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UAH, UAA play to 2-2 tie

UAH and Alaska Anchorage played to a 2-2 tie in Anchorage on Saturday, with UAA getting the extra WCHA point in the 3-on-3 overtime period.

The Chargers (1-19-4, 1-13-4-1 WCHA) ended a six-game losing streak, but their winless streak is now at 11 games (0-8-3).

Alaska Anchorage (4-14-4, 4-11-3-3 WCHA) took five of six points on the weekend, just as it did in Huntsville back in November.

There was no scoring in the first period. The Chargers had a couple of prime chances, but they were stymied by UAA goaltender Brandon Perrone, who was making his first collegiate start.

Perrone made a prime right pad save on Josh Latta alone in the slot, and then made a swinging glove save on Connor Merkley’s drive through traffic.

Alaska Anchorage scored a power-play goal at 12:07 of the second period following back-to-back penalties on Max Coyle and Dayne Finnson. Luc Brown powered a one-timer from the left point.

UAH tied the game at 1-1 as Finnson came out of the penalty box. Finnson found Lucas Bahn in front of the net, and the Henderson, Tennessee native notched his first collegiate goal and point with 5:59 left in the second.

With 12 seconds left in the second period, Josh Latta scored his sixth goal of the season to give the Chargers a 2-1 lead.

At the same time, Daneel Lategan, who passed to Latta for the primary assist, was hit in the head by UAA’s Aaron McPheters, who had launched himself. McPheters got a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

UAH began the third with almost all the major power play, but Anchorage tied the game at 2-2 with a short-handed goal. Alex Frye had the steal in the neutral zone, a breakaway, a deke on Mark Sinclair, and the goal at the 2:05 mark.

No scoring in the overtime period resulted in a draw. In the 3-on-3 overtime, Tanner Schachle scored with 2:18 remaining.

Sinclair had 19 saves total, while Perrone had 20.

The Chargers are off next week before hosting Michigan Tech (Jan. 31-Feb. 1) and Alaska (Feb. 7-8).

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Chargers fall to Bemidji on late power play goal

Bemidji State overcame the Chargers coming out of their power-play slump, rallying in the third period to defeat UAH 4-3 at the Von Braun Center on Friday to complete a series sweep.

The Chargers (1-18-3 overall, 1-12-3-1 WCHA) had a prime opportunity to get back into the win column thanks in part to three power-play goals, two by freshman Josh Latta.

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

Bemidji State’s Adam Brady scored the game-winner on a late power play, which came on a controversial boarding penalty called on UAH’s Bailey Newton with 5:24 left in the game.

UAH heads to Alaska Anchorage next weekend desperately needing points to get back into the WCHA playoff race. The Chargers are in 10th, six points behind UAA and seven behind Ferris State.

“It’s the same old song, and I hate saying it over and over and I want better for our players, but I liked our effort and I think we deserved something better,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said.

Bemidji State (12-7-3, 12-3-1-0) struck first with 3:26 left in the first period. Sam Solensky, a freshman playing in just his fourth college game, scored on a one-timer in the slot following a centering pass from behind the net.

But UAH tied it up in the final seconds of the period after an Alex Ierullo cross-checking penalty for BSU. Latta poked the puck from underneath goaltender Zach Driscoll, who thought he was interferenced with, for his fifth goal of the season.

Austin Beaulieu and Dayne Finnson assisted on the goal, which ended a streak of 45 unsuccessful power plays. UAH had last scored with the advantage on November 9.

Bemidji State kept the Chargers in their own end for most of the second period, and really tested Mark Sinclair with bursts of shots on the junior.

The Beavers put 20 shots on goal in the frame, and Sinclair stopped all but one: a Charlie Combs deflection of a Tommy Muck centering pass with 39 seconds left to put Bemidji State up 2-1.

UAH had a critical chance about four mintues into the third period when Bemidji State’s Alex Adams elbowed Tyr Thompson high. Video review said contact to the head, ending Adams’s night.

The Chargers capitalized on the major power play with two goals to take the lead.

First, with 12:54 remaining, Austin Beaulieu put back Max Coyle’s shot to tie the game at 2-2. Dayne Finnson also assisted for his second of the game.

Second, about a minute later and two seconds left on the major power play, Latta notches his second goal of the night, putting in a centering pass from Bauer Neudecker on the right side to put the Chargers up 3-2.

“(Latta) is getting to the front of the net and scoring those goals,” Corbett said. “That’s what we need him to do, big goals in big times.”

“It’s all because of playing with (Rajic) and (Beaulieu),” Latta said. “I think we are all complementary of each other. The way we play, we each bring something a little bit unique. Raj is so good off the rush. Being able to pull up and create time and let plays develop. Beaulsy gets off the forecheck so well and he’s so good on the wall.

“We got three goals (on the power play), and being able to get two there (on the major power play) was a nice relief.”

