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Chargers hold on for 2-pt tie against Ferris

UAH scored twice in the first period, then relied on Mark Sinclair to hold on for a 2-2 tie against Ferris State on Friday.

The Chargers (1-13-3 overall, 1-9-3-1 WCHA) got two points in the WCHA contest after Liam Izyk scored in the 3-on-3 second overtime period. UAH has ties in its last two games.

Sinclair made 38 saves for the second straight game. He has made 32 or more saves in his last four starts.

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Ferris State fell to 5-9-2 overall and 3-6-2-0 in WCHA play. Game two of the series is Saturday at 6:37 p.m. Central Time.

Josh Latta put the Chargers up 1-0 at the 2:24 mark by putting in a rebound around FSU goaltender Austin Shaw (25 saves) for his third goal of the season.

Drew Lennon got his first point of the season with primary assist, and Christian Rajic also got a helper.

Connor Wood was grimacing in pain from the bench after FSU’s Hunter Wendt checked him from behind, but was able to stay in the game. Wendt was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

During the major power play, UAH had two shots on goal, but so did the Bulldogs on two shorthanded breakaways. Mark Sinclair made the big saves to keep FSU off the board.

Ferris State survived the penalty, but went down 2-0 after Connor Merkley fired a goal in from the high slot. Lennon got his second assist of the game.

The second period belonged to the Bulldogs, who outshot the Chargers 19-5. Sinclair was still solid, but it felt like Ferris State would eventually break through, which it did with 35 seconds remaining.

Marshall Moise slipped one past Sinclair right in front of the crease to cut UAH’s lead to 2-1 at the second intermission.

The first half of the third period was relatively quiet, but the Chargers finally started generating more opportunities in the second half.

However, Moise, scoring twice in his first game after being out for six weeks, would tie the game at 2-2 for the Bulldogs with a high floater from the left point with 4:45 left in regulation.

No scoring in overtime, but not before Sinclair made a couple of critical saves in the final 10 seconds to seal the tie.

With 1:48 left in the 3-on-3 overtime, Jack Jeffers appeared to score just inside the right goal post, but the official waved it off. Shaw didn’t react quick enough, and Izyk followed up and scored in the open net to give UAH the second WCHA point.

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Chargers, Sinclair battle back for tie with BG

After possibly the worst loss of a trying season, the Chargers showed some fight and refused to leave Ohio empty handed.

UAH and 13th-ranked Bowling Green battled to a 2-2 tie, with the Falcons taking two of the three WCHA points by scoring in the second overtime.

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It’s a significant yet modest bounce-back for the Chargers (1-13-2 overall, 1-9-2-0 WCHA), who were drubbed 9-3 in the first game of the series.

It was perhaps a bigger turnaround for UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair, who played the entirety of Friday’s loss and allowed all nine goals. This time, he stopped 38 of 40 shots to get back to the form he showed last weekend.

The tie might bring repercussions to Bowling Green (11-5-1 overall, 6-3-1-1 WCHA) down the road when NCAA tournament selections come around. The Falcons sit in fifth place in the WCHA standings.

UAH finishes the calendar year with a trip to Ferris State next weekend.

Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead with 2:17 left in the first period, when Max Johnson’s one-timer from the left circle beat Sinclair.

UAH got the equalizer with 1:00 remaining, as Jack Jeffers scored his fourth goal of the season on a one-timer of his own. Tyr Thompson provided the feed to Jeffers for the primary assist, with Liam Izyk getting the secondary.

The Chargers got the lead at 6:20 of the second period. Christian Rajic’s slapshot rips past Falcon goalie Zack Rose (18 saves) for his fourth goal of the season. Josh Latta and Austin Beaulieu got the assists.

UAH committed back-to-back too many men on the ice penalties, and the Falcons converted on the second one. Connor Ford’s blast from the left point with 2:08 left in the second tied the game at 2-2.

The Chargers had outshot the Falcons 7-1 for the second period at one point, but BG had the last 11 shots on goal for the frame.

Bowling Green finished off UAH Friday night with six goals in the third period, but there would be no scoring in the final period Saturday. Sinclair made 12 saves in the third to keep the game tied at the end of regulation.

