PHOTO GALLERY: UAH vs. Michigan Tech, Nov. 3, 2018


UAH can’t stop slide in another loss to Tech

The Chargers played a stronger game in the series finale with Michigan Tech, but their first victory eluded them again as their scoring woes continued.

Michigan Tech defeated UAH 4-1 Saturday at the Von Braun Center, dropping the Chargers to 0-10-0 overall on the season and 0-4-0 in WCHA play.


The Chargers will get an off week after starting the season with five straight series. Their next action is against Alaska, also currently winless at 0-7-1, in Fairbanks on Nov. 16-17.

The Huskies improved to 3-3-0 overall and 2-0-0 in the WCHA. They didn’t dominate possession like they did in their 2-1 win on Friday, outshooting the Chargers by a slimmer margin at 29-23.

However, the Chargers mustered only one late goal, and have only scored nine goals in their 10 games.

The first period was relatively quiet, with the closest either team came to scoring was during the Michigan Tech power play. UAH goalie Mark Sinclair lost sight of the puck after a shot sent it into the air. A Husky had poked the puck past Sinclair, but a referee, having also lost sight of the puck, blew the whistle to end play beforehand.

Michigan Tech scored the first goal 47 seconds into the second period. Jake Lucchini made a drop pass to Keegan Ford, who blasted the puck from the right point, beating Sinclair high stick side.

After Connor Merkley was called for a delay of game penalty for a faceoff violation, the Huskies struck again. Lucchini found the net from the left side for a 2-0 Tech lead with 12:33 left in the second.

The Chargers had a strong power play following, with three shots on goal, but Tech goaltender Matt Jurusik was there to stop them all.

Jurusik was also there to stop Madison Dunn’s shot on a two-on-none shorthanded opportunity to keep UAH off the board.

The Huskies started the third period with a power play after a Christian Rajic slashing penalty with one second left in the second, and they used it to make it 3-0. Sinclair couldn’t stop Grayson Reitmeier’s deflection in the slot of a Seamus Donohue shot up the middle.

UAH avoided the shutout with 5:53 remaining on just its second power play goal of the season. Hans Gorowsky found Madison Dunn from the right circle to the right doorstep of Jurusik, and Dunn buried it for his first goal of the season. John Teets also netted his first assist.

It was just the second power play goal of the season for UAH in 40 opportunities.

Lucchini scored an empty net goal with 12 seconds to go after Sinclair (25 saves) was pulled for one final push.


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.


“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.”




Preview: Michigan Tech at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala,
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: (subscription required)
Ticket information

Charger update: UAH (0-8-0 overall, 0-2-0 WCHA) dropped one-goal decisions to Lake Superior State in each of its first two games of the conference schedule.

“We competed very well last weekend, so we’ve got to be able to take the next step,” UAH head coach mike Corbett said. “We got on the doorstep to be able to win a game, and we didn’t finish. That’s the disappointing part.”

The Chargers finally scored multiple goals in the first game, but lost 4-3 last Friday. Tyr Thompson, Brandon Salerno, and Connor James found the back of the net.

Mark Sinclair stopped 31 of 34 shots for his third straight solid game between the pipes. That earned him another start in the second game, giving him consecutive starts for the first time.

Sinclair did well again on Saturday, making 24 saves, but the Chargers fell again 2-1. UAH had its first lead when Jack Jeffers scored early in the second period, but the Lakers scored twice in the third period for the win.

Now comes Michigan Tech to finish off three straight weekends at home with UAH still looking for its first win of the season. The Chargers have scored only seven goals in eight games.

“I’m not too worried about the other team,” Corbett said. “Right now, it’s all about us and making sure we execute under pressure. That’s going to be the biggest thing.

“Confidence and egos and things like that can be a little bit fragile right now for kids, and we’re trying to get them confident. To take a little bit from football, we want to make up for our mistakes with some aggression.”

On Friday night, the first 500 fans will receive the third set of the 2018-19 UAH hockey trading cards, courtesy of Bojangles. Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Huskies: Michigan Tech (1-3-0) will be starting its WCHA slate against the Chargers after two tough non-conference series.

The Huskies opened the year at home against defending national champion and third-ranked Minnesota Duluth, losing 2-1 and 5-2. Last week, they traveled to No. 14 Wisconsin, splitting a pair of games each with the score of 6-2.

“Michigan Tech went to the national tournament last year,” Corbett said. “They split with Wisconsin and gave up some goals.”

Brian Halonen was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week for his performance against Wisconsin, getting two points in each of the two games. The freshman has moved into the team lead for scoring with five points.

While the Huskies are getting production from freshmen in the early going, Tech has some dangerous upperclassmen. Senior Jake Lucchini led the team in scoring (16-23-39) last season, with junior Gavin Gould and senior Jake Jackson (San Jose Sharks prospect) pitching in 14 and 13 goals, respectively.

Goaltending has been a little shaky so far. The Huskies have already used all three goalies in four games. Junior Matt Jurusik and senior Devin Kero each have posted .881 save percentages in two starts, but Kero had some success last season as Patrick Munson’s primary backup with a 2.50 GAA and .910 save percentage.

The Huskies, who won the WCHA tournament and lost in overtime to Notre Dame in the NCAA East Regional semifinals, were picked to finish fourth in both the coaches’ and media preseason polls.

Michigan Tech 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Michigan Tech leads 13-1-2.
In Huntsville: MTU leads 5-0-1.
First meeting: Feb. 7-8, 2014 at Houghton, Mich. MTU won 4-1 and 10-4.
Last meeting: Oct. 20-21, 2017 at Houghton, Mich. MTU won 5-4, UAH won 4-2.
Last meeting in Huntsville: Jan. 27-28, 2017. MTU won 5-2, tied 4-4 (MTU won shootout point).

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on * denotes conference game.

Friday, November 2
* Michigan Tech at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #9 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Michigan State, 6 p.m.
#12 Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#4 Minnesota State at #10 Minnesota, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 3
* Michigan Tech at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #9 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan State at Ferris State, 6 p.m.
#12 Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#10 Minnesota at #4 Minnesota State, 7 p.m.


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.”


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.”