With 9:43 remaining in regulation, the Beavers quickly tied it up as Nick Cardelli slipped the puck just inside the post on Sinclair’s right.

Then came Newton’s hit on Combs, which elicited a questionable boarding call. Combs looked to have hit the boards but not as a result of Newton’s hit.

The hit occurred against the wall and obstructed from the UAH bench. Corbett said he would have to take a look at it on video.

“It’s a tough play at the end,” Corbett. “You want big hits at that point in time of the game.”

UAH was shorthanded anyway, and it cost them.

Brady scored on a wicked shot from the left circle with 4:34 remaining to put BSU ahead 4-3.

The Chargers had one final press to tie the game, only able to pull Sinclair for the extra attacker with 17 seconds to go.

“(Christian) Rajic had the chance on the backdoor with the rebound, and they’re goalie came across and made the save,” Corbett said.

UAH finished with 32 shots on goal in the contest, tied for second most on the season.

“I thought we were better tonight than we were last night, especially just capitalizing on our chances,” Latta said. “I think we got over 30 shots tonight, which we haven’t done very often this season, which is encouraging.”

Sinclair finished with 36 saves as the Beavers finished with 40 shots on goal.

“(Sinclair) played well again,” Corbett said. “He’s another one of those guys you want better for, because he’s competing in the net and giving us a chance to win. We’ve got to pick him up one of these nights.”

“As good as Mark is, he’s good for us every night, sometimes they find a way to score because we give them too much time,” Latta said. “We’ve got to be better defensively and not have these five-minute lapses we tend to have.”

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UAH hosts Bemidji looking to start a run

Bemidji State (10-7-3, 10-3-1-0 WCHA) at UAH (1-16-3, 1-10-3-1 WCHA)
WHERE: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
WHEN: Thursday, 7:37 p.m.; Friday, 7:37 p.m.
WATCHFloHockey.tv (subscription)
LISTEN: Penalty Box Radio
PROMOTION: Kids 12-under get free general admission at the VBC box office.
TICKETS

UAH probably put on its best effort last weekend. Now the Chargers must turn this effort into victories and make a run at the WCHA playoffs.

The Chargers lost 5-2 in both games at North Dakota, which showed why its ranked No. 1 in the country. UAH was within a goal in the third period in both games, and the Hawks put each game away with an empty-net goal.

This brings UAH some confidence going into this week’s series against Bemidji State at the VBC. The Chargers will want to show that they have improved since the series in Bemidji back in November, when the Beavers won 5-3 and 7-0.

Josh Latta had a three-point weekend against North Dakota and now leads the Chargers with 13 points. He has points in four of the last five games. Christian Rajic scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season on Friday.

Mark Sinclair started both games in net at UND, making 64 total saves.

Bemidji State sits in second place in the WCHA standings, five points behind first-place Minnesota State, after sweeping Ferris State at home last week. UAH is in last place, six points behind Alaska Anchorage and seven behind eighth-place Ferris State.

The Beavers have two 10-goal scorers in Aaron Miller and Adam Brady. Their hottest forward is Owen Sillinger, who had five points in the sweep of Ferris State and earned WCHA forward of the week honors.

Defenseman Elias Rosén had four assists last week against FSU to win the WCHA rookie of the week award, and is tied with Miller for the team lead in assists with 11.

These will be the 91st and 92nd meetings between the Chargers and the Beavers. BSU holds a 51-34-5 in the overall series dating back to 1994.

TEAM STATISTICS: UAH | Bemidji State

The Bemidji Pioneer: Beavers head south to warm up against rival Alabama Huntsville

This week in the WCHA: All times Central. Games can be streamed online via subscription to FloHockey.tv.

Thursday, January 9
Bemidji State at UAH, 7:37 p.m.

Friday, January 10
Bemidji State at UAH, 7:37 p.m.
Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Bowling Green at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 11
Minnesota State at Ferris State, 5:07 p.m.
Bowling Green at Michigan Tech, 5:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan, 5:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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Another game UAH effort, but No. 1 UND pulls away again

Photo by Kelsey Lee / Violet Turtle Photography. Post-game video by Seamore Sports.

Once again, the Chargers were close entering the third period against the No. 1 team in the country, but North Dakota showed why it’s No. 1 and eventually denied UAH the chance of an upset.

The Fighting Hawks won 5-2 for the second straight night in Grand Forks on Saturday.

Still, considering the struggles the Chargers have had this season, UAH head coach Mike Corbett found the experience beneficial for his club.

“It was a one-goal game pretty much for both nights,” Corbett said. “I think that’s against the legit No. 1 team in the country. It’s a confidence booster. It’s not the end result, but our process was pretty good.”

“We want to go after the top guys. It’s a great opportunity for our program. Read the box score it’s supposed to be read. We were in it and our guys played their butts off.”

UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair did all he could again, stopping 33 of 37 shots.

“Sinclair’s been good since Thanksgiving,” Corbett said. “He’s seeing about 75 shots this weekend, he’s hanging in there and giving us a chance to win.”