In overtime, the Chargers had a power play in the final 1:55 after Daneel Lategan was hauled down while driving to the Bowling Green net.

UAH didn’t convert, officially making the game a tie to give both teams a WCHA point.

In the second, 3-on-3 overtime, Max Johnson scored with 1:17 to go to give the Falcons five of six league points on the weekend.

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Late energy not enough for UAH to overcome NMU

Mark Sinclair stood on his head for two periods to keep Northern Michigan from routing the Chargers. However, when UAH got energized in the third period, they couldn’t tie the game.

Such was the case in the Chargers’ 3-1 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday. After UAH finally got its first win on Friday, NMU snapped a four-game losing streak to split the series.

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The Chargers (1-12-1 overall, 1-8-1 WCHA) were fortunate to only being down 2-1 through two periods, as the Wildcats (8-6-2, 6-4-0) dominated to the tune of a 29-8 shots advantage.

Sinclair stopped 32 of 34 NMU shots on goal.

“Mark Sinclair was fantastic and he was able to keep us in the game,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “He made more than the saves he needed to make tonight. I feel bad for him, because I think his teammates led him down tonight.”

Lategan’s line and Connor Wood and Brandon Salerno, those guys played their butts off but the rest of the guys, we were very average. Very vanilla.

From the start, Northern Michigan wasn’t messing around like Friday’s first period, when the Wildcats sloppily allowed three goals.

NMU got on the board first with a shorthanded goal. Garrett Klee drove almost the length of the ice, got around a UAH defender in front of the Charger net and beat Sinclair to put NMU up 1-0 at the 5:03 mark.

Despite having two power plays, UAH was outshot 5-3 in the first half of the opening period. NMU had a 14-5 shots on goal advantage at the first intermission.

The Wildcats continued the put Sinclair to work early in the second period, but the Chargers tied the game at the 7:22 mark. Brandon Salerno ripped a one-timer from the left circle on a pass from Daneel Lategan at the halfwall for his second goal of the season.

Lategan and Connor Wood, with his third point of the series, got the assists. Corbett said that fourth line of Salerno, Lategan, and Wood had the best energy.

“Lategan’s line and Connor Wood and Brandon Salerno, those guys played their butts off but the rest of the guys, we were very average,” Corbett said. “Very vanilla.”

NMU got the lead right back at 2-1 less than a minute later. Jarrett Lee’s drive from the slot was stopped by Sinclair and deflected off the crossbar, and Luke Voltin put in the rebound.

The Chargers played much better in the third period, holding the Wildcats shotless through the first 10 minutes. UAH outshot NMU 9-6 in the third period.

However, NMU goaltender Nolan Kent (16 saves), who got the start after coming into Friday’s game in relief, would not allow the equalizer.

UAH had a golden chance late with a power play after Darien Craighead was called for a cross-checking penalty, but the Chargers would finish 0-for-6 with the advantage for the game and 0-for-9 for the series.

“We’ve got to move the puck quicker,” Corbett said of the power play. “We play too slow, and they’re able to get in the lanes and block shots. Our decision making on it isn’t very good.”

Vincent de Mey finished the NMU victory with an empty-net goal with 15 seconds to go. All three of NMU’s wins over UAH this season were by two goals, each with an empty-netter at the end. (The Chargers won Friday the same way.)

UAH heads to Bowling Green next weekend. The Chargers won’t be home again until January 9 and 10 against Bemidji State.

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First-period outburst leads to first win for UAH

Finally, the Chargers are in the win column.

Powered by three first-period goals, UAH defeated Northern Michigan 4-2 at the Von Braun Center on Friday night to earn its first victory of the season. The Chargers snapped a 15-game winless streak going back to last season.

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

The Chargers (1-11-1 overall, 1-7-1 WCHA) also got a strong performance in net by Mark Sinclair, who made 27 saves and kept the Wildcats at bay while they tried to rally.

“Mark Sinclair was good,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “Our goaltending’s been average, and we talked with those guys this week about really stepping up and Mark did.”

UAH will go for two in a row Saturday night at Propst Arena. Game time is at 7:07 p.m.

Meanwhile, NMU (7-6-2 overall, 5-4-0 WCHA) has lost four straight games, all in conference play.

