Jan 142018

The Chargers scored in the first minute, but couldn’t muster much afterward in a 2-1 loss at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

The disappointing loss finished off a long road trip for UAH (8-16-2 overall, 7-11-2 WCHA). The Chargers went 2-4-0 in the continuous Bemidji-Fairbanks-Anchroage trip, and 3-8-1 in the 12-game stretch on the road.

Alaska Anchorage earned just its second win of the season and broke a 9-game losing streak.

UAH had won back-to-back games after a 4-2 victory Friday in the series opener.

The Chargers will have next week off before playing at the Von Braun Center for the first time in two months against Bemidji State (Jan. 26-27).

UAH pounced on a turnover in the UAA zone to take a lead just 48 seconds in. Tyler Poulsen got the steal, fed the puck to Brennan Saulnier, who found Connor Merkley in the slot, and Merkley scored his second goal of the season.

It was a team-leading 12th assist for Poulsen, and the sixth helper for Saulnier.

The Chargers had a 8-2 shots advantage at one point, but the Seawolves asserted themselves and started making life difficult for UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski. UAA outshout UAH 13-2 the rest of the first period, and at 12:43 tied the game as Alex Jackstadt poked the puck through a pileup in front of Uhelski.

The second period had a lot of hard hits, and the worst may have been on UAH sophomore winger Jordan Larson, who had just made his season debut Friday after a preseason injury kept him sidelined.

During a 2-on-1, Larson’s backhand shot went wide, and he was soon hit high by UAA defenseman Aaron McPheters. Larson was slow to get up, but eventually made it back to the bench. A few minutes later, however, Larson had to be escorted off the ice and to the locker room with his head down.

Late in the second, Hans Gorowsky received an elbow to the face by UAA’s Corey Renwick, who would get a major penalty. Gorowsky was shaken, but skated to the bench on his own power.

UAH couldn’t score on the major power play that bled into the third period, nor could the Chargers score on another major power play after David Trinkberger cross-checked Saulnier. Somehow Saulnier got an embellishment penalty, which shortened the power play by two minutes.

Anchorage killed the penalties unscathed, and with 10:19 to go, took its first lead of the series when Trey deGraaf’s second attempt got over Uhelski’s pad.

The Seawolves withstood the Chargers’ final barrage on shots on UAA senior goaltender Olivier Mantha, who stopped all 12 UAH shots in the third period.

Shots for the game were tied 29-29. Uhelski finished with 27 saves.

Jan 132018

Levi Wunder’s goal with 2:55 to go was the game-winner as the Chargers grinded a 4-2 win at Alaska Anchorage on Friday.

The second line of Wunder, Hans Gorowsky, and Josh Kestner was the spark of the offense for UAH (8-15-2 overall, 7-10-2 WCHA), which has won back-to-back games.


Wunder had a goal and an assist, Gorowsky had a goal and an assist, and Kestner had two assists before his empty-net goal, his 16th of the season, in the final second.

Alaska Anchorage (1-16-4 overall, 1-11-3 WCHA) has lost nine straight.


UAH scored first at the 3:54 mark. Kestner found Levi Wunder wide open driving down the left wing. Wunder centered the puck to Hans Gorowsky, who had an easy third goal of the season. It was the fifth assist of the season for both Wunder and Kestner.

UAH took a 2-0 lead on a two-man advantage early in the second. Brennan Saulnier whipped a nasty shot from the high slot, hitting the bottom of the crossbar at 4:14. Kurt Gosselin got his sixth assist, and Cam Knight his 10th.

Like UAH’s last game in Fairbanks, that 2-0 lead did not last long as UAA got on the board 1:19 later. The rest of the Charger power play was killed via a hooking penalty, and on the resulting power play for Anchorage, Austin Azurdia cut it to 2-1 as a puck came to him in front of a wide open net after UAH’s Jordan Uhelski made a save on Tad Kozun.

Anchorage tied the game at 2-2 just before the halfway point of the third period. Brandon Switzer prevented a UAA icing, then found Nicolas Erb-Ekholm all alone in front of the UAH net. Erb-Ekholm beat Uhelski high.

Then came Wunder’s game-winning goal, the second for the freshman. Kestner passed the puck ahead to Gorowsky on the left of Mantha. Gorowsky’s shot was saved, but the rebound went right to Wunder, who put it away.

UAA pulled Mantha for the extra attacker in the final minute, and Kestner scored unassisted with :00.2 left.

Uhelski had 18 saves in the win.

UAH shotout UAA 25-20 in the power-play-filled game. UAH had eight opportunities and UAA had six.

The series finale — and the final road game of UAH’s 12-game road swing and the regular season — is Saturday night at 10:07 p.m. Central.

Notes: Kestner now has 22 points on the season, giving him back-to-back seasons of 20 points or more. … Jordan Larson made his season debut, coming back from a preseason injury.

Chargers snap skid with win at Alaska

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Jan 072018

Jordan Uhelski made 35 saves as UAH held on for a much-needed 3-1 victory over Alaska in Fairbanks on Saturday night to earn a series split.

UAH (7-15-2 overall, 6-10-2 WCHA) snapped a six-game losing streak, and leaped back into sixth place in the WCHA standings.


Alaska (8-12-2 overall, 6-9-1 WCHA), coached by UAH alum Lance West, saw its three-game win streak end.

The Chargers will now head to Alaska Anchorage for a series next weekend against the Seawolves and finish off their 12-game road odyssey.

