Oct 202017
 

UAH has got to beat Michigan Tech sometime. The Chargers have now made it a habit of getting close, but still need that key goal.

Michigan Tech rallied to beat UAH 5-4 on Friday in Houghton, Mich. in the WCHA conference opener for the Chargers. The Huskies (4-1-1 overall, 2-0-1 WCHA) are now 13-0-2 all-time against UAH (0-3-0 overall, 0-1-0 WCHA).

BOX SCORE

The Chargers arguably played their best game against the 15th-ranked Huskies, and held a 4-3 lead at the halfway point of the third period. But UAH’s penalty kill struggles continued, allowing three power play goals, including the one that relinquished that lead.

Jordan Uhelski did all he could to keep victory within reach, making 33 saves, including some critical stops in the third.

 

The game started inauspiciously for UAH, which is now 0-8-1 at Tech’s MacInnes Ice Arena.

A boarding call on Cam Knight just 25 seconds into the contest quickly put the Chargers on the penalty kill, which has struggled so far this season. And the struggles continued as Dane Birks’s blast from the left point put the Huskies up 1-0 at 1:41.

UAH weathered a cross-checking penalty on Brennan Saulnier before finally asserting itself on offense.

On a 3-on-2 break, Christian Rajic took a shot on Tech goaltender Patrick Munson from the high slot. Munson made the save on it and to rebound tries by Kurt Gosselin. The puck squirted out of the scramble to Rajic, who poked it past Munson’s right to tie the game with 13:15 left in the first.

Rajic’s goal, his first collegiate point, was assisted by Gosselin and Cam Knight.

The Huskies looked to take over the game with two goals in the middle of the second period. Mitch Reinke scored from near the blue line at 9:14, and Joel L’Esperance made it 3-1 Tech with yet another power play goal at the 13:16 mark.

The Chargers did not go away quietly, posting two power play goals of their own to finish off the second period. In fact, UAH was solid on that side of special teams, going 3-for-4 with the man advantage.

With 3:24 left, Saulnier notched his first goal of the season from Munson’s doorstep, deflecting a Brandon Salerno pass from the left point. Gosselin also got an assist on the play.

Josh Kestner tied the game at 3-3 with 1:14 remaining in the period. Tyler Poulsen took the puck in the right circle, waited for an opening, then slid it to Kestner in the left circle. Kestner then fired it top shelf past Munson for this second tally of the year. Knight was also credited with an assist.

L’Esperance almost put Tech up again in the final minute of the second, but Uhelski snatched the puck with his glove for a critical save.

At the end of two, it was even in just about every category. Each team had 20 shots on goal, three penalties, and two power play goals. UAH had a slight edge in faceoffs, 26-22.

With 12:29 left in the third, UAH took its only lead by converting its third straight power play opportunity. Kestner made a nifty pass to Poulsen in the right circle, close to the goal line, and found an opening past Munson.

Then came the Michigan Tech rally. After Gosselin was sent of for interference, Justin Misiak was left all alone on Uhelski’s doorstep, and Mark Auk found him. Misiak easily put in the equalizer with 9:48 left.

Then with 5:29 remaining, Jake Lucchini, who was earlier denied by Uhelski on a breakaway, scored the game-winner for MTU.

The Huskies outshot the Chargers 18-8 in the third and 38-28 for the game. Munson made 24 saves in net for Tech.

Game two of the series is Saturday at 6:07 p.m. CDT and can be seen on WCHA.tv.

Oct 072017
 

UAH had the shots against 8th-ranked Notre Dame, but not the goals. Not any.

The Chargers were shut out 4-0 on Saturday by touted freshman goaltender Dylan St. Cyr and the Fighting Irish, who completed the season-opening sweep.

BOX SCORE

UAH (0-2-0) had the benefit of 34 shots on goal and five power plays, but were bitten by last-second goals in the first and second periods by Notre Dame (2-0-0).

Mark Sinclair had 27 saves in his first collegiate start for the Chargers, who have next week off before travelling to Michigan Tech for their first WCHA series of the season.

The first period was set up nicely for UAH.

UAH had the benefit of three power plays in the first 10 minutes of the game, but could not convert. Indeed, it was Notre Dame which had the shots advantage at that point, including a couple of shorthanded opportunities.

The Chargers finally found some rhythm afterward, though, and was able to keep St. Cyr, the U.S. national development team product, busy. With about seven minutes left in the frame, St. Cyr denied a one-time shot by Josh Kestner after a great pass by Kurt Gosselin.

Despite the offensive charge by UAH, it could not find the net. But when Notre Dame finally got its first power play of the game with 33 seconds left in the period (a hooking call on Christian Rajic), the Irish, which had two power play goals on Friday, made them pay quickly.

