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UAH falls 6-3 to NMU in home finale

Northern Michigan broke a tie with two late second-period goals and spoiled UAH’s Senior Day with a 6-3 win at the Von Braun Center on Saturday.

UAH (6-24-2 overall, 6-16-2-2 WCHA), which honored eight seniors prior to the Chargers’ final home game of the season, will have next week off before heading to Ferris State looking to lock down a WCHA playoff spot.

Northern Michigan (15-13-1, 14-7-1-0) took four of six points for the weekend, and moved into a tie for second place with Bowling Green in the WCHA standings.

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

UAH, which took two points Friday by winning in the 3-on-3 overtime following a 2-2 tie, scored first again Saturday. Connor James’s blast from long range and through traffic got past Atte Tolvanen.

His third goal of the season came at the 5:56 mark and was assisted by Christian Rajic and Madison Dunn.

The Wildcats, who scored both of their goals on Friday on the power play, struck again with the man advantage to tie the game at 1-1. Vincent De Mey got the goal from the left circle.

NMU took its first lead of the series early in the second period, as Griffin Loughran’s wrap-around past Jake Theut (34 saves) put the Wildcats up 2-1 at the 4:02 mark.

UAH tied the game on a beautiful power play goal two minutes later. Bauer Neudecker from the left circle passed to Austin Beaulieu near the left post, who set up Hans Gorowsky in the slot. Gorowsky beat Tolvanen high for his ninth goal of the season.

The Wildcats regained the lead at 3-2 with 3:25 left in the second. During 4-on-4 action, NMU had a 3-on-1 rush, with Tony Bretzman backhanding the puck in.

NMU took a two-goal advantage at 4-2 with 46 seconds left in the period. Jarrett Lee scored on another wrap-around, bouncing the puck just over Theut’s glove.

The Chargers started a rally on the power play in the third period. James scored again, this time from the right side, to cut NMU’s lead to 4-3 with 11:21 to go.

Dunn and Rajic provided the assists again. Rajic has a team-high 11 helpers on the season.

But the rally was snuffed when the Wildcats struck yet again on the power play. Denver Pierce’s one-timer in the slot glanced off the post and in and NMU lead by two again, 5-3, with 6:49 remaining.

The Wildcats finished with four power play goals on the weekend, beating a UAH penalty kill that was as high as fifth in Division I but has since fallen to 24th over the last three weeks.

Troy Loggins sealed the game with a long-range, empty-net goal with 24 seconds remaining.

Tolvanen stopped 24 of 26 UAH shots for the win.

UAH entered the day eight points ahead of FSU for eighth place in the WCHA standings and four points ahead of Alaska for seventh.

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UAH gets two big points in OT battle, tie with NMU

A roller-coaster of emotions ends up on the joyful side as the Chargers took two WCHA points from Northern Michigan following a 2-2 tie at the Von Braun Center on Friday.

NMU had tied the game with 5:34 remaining in regulation, and had won the game in overtime before video review overruled the goal because of goaltender interference.

Cam Knight scored just 36 seconds into the 3-on-3 second overtime, which gave the Chargers the second WCHA point. UAH had to withstand its own video review before it was finally confirmed.

BOX SCORE

The Chargers (6-23-2 overall, 6-15-2-2 WCHA) needed the points to enhance their WCHA playoff chances. With Ferris State getting just one point after its tie with Bemidji State, UAH increased its hold of the eighth and final playoff berth to eight points over FSU. UAH also pulled within four points of Alaska, which lost to Alaska Anchorage, for seventh.

For Northern Michigan (14-13-1, 13-7-1-0), its single point moved the Wildcats to within one point of third-place Lake Superior State.

Game two of the series and the final UAH home game of the season is Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The eight Charger seniors will be honored before the game.

The whole game was one of highs and lows.

Plenty of up-and-down action in the first period, although it did not lead to any scoring. The Wildcats outshot the Chargers 8-6 in the frame.

Scoring did start frantically in the second period, with the Chargers putting two up quickly.

At the 1:44 mark, Jack Jeffers drove up the left side and beat Atte Tolvanen to put UAH up 1-0. It was the seventh goal of the season for the freshman, and Hans Gorowsky had the assist.

Gorowsky had a hand on UAH’s second goal at 4:05. He and Brandon Salerno had a two-on-none, and Salerno finished off the give-and-go for his fifth goal of the season. Bailey Newton got his first assist.