There was no scoring in the first period, although it was the Chargers who had the bulk of opportunities, outshooting the Nanooks 13-5.

However, Alaska goaltender Anton Martinsson continued where he left off at the end of Friday night’s game, making the big saves to keep UAH out of the net.

The second period was Uhelski’s time to shine as the Nanooks started to get the most scoring chances. Uhelski stopped all 19 Alaska shots on goal in the frame.

The closest Alaska came to scoring was after an initial Uhelski save, but the UAH defense was able to clear the puck from the crease after it started to trickle through.

UAH made nine shots of their own in the action-packed second period, and one of them gave the Chargers its first lead in weeks. Josh Kestner got the puck in front, went backhand to forehand to put the puck past Martinsson for this 15th goal of the season with 5:41 left.

John Teets, playing in his hometown Fairbanks, got the primary assist, his sixth of the season. Levi Wunder tallied his fourth helper.

UAH made it 2-0 with 9:18 to go when, right out of the penalty box from a tripping penalty, Austin Beaulieu broke away and deked Martinsson for his second goal of the season.

Alaska cut UAH’s lead to 2-1 just 24 seconds later, as Tayler Munson found Justin Young all alone in the slot, and Young was able to beat Uhelski.

That would be the only goal he would allow, making 11 saves in the third period for a total of 35.

Christian Rajic scored his eighth goal of the season, putting away the empty netter with 43 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Andrew Dodson was not in the lineup after suffering a concussion in Friday night’s game. Tyler Poulsen was also a late scratch for UAH.

Nanooks stun Chargers with last-minute goal

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Jan 062018

Alaska scored with 55 seconds left in regulation to hand UAH a 3-2 loss on Friday in Fairbanks, Alaska.

UAH (6-15-2 overall, 5-10-2 WCHA) has lost six straight games, falling to eighth place in the WCHA standings. Alaska (8-11-2, 6-8-1) moved up to sixth.

Game two of the series and 10th game in this long road swing is Saturday night at 10:07 p.m. Central Time.

Alaska took the early 1-0 lead at 6:17 of the game. Ross Heidt put in a rebound during a scramble in front of UAH goaltender Mark Sinclair. Heidt was assisted by UAF captain Justin Woods.

The Chargers then put on the pressure, and tied the game on the power play with 1:39 left in the first period. After he was boarded by Steven Jandric, Kurt Gosselin one-timed a Brennan Saulnier pass from near the right point for his fourth goal of the season.

Saulnier and Brandon Salerno each got their fifth assists of the season.

Alaska regained the lead at 5:35 of the second period, as Kyle Marino beat Sinclair on a semi-breakaway.

UAH tied the game again, right after a power play expired. Austin Beaulieu notched his first goal of the season from the right circle dot with 3:57 left in the second. Salerno got another assist, and Brandon Parker also tallied a helper.

In a bit of a scoresheet oddity, Josh Kestner had a hat trick of tripping penalties in the second period.

UAH had chances to take the lead late in the third, including a power play. They peppered Anton Martinsson, who make scrambling saves in the final two minutes.

And then just like that, Zach Frye’s blast found its way past Sinclair with 55 seconds left in regulation. UAH pulled Sinclair for the extra attacker, but to no avail.

Sinclair made 21 saves in his fifth career start, still looking for his first win.

UAH outshot the Nanooks 26-24.

Bemidji State takes down UAH again, 4-1

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Dec 302017

Bemidji State defeated UAH 4-1 on Saturday, completing a series sweep as both teams are moving in opposite directions fast.

UAH (6-14-2 overall, 5-9-2 WCHA) has lost five straight games and is winless in their last six. Bemidji State (9-6-5 overall, 6-4-4 WCHA) has won four in a row and is unbeaten in its last seven.


The Chargers, sitting seventh in the WCHA standings, will head directly from Bemidji to Fairbanks, Alaska, where they will take on the Alaska Nanooks next weekend and continue their stretch of 12 straight road games.

UAH was able to get more scoring chances to start this game, a carryover from the third period Friday night, but still had trouble finding the net. The Chargers have only scored four goals in the last five games.

However, it was Bemidji State that got the first goal again with 7:08 left in the period. Myles Fitzgerald had a shot from the slot in front of Uhelski, who made the save. The rebound was short and right to Jay Dickman, who slid the puck between Uhelski’s legs before Uhelski got a chance to cover.

BSU asserted more puck possession the rest of the period, finishing with 15 shots on goal to UAH’s nine.

Bemidji pounced early in the second period, with Zach Whitecloud scoring just 18 seconds in for a 2-0 Beavers lead.

UAH got on the board at the 5:13 mark, when Josh Kestner tipped in a bouncing puck over BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer to cut BSU’s lead to 2-1. It was Kestner’s 14th goal of the season and second of the series (scoring UAH’s lone goal on Friday). Levi Wunder and Richard Buri got the assists.

The first power play of the game didn’t come until 4:22 left in the second, and Bemidji State didn’t waste time converting. Adam Brady, who scored twice on Friday, found the net just 19 seconds into the man advantage.

UAH got its first power play with 2:48 left in the second. The Chargers couldn’t score, and with Gerry Fitzgerald coming out of the penalty box, Bemidji State had a 3-on-1. Fitzgerald’s centering pass deflected off a UAH defender and past Uhelski for a 4-1 BSU lead.

The Chargers outshot the Beavers 9-7 in the third period, but no scoring occurred. BSU had the shots advantage for the game, 32-23.

Uhelski finished with 28 saves.