Notre Dame pounced on a turnover, and Bobby Nardella found a wide open Andrew Oglevie in the left circle. Oglevie’s one-timer beat Sinclair with only a half second remaining in the first.

The Chargers had more shots in the first period, 15-11, but it was the Fighting Irish who led 1-0.

Notre Dame extended its lead to 2-0 on a similar play with 14:41 left in the second. Colin Thiesen on the right circle passed it to the left circle, where Jordan Gross, again wide open, released a one-timer past Sinclair.

UAH had 1:06 of two-man advantage after back-to-back penalties by way of Irish hits on Brennan Saulnier, but the Chargers couldn’t start a comeback. UAH finished 0-for-5 on the power play for the game and 1-for-10 in the series.

To make things sting even more, the Irish ended the second period with yet another goal in the final second. It was Oglevie who scored again, this time with just :00.1 left on the clock to make it 3-0 Notre Dame.

Matt Steeves added ND’s fourth goal with 10:11 to go, putting in a rebound as he was being tripped by Cody Champagne.

Hans Gorowsky had seven of the Chargers’ 34 shots on goal, which actually exceeded Notre Dame’s 31.

Cam Knight briefly went to the locker room after a collision with Notre Dame’s Dennis Gilbert laid him down on the ice for a couple of minutes. He returned late in the period and started the second period.

Oct 062017
 

Game No. 1,000 for UAH varsity hockey came close to being one of the program’s all-time upsets. While it came short of that, it did show that this Chargers team could have the tools to withstand some tough situations.

UAH never let No. 8 Notre Dame out of its sights on Friday, but the Chargers lost 5-3 in South Bend in the season opener for both teams.

BOX SCORE

Tyler Poulsen scored two goals for UAH in the see-saw affair, which saw the Chargers have a lead throughout a bulk of the second period.

Notre Dame had advantages in shots on goal (40-28) and particularly faceoffs (41-22). UAH senior goaltender Jordan Uhelski did his job to keep the upset chance alive with all the pressure around him, making 35 saves.

It was up and down for the first half of the first period, but the Fighting Irish asserted control in the second half. Notre Dame was able to get several close-range shots on Uhelski, who was up to the task with 16 saves in the period.

The Chargers were able to get nine shots on goal on Irish sophomore goalie Cale Morris, with Brennan Saulnier getting a couple to keep him on his toes.

The second period is when things went crazy, with six of the eight goals being scored and each team getting three.

Bobby Nardella finished off a power play from Brandon Parker’s hooking call late in the first to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds in.

If you thought that may open the floodgates for the Irish, you were quickly corrected. UAH answered right back as Poulsen scored the Chargers’ first goal of the season just 36 seconds later, redirecting a Saulnier shot from the right circle.

Notre Dame quickly retook the lead at 3:01, with Colin Theisen splitting the defense and wristing the puck over Uhelski.

UAH bounced right back yet again. Josh Kestner tipped a Hans Gorowsky backhander through the slot, fooling Morris as the puck passed to his right and in the net. Levi Wunder got the second assist for his first collegiate point.

In a span of 4:44, four goals were scored and the game was tied at 2-2.

After Nardella was called for hooking during a Kestner breakaway, UAH notched its first power play goal and lead of the season. Kestner had a nifty backdoor pass to Poulsen, who wrapped the puck around an open net as the Chargers took a 3-2 lead at the 7:17 mark.

Notre Dame tied it up at 3-3 with 1:30 left in the second when Dennis Gilbert’s right point blast through traffic beat Uhelski.

In the third, the Irish regained the lead on their second power play goal. Connor James was called for high sticking at 5:30, and just 20 seconds later, Jake Evans tipped a Jordan Gross shot to make it 4-3 Irish.

The Irish went 2-for-5 on the power play Friday, as the penalty killing struggles seemed to continue from last season.

The Chargers had a big chance to tie it up before regulation. Gilbert was called for slashing with 1:06 left, and with Uhelski already pulled for an extra attacker, UAH had a 6-on-4 advantage. However, Evans was able to clear the puck down the length of the ice for a shorthanded empty net goal for the final 5-3 score.

Game two of the series is at 6:05 p.m. CDT, and can be seen online at NBCSports.com.

Feb 252017
 

UAH was officially eliminated from WCHA playoff contention when Northern Michigan defeated Michigan Tech 5-3. But topping off the disappointing season was a 2-0 loss at Bowling Green on Saturday in the final game of the regular season.

