andrew Dodson. It was UAH’s second short-handed goal of the game and season.

“We had a good second period,” Corbett said. The Chargers outshot UAA 19-5.

“We knew we started out slow,” said Gosselin. “We figured it out between (the first and second) periods.”

After the Seawolves scored in the third to cut UAH’s lead to 4-3, Gorowsky scored an empty-netter with 1:05 left in the game. Ohrvall scored the finale with just 9.5 seconds to play for the final 6-3 count.

With the win, the Chargers are tied for eighth place in the WCHA with Alaska-Fairbanks, which hosts Bowling Green Saturday night. UAH and the Nanooks (6-10-1) each have 20 points.

The Chargers host Alaska-Fairbanks next Friday and Saturday nights.

“Fairbanks is bigger and stronger (than UAA),” Gosselin said. “We’re a hard-working team … we’ll be ready for them.”

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Slow Start Proves Fatal for Chargers in Loss to Michigan Tech

Another slow start spelled doom for the Chargers.

UAH, now winless in nine games to open the season, mustered just 3 shots on goal in the first period while goaltender Mark Sinclair kicked away or gloved 19 Michigan Tech scoring attempts Friday night.

And, despite Sinclair’s heroics – he finished with 38 saves – the Chargers (0-9-0, 0-3-0 WCHA) fell 2-1 to the Huskies (2-3-0, 1-0-0). The two teams renew their series Saturday night at the Von Braun Center. Faceoff is 7:07.

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“We can’t keep doing this,” UAH Head Coach Mike Corbett said of his team’s penchant for slow starts. “You run out of gas early when you need to sustain it at the end.”

The Chargers, though, weren’t ever out of the game, according to the scoreboard. No matter that they outshot UAH 40-17, the Huskies couldn’t put UAH away.

Thanks to Sinclair.

“He kept us in the game,” Corbett said. “He gives us a chance to win every night.”

Sinclair, who has a sparkling 2.53 goals-against average and .926 save percentage despite a 0-6-0 record, credited his defensemen for his success.

“The guys gave me good looks,” he said.

As much as he credited the defense, Sinclair was stellar on his own.

A little more than 3 minutes into the game, he stopped Tech’s Gavin Gould, who was all alone at the goalie’s doorstep.

Less than a minute later with UAH on the power play, Sinclair came up big to turn back a shorthanded two-man breakaway.

Sinclair turned into a wall again, this time with about 4 minutes left in the game, when he made a big save on another breakaway.

It was like that most of the night – except when the Huskies put the puck past Sinclair.

Justin MIsiak broke the scoreless tie about 2 minutes into the second period and then, with about 5 minutes gone, Colin Swoyer scored on a wrist shot to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.

The Chargers made the score 2-1 when Brandon Salerno put a wrister into the net 11:03 into the period.

The goal seemed to lift the Chargers as they kept buzzing around the net, trying to get the game-tying goal.

However, they weren’t able to maintain a constant pressure to tie the game.

“We have to learn how to come out strong early,” Corbett said. “So we don’t have to continue to battle our way back.”

 

 

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Missed chances prove costly for Chargers

UAH hockey head coach Mike Corbett was to the point about the Chargers’ 2-1 loss Saturday night to Lake Superior State.

“We should’ve put them away early,” he said. “We’ve got to finish; we’ve got to put ’em away.”

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The Chargers, who had a strong second and third period in Friday’s game, carried some of the momentum into Saturday night’s game. There were good scoring chances in the first period as they outshot Lake Superior State 10-8. However, UAH couldn’t put anything past Lakers’ goalie Mareks Mitens.

“Their goalie played a great game,” Corbett said.

But Jack Jeffers put the Chargers on the board with 4:08 gone in the second period for a 1-0 lead – the first time UAH led an opponent this season. It was Jeffers’ second goal of the season.

Chargers’ goalie Mark Sinclair, making back-to-back starts, kept the Lakers at bay through the first two periods as he turned away 18 shots.

UAH had a couple more opportunities early in the final period to extend their lead, only to be stymied by Mitens.

Austin Beaulieu had a breakaway from the blue line just under 3 minutes into the period, only to see Mitens come up with the save. Tyr Thompson had the puck in the crease but couldn’t convert at the 4:38 mark.

Sinclair continued his stellar play, including stopping a wrap-around attempt about a minute later.

But, the Lakers finally put one past the sophomore netminder when Anthony Nellis scored at 7:08 of the period to tie the game. Then, about five minutes later, Hampus Erickkson scored the eventual game-winner for a 2-1 Lakers’ lead.

The Chargers, though, kept up the pressure as they tried to get the game-tying goal.

Madison Dunn found himself on the doorstep with the puck with less than 5 minutes to play but Mitens came up with the save.

Then, perhaps the best scoring opportunity for UAH came with 3;37 left in the game on a 3-on-2 break. Mitens was drawn to his right to cover Connor Merkley. However, Merkley passed to Bauer Neudecker on his right, but Neudecker shot wide of the net.

The Chargers fall to 0-2 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and 0-8 overall. The Lakers are 4-0, 2-0. UAH will host Michigan Tech next Friday and Saturday.

Despite the missed chances, Corbett was quick to find high points in the game.

“I’m proud of this group; they responded well,” he said. “There are so many good things that came out of this game.

“We’ll build on this … we’ve got to get our mindset to finish.”

 

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Late rush falls short for Chargers

The Chargers played perhaps their best back-to-back periods of hockey Friday night but they came up short in a 4-3 loss to Lake Superior State.

In the WCHA opener for both teams, UAH falls to 0-7 overall, 0-1 in league play ; the Lakers improve to 3-0, 1-0.

“The last two periods, we did a good job,” said UAH head coach Mike Corbett. “We can be proud of the effort.”

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The Lakers took a 1-0 lead in the first period while firing 19 shots on goal; UAH had just four shots.

The Chargers came out quicker in the second period, beating the Lakers to the puck on several occasions and the hard work paid off when Tyr Thompson scored at the 3:45 mark.

“We started to win the battles and went on the offensive,” Corbett said.

UAH was on the power play when Kurt Gosselin fired a shot from just inside the blue line. Lakers’ goalie Nick Kossoff made the initial save but Thompson put the puck in the net to tie the score. It was the first goal of Thompson’s UAH career.

“It was sort of a garbage goal,” he said. “It was a good shot by Goose {Gosselin) at the point.

“I picked up the garbage and put it in.”

The second period ended with the score tied at 1-1, setting up a wild third period.

The momentum seemed to swing back to the Lakers in the early going of the third period when they reclaimed the lead on Collin Saccoman’s goal with 4:22 gone in the period. With both teams skating 4-on-4, Anthony Nellis scored with 7:24 showing on the clock for a 3-1 Lake Superior State lead.

But UAH’s Brandon Salerno cut the lead to one when he scored at 15:25 of the period, giving new life to the Chargers.

As the clock wound down, Corbett pulled goaltender Mark Sinclair to give the Chargers an extra skater;

UAH initially put pressure on the Lakers’ defense and Kossoff but Lake State got breathing room when Alexandro Ambrosio scored an empty-net goal for a 4-2 lead with 1:21 showing on the clock.

The Chargers, though, didn’t let the setback affect them.

“The guys battled hard,” Gosselin said.

And the battling paid off when Connor James scored with 22 seconds left to cut the Lakers’ lead to 4-3.

But that would be as close as the Chargers would get, despite several scrambles in the Lakers’ end.

“We battled through adversity,” Corbett said. “We battled to the end.”

The two teams return to action Saturday night with faceoff set for 7:07.

“We’re hungry for the win,” Gosselin said.