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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).

Seawolves break out in win over UAH

Alaska Anchorage scored three goals in the first period and cruised to a 5-1 win over UAH at the Seawolf Sports Center in Anchorage on Friday night.

Austin Beaulieu provided the lone goal for the Chargers, who fell to 1-19-3 overall and 1-13-3-1 in the WCHA.

Alaska Anchorage (4-14-3, 4-11-2-2 WCHA) moved into eighth place in the WCHA standings, jumping over Ferris State. FSU is seven points ahead of the Chargers.

Game two of the series is at 8 p.m. CST from Anchorage.

The Seawolves came out peppering UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair (41 saves), and took a 1-0 lead at the 5:28 mark. Nick Wicks put in his own rebound from the left side.

UAA led 2-0 after Tony deGraaf scored just three minutes later, having on open net as the puck came to him with Sinclair out of position.

Zach Nazzarett scored with five minutes remaining to finish a dominant 3-0 first period for the Seawolves, who outshot the Chargers 20-10.

The Chargers asserted themselves for the first half of the second period, outshooting the Seawolves 11-2 at one point, but goaltender Kris Carlson kept UAH out of the net.

But UAA would crank up the shots again the rest of the second period, thanks in part to two power plays, to close the gap. But Sinclair, who felt a little pain on one particular save, posted a scoreless frame himself.

Tanner Schachle scored at the 2:18 mark of the third period to make it 4-0, but Austin Beaulieu answered 18 seconds later with a snapper from the right side to finally put UAH on the board.

A scare occurred in the Anchorage end just under four minutes into the period. UAA’s Zach Masson shoved Peyton Francis, who went into the corner backwards. His back and head hit the boards, and UAH training staff had to escort him off the ice, likely for concussion protocol. Masson received a minor boarding penalty.

Nazzarett scored his second goal of the night to put the Seawolves up 5-1.

With 10 minutes to go, the Chargers had a goal waved off. Beaulieu’s shot hit Carlson and trickled down to the ice and deflected off Josh Latta’s skate and in, but officials ruled after video review that Latta made unforced contact with the goaltender.

UAA outshot the Chargers 46-36.

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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.

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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.”

Bemidji State takes 3-1 win over UAH

Not the way the Chargers wanted to return home and start the second half of the WCHA schedule.

Back at the Von Braun Center for the first time in 40 days, UAH lost to Bemidji State 3-1 on Thursday.

The Chargers (1-17-3 overall, 1-11-3-1 WCHA) had their chances with the power play, getting seven opportunities, but could not find the net in any of them.

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Bemidji State (11-7-3, 11-3-1-0), which sits second in the WCHA standings, got two power-play goals from freshman defenseman Elias Rosen.

UAH will try to snap its now eight-game winless streak in the series finale on Friday night at 7:37 p.m.

Rosen scored from the right side just nine seconds into Bemidji State’s first power play for a 1-0 Beavers lead at the 7:47 mark of the first period.

UAH tied the game at 1-1 at the 4:36 mark of the second, when Jack Jeffers picked up a loose puck around a BSU defenseman and then beat goaltender Zach Discoll five hole.

It was the fifth goal of the season for Jeffers, who was assisted by Connor Merkley.

“We want Jack in front of the net like that so he can finish in those areas.”

That was the only goal allowed by Driscoll, who stopped 23 of 24 Charger shots.

Bemidji State regained the lead at 2-1 early in the third period when Alex Adams finished off a cross-ice pass from Carter Jones at 5:49.

About six minutes later, Rosen found the net again on the power play to make it 3-1 BSU. The goal occurred with a two-man advantage following back-to-back penalties by Tanner Hickey and Peyton Francis. The Beavers finished 2-for-6 on their power-play opportunities.

“It was kind of a blah game,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We feel good about ourselves going into the third period. We made a bad change on the second goal, and then you get a 5-on-3 (against us). … We killed most of it, and then they get that one.

“We have to create some energy. We have to be able to make a play. We’ve got to make a play in a 1-1 game, and stay out of the penalty box.”

Meanwhile, UAH is 0-for-44 with the advantage dating back to its last power play goal on November 9.

UAH outshot BSU 24-23 despite a puck-possession advantage for the Beavers overall. The stats were pretty even between the two teams, including shot attempts (UAH 40-39) and faceoffs (BSU 30-28).

“What I’m proud of is that they’re playing hard, playing to win every single night. We got to get some leadership, we got to get that play at the right time to crack when it’s a 1-1 game. We’ve got to be able to take that next step as a team that way. And that’s hard in this league.

“At the Division I level, you have to have that second or third effort. They understand it, now they just got to be able to do it. We’ve had enough learning lessons and moral victories. We’ve got to get on the scoreboard sooner or later.”

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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.