BOX SCORE

The Chargers finish the season 9-22-3 overall and 9-16-3 in the WCHA. While the nine wins is the most for UAH since 2009-10, UAH will miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

Bowling Green improved to 17-17-2 overall and 14-13-1 in the WCHA. The win clinched the Falcons the fourth seed in the playoffs, giving them home ice in the first round against Ferris State.

The Chargers started off with a road sweep of Ferris State, held fourth place at the holiday break, and won seven conference road games. However, UAH left many points on the table, particularly at home, where the Chargers were 2-10-2.

UAH also had trouble against Bowling Green, which posted back-to-back shutouts behind their star junior goaltender Chris Nell, who made 38 saves Saturday. The Chargers were shut out for the sixth time this season.

Bowling Green scored first with 11:11 left in the first period. UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski made a couple of quick saves on a Falcon rush, but Tyler Spezia took a rebound, went behind the net and had an open wrap-around goal.

UAH had a whopping five power plays (of varying lengths) in the first period alone, thanks to five minor penalties against BGSU. The Chargers could not do much with them though: BG’s defense clamped down, and two power plays were killed by UAH penalties.

On one power play, a pass was intercepted by Sean Walker in the Falcon zone, and he took it near the length of the ice on a 2-on-1 break. His shot beat Uhelski high just after the UAH power play ended to give Bowling Green a 2-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first.

No scoring in the second period, but more penalties. UAH had two more power plays, one again killed by a penalty of their own, while Bowling Green finally got their first advantages of the night.

The same continued in the third period, making for a slow game lacking any real flow. The teams combined for 20 minor penalties.

UAH’s power play was stymied all series, going 0-for-11 Saturday and 0-for-18 for the series.

Shots were even at 38. Uhelski finished with 36 saves on the night.

Feb 242017
 

The Chargers’ playoff chances took a hit after an ugly 7-0 loss at Bowling Green on Friday night to start the regular season’s final series.

Fortunately for UAH (9-21-3 overall, 9-15-3 WCHA), Northern Michigan lost to Michigan Tech 3-2, keeping UAH one point behind NMU for the eighth and final playoff spot. But it means the Chargers must figure out how to solve the Falcons (16-17-2 overall, 13-13-1 WCHA), who have outscored UAH 19-4 in three games this season, or they are staying home for the playoffs for the second straight year.

BOX SCORE

The game was marred by 85 total penalty minutes on both sides. But Bowling Green was able to slam the Chargers with four power play goals on 11 opportunities. UAH was 0-for-7 with the advantage.

UAH also couldn’t contain Kevin Dufour, who seems to always have the Chargers’ number. Dufour had a hat trick, and he got the Falcons started with two goals in the first period.

At 10:23, right off the faceoff, Dufour broke away and beat UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero as the Falcons drew first blood.

About five minutes later, Dufour took the puck from the far wall, around in front of the Charger net, and scored on a backhander for a 2-0 BGSU lead.

Bowling Green extended its lead to 3-0 on the power play early in the second period after a high sticking penalty on Cody Champagne. Mitch McLain deflected a Mark Friedman shot past Guerriero at the 4:06 mark.

UAH’s best opportunity to get back into the game was after back-to-back penalties by the Falcons. Lukas Craggs made contact to the head on Hans Gorowksy, earning him a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

After 2:24 of the ensuing major power play, Mark Friedman cross-checked Josh Kestner, giving the Chargers a full two minutes of 5-on-3.

However, the Falcons would survive, as UAH had trouble getting set and Chris Nell making important saves to the delight of a relatively small but vocal crowd at the Slater Family Ice Arena.

The third period started with more penalties on UAH that made it difficult to get any rally going. Further, Adam Smith scored on the power play at the 5:14 to make it 4-0.

Then Dufour completed the hat trick with 13:06 remaining for a 5-0 Falcon lead. That too was on the power play.

The rest of the game was featured more penalties on both sides as several scuffles broke out. Both BGSU’s Tyler Spezia and UAH’s Brennan Saulnier each had 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Reminiscent of the Nov. 19 game in Huntsville, the Falcons added two late garbage goals by Frederic LeTourneau and Alec Rauhauser for the final 7-0 score.

Guerriero made 35 saves, but he was tagged with all seven goals. Nell stopped all 33 shots he faced for the shutout.

The Falcons were tied for fourth place with Ferris State in the WCHA standings coming in, looking for home ice in the first round of the conference playoffs.

The regular season finale is Saturday at 6:07 p.m. Central Time.

Notes: Brent Fletcher played his 138th game at UAH, setting a new program record. … UAH defenseman Kurt Gosselin was back in the lineup after missing three games for concussion-like symptoms.