Northern Michigan got on the board right after a Jeffers hooking penalty. Troy Loggins notched his 13th goal of the season on a one-timer to cut UAH’s lead to 2-1 at 5:12.

NMU had another power play almost immediately afterward, and the Wildcats at least used that time to test Sinclair with lots of rubber. NMU had 12 shots on goal within the first eight minutes of the second period, and 20 for the whole frame.

A scary moment for the Wildcats came with 5:45 left in the second when Tolvanen, who has started all 28 games this season, had to be tended to after Andrew Dodson collided with him. Dodson received a minor penalty for charging, but the Chargers were able to kill it.

UAH had a chance to put it away about halfway through the third period when back-to-back penalties by Loggins and Griffin Loughran gave the Chargers a two-man advantage for 1:48.

But Tolvanen (22 saves) came up big, making a glove save on Bauer Neudecker and covering up another possible Jeffers goal.

The Wildcats killed the penalties, then capitalized on Tyr Thompson’s hooking call with 5:34 left in regulation with a power play goal by Ty Readman.

In the regular 5-on-5 overtime, both teams had big chances with under two minutes to go. Joseph Nardi missed high on a breakaway with 1:40 left, and Tolvanen stopped Gorowsky 20 seconds later.

Adam Rockwood appeared to have scored to snatch victory from the Chargers with 26 seconds remaining in overtime, but the officials determined after video review that there was a Wildcat in the crease causing interference, and the goal was overturned.

The overtime ended to officially make it a 2-2 draw, and with renewed life the Chargers made it count. Cam Knight beat Tolvanen on a breakaway just 36 seconds in to give UAH two of the three league points.

UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair finished with 41 saves, the third 40-plus-save outing of the season.

Three stars of the game:

1. Cam Knight, UAH (3-on-3 OT goal)
2. Hans Gorowsky, UAH (2 assists)
3. Mark Sinclair, UAH (41 saves)

File photo of Cam Knight by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography

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Last home series for eight seniors

Eight seniors will be playing their final home games as college hockey players this weekend against Northern Michigan. They will be honored prior to Saturday’s game at the Von Braun Center (3:37 p.m. puck drop).

Madison Dunn

Madison Dunn (Calgary, Alta.) is the active leader in games played for the Chargers with 130. He has 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points. Dunn was a WCHA Scholar-Athlete in the 2016-17 season.

Hans Gorowsky

Hans Gorowsky (Lino Lakes, Minn.) has 22 goals and 22 assist for 44 points in 128 games played. Gorowsky, who leads the team in goals with eight this season, is the WCHA Forward of the Month for January. Gorowsky is a two-time WCHA Scholar Athlete and was on the WCHA All-Academic Team in 2017-18.

Kurt Gosselin

Kurt Gosselin (Brighton, Mich.) is UAH’s first all-WCHA player, making the third team in the 2016-17 season as a sophomore. He is a four-time WCHA Defenseman of the Week award winner, and was the WCHA Defenseman of the Month in January. Gosselin has 20 career goals, one shy of tying the school record for defensemen in the modern Division I era. His 56 career points is tied for third on the D-I era list for blueliners.

Cam Knight

Cam Knight (North Reading, Mass.) is the active team career leader in assists with 39 in 124 games played. Knight has a career-high 63 blocks this season, for a total of 193 over four years. He is a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete.

Jesper Ohrvall

Jesper Öhrvall (Halmstad, Sweden), a graduate transfer, has a goal and eight assists in 26 games this season. He had played the previous three seasons at Rensselaer, where he had eight goals and 14 assists in 88 games.

Jake Theut

Jake Theut (Washington, Mich.), a graduate transfer, has a 3.84 goals against average and .904 save percentage in 10 starts this season. He spent the previous four years at Northeastern.

John Teets
John Teets

John Teets (Fairbanks, Alaska) has four goals and 16 assists in 97 games. He has played in every game the last two seasons, blocking 84 shots. Teets was a CoSIDA Academic All-District member for 2017-18 in addition to being a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete.

Adam Wilcox

Adam Wilcox (Alpharetta, Ga.) has played in 106 for the Chargers, scoring eight goals and eight assists. He has two goals and three assists this season. Wilcox is a two-time WCHA Scholar Athlete.

Seniors group photo and John Teets photo by Doug Eagan. Other individual player photos by Todd Thompson. 