“Don’t relax. Don’t be satisfied,” Corbett said about the message to his team for Saturday. “You’ve got to win one before you can win two. You can think about a sweep because you won Friday night, but we also know that their backs are against the wall and they’re going to come out fighting, and we have to come out better than we were tonight.”

Seemingly out of nowhere, the Chargers busted out to a 3-0 lead, scoring the three goals in a span of 4:09.

The first goal came at 11:26, when Daneel Lategan, just out of the penalty box following a charging penalty, scored on a two-on-none with Brandon Salerno.

At 13:59, Connor Merkley found Tyr Thompson in the slot, who made it 2-0 with his third goal of the season.

“That’s the forecheck we want,” Corbett said. “(Merkley) came in hard on the forecheck, took the body, happened to get the puck, and made a nice play to Tyr right in front. That’s the one you work on in practice all the time. It usually doesn’t work but it worked tonight.”

Then at 15:35, Christian Rajic in the right circle found Josh Latta in the slot. Latta fired his second goal past NMU goaltender John Hawthorne, whose night was done early after allowing three goals on five shots.

Northern Michigan cut UAH’s lead to 3-1 at the 6:22 mark of the second period. Griffin Loughran’s deflection of a blast from the point on the power play resulted in his WCHA-leading 12th goal of the season.

The Wildcats would make a push throughout much of the third period. Replacement goaltender Nolan Kent stopped all 15 shots he faced the rest of the way.

UAH would seal the deal with a minute to go after Kent was pulled for the extra attacker. Connor Wood, who also assisted on Lategan’s goal, fought off a defender and found the open net to put the Chargers up 4-1.

Grant Loven scored for NMU with 32 seconds remaining for the final 4-2 score, but it was too little, too late.

“We had to earn it,” Corbett said. “We earned it tonight. We knew they were coming off a long trip, and we started out fast.

“I’m just happy for (the team). It’s not about me. These guys were beat up after last Saturday’s game against Bemidji (a 7-0 loss) and it’s nice to see them come back. It’s nice to see them earn a victory and they deserved it.”

Three stars of the game:
1. Tyr Thompson, UAH (goal)
2. Mark Sinclair, UAH (27 saves)
3. Daneel Lategan, UAH (goal)

File photo of Connor Wood by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography.

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Preview: NMU visits for rematch at VBC

WHERE: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
WHEN: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
WATCHFloHockey.tv (subscription)
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Still looking for answers, the Chargers host Northern Michigan this weekend at Propst Arena.

The teams met in Marquette four weeks ago, with the Wildcats taking both games by scores of 5-3 and 4-2. NMU needed an empty-net goal in each game to clinch victory.

The Chargers remain winless after 12 games, and most recently had their biggest setback on Saturday when they fell 7-0 at Bemidji State.

Christian Rajic had an assist in Friday’s 5-3 loss at Bemidji to tie the team lead in points with seven. Rajic had a goal and an assist against NMU in earlier this month.

Northern Michigan (7-5-2 overall, 5-3-0 WCHA) is coming off being swept in a home-and-home against its arch-rival, Michigan Tech. The two losses pushed NMU out of this week’s USCHO.com Top 20.

Griffin Loughran, who had a goal in each game against the Chargers, did the same against Tech to lead NMU with 11 goals in 14 games. He has 19 points total to lead the WCHA in both categories.

After this weekend with NMU, the Chargers head back on the road with series at Bowling Green and Ferris State before the holiday break. UAH’s next home series is January 9-10 against Bemidji State.

Promotions: Kids 12 and under can get free admission to both games at the Von Braun Center box office, courtesy of Huntsville International Airport.

For Black Friday, UAH hockey ornaments will be given to the first 300 fans.

This week in the WCHA: All times Central. All WCHA conference games (*) can be seen on FloHockey.tv (online subscription).

Friday, November 29
* Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
* Michigan Tech at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
#16 Bowling Green at #5 Notre Dame, 6 p.m.
#1 Minnesota State at #8 Minnesota Duluth, 6:07 p.m.

Friday, November 29
* Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 4:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska Anchorage, 8:07 p.m.
* Michigan Tech at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
#16 Bowling Green at #5 Notre Dame, 6:07 p.m.
#1 Minnesota State at #8 Minnesota Duluth, 6:07 p.m.