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Chargers score four straight to upend Beavers

What a time to have a scoring burst.

UAH scored four unanswered goals, three in the third period, to defeat Bemidji State 4-2 on Saturday in Bemidji and get a series split.

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It was a big turnaround for the Chargers (2-14-0 overall, 2-8-0 WCHA), who had a season high in goals after a lackluster 4-0 loss Friday.

The Chargers came out with more energy at the start, even though it was the Beavers (7-7-2, 5-4-1) were able to score two quick goals.

Charlie Combs’ backhander from just inside the right circle put BSU up 1-0 at the 7:04 mark. It was Combs’ fourth goal of the series after a natural hat trick on Friday.

Dillon Eichstadt followed up with a blast from inside the blue line 65 seconds later.

UAH got on the board right after their first power play expired. Connor Wood followed up on an Adam Wilcox shot to score his first goal of his UAH career with 7:45 remaining in the first.

The second period had no scoring, and not many scoring chances. Shots were 5-all in the period.

UAH then went on an unexpected scoring burst, getting two goals in 38 seconds early in the third period to take a 3-2 lead.

On a delayed penalty call, Bauer Neudecker took a centering pass from Christian Rajic, who beat BSU goalie Zach Driscoll to tie the game at the 3:56 mark.

On the ensuing power play, Cam Knight’s shot from the high slot found its way to the net at 4:34. Jesper Ohrvall got the assist.

The Chargers withstood two Bemidji power plays, and then extended their lead to 4-2 on Connor Merkley’s first tally of the year. He put in a rebound off a John Teets shot. Teets and Ohrvall got the assists.

BSU pulled Driscoll and had the extra attacker for the final 3:34 of the game. Bemidji State used that time to get a final 23-17 shots on goal advantage.

UAH goaltender Jake Theut gets his first collegiate victory, making 21 saves.

UAH travels to Michigan Tech next Friday and Saturday.

Three Stars of the Game:
1. Cam Knight, UAH (Game-winning goal)
2. Jesper Ohrvall, UAH (2 assists)
3. Charlie Combs, BSU (1 goal, 1 assist)

Cam Knight (pictured) scored the game-winning goal. File photo by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography.

 

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UAH shut out by Bemidji State

Bemidji State defeated UAH 4-0 on Friday at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.

UAH was never really in it, being outshot 40-15 as the Chargers fall to 1-14-0 overall and 1-8-0 in the WCHA.

Charlie Combs had a natural hat trick for Bemidji State (7-6-2, 4-2-1), and Hank Johnson got the shutout with 15 saves.

Bemidji State dominated the first period, outshooting UAH 18-2, but could only get one goal past Mark Sinclair. Alex Ierullo deflected a Dillon Eichstadt blast for a 1-0 lead.

The Chargers came out stronger in the second period on the opening faceoff, which lead to a 2-on-1 and a scoring chance for Bauer Neudecker.

Buoyed by a 5-on-3 power play, UAH was able to get some shots on Hank Johnson, but failed to score.

The Chargers’ next best chance to score came shorthanded. After a Jack Jeffers roughing penalty, the Beavers turned the puck over just outside their zone, and Hans Gorowsky was able to get a breakaway, but he too was stopped by Johnson.

BSU scored with five seconds left on that same power play, as Combs made it 2-0 with 4:31 left in the second.

Bemidji went up 3-0 just 59 seconds into the third as Combs drove up the right side toward Sinclair and scored his second goal of the game.

Combs finished his natural hat trick almost five minutes later on another power play.

Sinclair finished with 36 saves.

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Own goal is lone goal for UAH in loss to BG

If it weren’t for a sliver of good luck, the Chargers would have no luck at all.

The 12th-ranked Falcons of Bowling Green defeated UAH 2-1 at the Von Braun Center on Sunday to complete a series sweep.

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The Chargers’ lone goal was an own goal, and technically one of only 14 shots on net for UAH (1-13-0 overall, 1-7-0 WCHA). Meanwhile, Bowling Green (10-3-2, 5-2-1) fired 37 on goal.

UAH goaltender Jake Theut had a solid outing with 35 saves to keep the game close. Meanwhile, Bowling Green goalie Eric Dop stopped all 13 shots he faced, though the empty net goal prevents him from officially recording a shutout.

The Falcons opened scoring again with nifty passing on a 3-on-1 break. Casey Linkenheld buried the one-timer with 8:55 left in the first period.

Some not-so-nifty passing by the Falcons resulted in a tie game with 6:20 remaining in the frame. With the Bowling Green net empty for an extra attacker because of a delayed penalty against the Chargers, the puck deflected off a Falcon defenseman near the UAH blue line and traveled all the way down the ice into the BG goal.

It was the second time in almost three years that UAH was the benefactor of an own goal during a delayed penalty. The other time was Feb. 12, 2016 at the VBC, where a similar play cost Minnesota State in a 3-3 tie.

The goal was credited to Jack Jeffers, his fourth of the season. The Chargers killed the ensuing hooking penalty on Drew Lennon.

There was no scoring in the second period. The Falcons ratcheted up the pressure, however, outshooting the Chargers 14-6.

Bowling Green regained the lead at 2-1 just 48 seconds into the third period on Lukas Craggs’s backhander.