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UAH shut out by 6th-ranked Minnesota State

The sixth-ranked Mavericks clamped down on the Chargers again on Saturday in a 4-0 decision, completing a series sweep in Mankato, Minn.

UAH (6-23-1 overall, 6-15-1-1 WCHA) was held to only 12 shots on goal, half of which came in the third period when the game was pretty much decided.

The Chargers still hold eighth place in the WCHA standings by seven points over Ferris State, which was swept by Lake Superior.

But the Mavericks (23-6-1, 18-4-0-0) showed again why they are the best team in the conference. MSU now has a commanding 11-point advantage over second-place Bowling Green, which lost to Northern Michigan.

If the standings hold, the Chargers would be back in Mankato for the WCHA quarterfinals. Since MSU outscored UAH 10-1 in this series, the Chargers must find a way to compete with the Mavericks over the final weeks of the regular season.

Minnesota State scored early again in this one, this time at the 2:34 mark when Chris Van Os-Shaw flipped the puck just over Mark Sinclair, who could not cover the puck in the crease.

UAH would not get its first shot on goal until 11:19 in, when Jack Jeffers drove to the net and collided with MSU goaltender Dryden McKay. Jeffers received a penalty on the play.

That would be the only shot on goal for the Chargers in the first, one of only two shot attempts as just about the whole period was held in the UAH end.

Things got dicey in the second period. Just over two minutes in, Sinclair misplayed the puck behind the net, giving it to Jake Jaremko, who tucked it in the open net to make it 2-0.

Less than a minute later, Connor Wood put Connor Mackey into the boards hard. Wood got a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

UAH was able to hold on until Parker Tuomie put a high stick to the head of Sinclair, knocking his helmet off. Tuomie received a five-minute major for spearing and a game misconduct, giving the Chargers three minutes of power play to work with.

However, the Chargers only got one shot on goal during the advantage.

Minnesota State would extend its lead to 3-0 on its next power play following a Kurt Gosselin slashing penalty. Julian Napravnik scored high from the left point.

David French made it 4-0 Mavericks with 51 seconds left in the second. The third period was garbage time.

McKay got the shutout with 12 saves. Sinclair stopped 31 of 35 shots for UAH, which was shut out for the sixth time this season.

The Chargers are now 0-24-4 in their last 28 games against Minnesota State, dating back to 2002.

UAH has its final home series of the season next week. The Chargers host Northern Michigan on Friday (6:07 p.m.) and Saturday (3:37 p.m.).

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Preview: UAH at Minnesota State

Where: Verizon Center, Mankato, Minn.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (6-21-1 overall, 6-13-1-1 WCHA) had a rough series last week at home against Alaska, getting swept by the Nanooks.

On Friday, the Chargers were given plenty of power play opportunities, but couldn’t do anything with them in a 3-1 loss. On Saturday, UAH paid dearly for not staying out of the box, allowing four power play goals in 10 Alaska chances in a 5-2 defeat.

Hans Gorowsky scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season on Saturday. Bauer Neudecker and Christian Rajic scored the other goals in the weekend.

Mark Sinclair started both games in net, making 26 saves on Friday and 32 on Saturday. He now has a 2.93 goals against average and .914 save percentage on the season.

UAH is now firmly in eighth place, the last of the WCHA playoff positions. With 20 points, the Chargers are six behind Alaska and seven ahead of Ferris State.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Mavericks: Minnesota State (21-6-1 overall, 16-4-0-0 WCHA) stands atop the WCHA with 48 points, eight ahead of second-place Bowling Green. The sixth-ranked Mavericks, who lead the nation in wins, have won seven of eight and swept third place Northern Michigan last week.

Minnesota State has the highest-scoring offense in the league and fifth-highest in Division I at 3.68 goals per game. The Mavs are lethal on the power play, scoring on 21.7 percent of their opportunities.

Two German juniors pace the Mavericks. Marc Michaelis has 29 points (13 goals-16 assists) and Parker Tuomie has 27 (10-17). Another German, Julian Napravnik, is in the running for WCHA’s top freshman with 15 points (5-10).

The Mavericks have also been stout on defense, tops in league play at 1.75 goals allowed per game. Freshman goaltender Dryden McKay has 21 starts this season, posting a 2.04 goals against with a .919 save percentage and two shutouts.

Minnesota State 2018-19 statistics

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on FloHockey.tv.

Friday, February 1
UAH at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#13 Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#20 Lake Superior State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 2
UAH at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#13 Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#20 Lake Superior State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.