“It’s always tough coming in and playing the No. 1 team in the country,” Sinclair said. “Our guys competed right through. Our penalty kill was great, guys blocking shots, battling for pucks.”

The Chargers resume league action at home this Thursday and Friday against Bemidji State.

“I think it shows that we can compete with anyone,” Charger forward Josh Latta said. “North Dakota is like the pinnacle of most programs that you want to strive towards. Playing against Bemidji, we have to play the exact same way with the same intensity.”

North Dakota (16-1-2) opened the scoring when Sinclair could not pick up a Matt Kierstad blast up the middle that was tipped by Westin Michaud. The goal came at the 4:54 mark.

UND made it 2-0 with 10:52 left in the first period on a power play goal. Collin Adams beat Sinclair stick side from the right circle.

The Chargers cut the lead in half about four minutes later on a similar goal by Connor Merkley. His third goal of the season was over Adam Scheel (11 saves) after a nifty cross-ice pass from Jack Jeffers, who notched his fifth assist of the season. Peyton Francis got his second assist.

UAH tied the game early in the second period. Latta was robbed by Scheel from the slot, but Austin Beaulieu back-handed the rebound in for his second goal of the season.

Latta had his team-leading ninth assist of the season and third of the series.

“It was our whole line,” Latta said. “Christian Rajic and Austin Beaulieu are great guys to play with and go to open ice really well. They support the puck and put forth a lot of energy, so it makes my job easy.

“We capitalized on the chances we got for the most part. We could have had a few more.”

“We’ve got a freshman (in Latta) who’s starting to be able to put up some points for us,” Corbett said. “We’re not a scoring juggernaut by any means, so more guys chipping in for us, the better.”

UND regained the lead at 3-2 at the 3:51 mark of the second with a highlight-reel goal. A shot off Sinclair trickled to the right post, and Jordan Kawaguchi put it in from behind the goal line and his stick between his legs.

In the handshake line following the game, Sinclair, who played with Kawaguchi at Chilliwack of the BCHL, said to Kawaguchi, “You had to do that, hey?”

“I played with him in Chilliwack so I got to see it a lot in practice,” Sinclair said. “His work ethic is unbelieveable. He’s very tough to knock off the puck.”

Three minutes into the third period, the Hawks extended their lead to 4-2 when Ethan Frisch blasted one up the middle from inside the blue line.

Shane Pinto, just back with North Dakota after playing for Team USA in the World Junior Championships, put in an empty-net goal with 20 second remaining.

Perhaps indicative of the number of close losses the Chargers have had, it was the eighth empty-net goal UAH has allowed this season.

North Dakota won its 13th straight game at home, a Ralph Engelstad Arena record. The Fighting Hawks are unbeaten in their last 15 games overall.

One battle the Chargers did win was in faceoffs, 30-29.

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Chargers get crack at No. 1 to start ’20

UAH (1-14-3) at No. 1 North Dakota (14-1-2)
WHERE: Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D.
WHEN: Friday, 7:37 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
WATCH: NCHC.tv (subscription)

After a struggling first half to the season, UAH resumes action at North Dak ota to face the No. 1-ranked Fighting Hawks. Before the break, the Chargers took a 2-point tie and a loss at Ferris State on December 13-14.

Christian Rajic and Josh Latta lead UAH with 10 points. Rajic, Jack Jeffers, and Tyr Thompson each have four goals.

Goaltender Mark Sinclair has a 1.91 goals against average and .946 save percentage over his last three starts (3.91 GAA and .892 SV% for the season).

The Fighting Hawks have won sevengames in a row and are unbeaten in their last 13. They defeated the USA Under-18 team in an exhibition game on December 28.

Jordan Kawaguchi leads UND with 24 points on seven goals and 17 assists. He leads a Fighting Hawk offense that is tops in Division I at 4.18 goals per game.

Adam Scheel has played all 17 games in net for North Dakota, posting a .927 save percentage and 1.56 goals against average with two shutouts. UND is third in the nation in scoring defense.

The Chargers are 0-7 all-time against No. 1. The last chance came against Boston College on Dec. 29, 2012 at the Mariucci Classic in Minnesota, when UAH fell 5-2.

UAH is 0-4 all-time against North Dakota, meeting up in Grand Forks in 1989 and 2016. The series four years ago went 1-0 and 4-1 in favor of UND, which was ranked No. 2 at the time.

The Chargers return home next weekend against Bemidji State.

This week in the WCHA: All times Central.

Friday, January 3
UAH at #1 North Dakota, 7:37 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #11 Bowling Green, 5:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Alaska at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 4
UAH at #1 North Dakota, 7:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #11 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Bemidji State, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska at #3 Minnesota State, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 8:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #17 Arizona State, 6:05 p.m.

Sunday, January 5
* Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 8:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #17 Arizona State, 6:05 p.m.