From there, the Falcons continued to dominate possession and prevent the Chargers many chances at a real goal to tie it up. Bowling Green outshot UAH 14-4 in the third for the 37-14 total.

UAH travels to Bemidji State next weekend, not returning to the VBC until Jan. 4-5 against Ferris State.

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Third-period burst powers Falcons to win over Chargers

For a good chunk of the game, the Chargers played better than a 1-11 team against the 12th-ranked team in the country, but two power play goals early in the third period lifted Bowling Green to a 6-2 win over UAH at the Von Braun Center on Saturday.

UAH (1-12-0 overall, 1-6-0 WCHA) hung with the Falcons (9-3-2, 4-2-1) in shots on goal (30-28 BGSU) and shot attempts (53-48 BGSU), but Bowling Green was able to get the better of the Charger penalty kill, which came into the game rated sixth in Division I. The Falcons were 2-for-4 with the advantage.

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It wasn’t a typical good night, either, for UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair, who made 23 saves and allowed six goals. Falcon netminder Ryan Bednard made 26 saves in the win.

The Falcons scored first on a sloppy line change by UAH, which resulted on a two-on-none break. Sam Craggs had the finisher at the 6:40 mark of the first period.

The Chargers tied the game on the power play. Jack Jeffers’ pass from the right side across the slot found an open Christian Rajic, who buried it for a 1-1 game with 2:41 left in the first. It was Rajic’s first goal of the season, assisted by Jeffers and Cam Knight.

Bowling Green regained the lead at 2-1 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the second, when Adam Smith’s shot from the point made it past Sinclair through a screen. It was 3-1 Falcons with 7:40 left in the period when Lukas Craggs scored on a wraparound.

UAH didn’t break then, and cut the deficit to 3-2 on Ben Allen’s first collegiate goal. The Texas native scored from the slot after taking a centering pass from Rajic with 6:16 left in the second.

Bowling Green pulled away with two power play goals early in the third period. After Bailey Newton was called for holding, Max Johnson capitalized to make it 4-2 at the 3:46 mark. Then Cameron Wright put in a rebound off the pipe at 6:13 following a Connor James high-sticking penalty.

Lukas Craggs added a goal with 3;13 remaining for the final 6-2 count.

The series finale is Sunday at 3:07 p.m. at the VBC.

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Hoof Beats: Kestner off to solid start in ECHL

Josh Kestner, who led UAH with a modern Division I-era school-record-tying 24 goals last season, is playing well in his first full pro season with the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL.

The season started a little late for Kestner, who was on injured reserve, but he scored two breakaway goals in his second game back in a 3-2 loss to Brampton on Oct. 27. The Huntsville native scored seven goals in his first eight games with the Growlers. Kestner has seven assists to give him 14 points in 15 games.

Kestner signed a tryout contract with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies after his career at UAH ended in March. He was assigned to Newfoundland during the preseason.

Other former Chargers in the ECHL: Matt Salhany scored twice for Adirondack on Oct. 17 against Newfoundland, but spending time on injured reserve has limited his action to five games this season. He recently returned to the lineup and has already produced a goal and an assist.

Tyler Poulsen started the season on the reserve list for Rapid City. He has an assist in nine games since his return.

Also in the North American minor leagues, Cody Dion (2010-11) has three goals and five assists in 10 games for Roanoke of the SPHL.

in the big leagues, the 2018-19 season has been a struggle for Cam Talbot, who is in his coldest spell of his NHL career. The Oilers netminder has a .873 save percentage in his last six starts, all losses, allowing 23 goals. Edmonton has been playing Mikko Koskinen in goal more over Talbot, who has a 3.29 goals against average and .889 save percentage in 15 starts.

Danchenko signs NLI: The Chargers got their first player in the new signing period on Tuesday when Adrian Danchenko signed his National Letter of Intent.

Danchenko, who announced his commitment to UAH on August 25, is a forward with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the NAHL. has 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in 18 games this season. The Palm City, Fla., native had 12 goals in 55 regular-season games with the Knights season.

The signing period for all Division I and II sports except football and basketball started on November 14, and will go all the way to August 1, 2019.

Sinclair named WCHA goaltender of the week: UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week on Nov. 19 for his performance in the Chargers’ 3-1 win at Alaska on Nov. 16. Sinclair stopped 44 of 45 shots, the most saves in Division I that week. It was the first collegiate victory for Sinclair.

Club team update: The UAH club hockey team’s first season back since 1985 is in full swing.

The Chargers (2-5-0) began their first season in October with a two-game series against UAB at the Huntsville IcePlex. The Chargers lost 9-3 in the first game, then the Blazers rallied late to win 6-5 in the second game.

UAH played three games at the Scholar Shootout at Vanderbilt from Nov. 9-11, losing 8-1 to Michigan, winning 3-1 to Clemson, and falling 3-2 to Vanderbilt. In the Chargers’ first victory, Alex Reichle stopped 62 of 63 Clemson shots. The Chargers split a two-game series at Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 16-17, winning 5-2 and losing 6-3.

Alexander McLeod has nine goals in UAH’s last five games.

UAH’s next action is Jan. 11-12 at Auburn. The Chargers host Middle Tennessee State at the IcePlex on Feb. 15-16. The Chargers will play more home games starting next season when they join the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC).

For more information on the UAH Chargers club hockey team, visit uahclubhockey.com.