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UAH gets ‘frustrating’ tie in wild game with Alaska

UAH had its largest offensive output of the season, but couldn’t hold on to a two-goal game late.

The Chargers and Alaska officially had a 6-6 tie on Friday at the Von Braun Center, with the Nanooks scoring early in the 3-on-3 extra overtime period to take two of three WCHA points.

But UAH (2-20-5, 2-14-5-1) held a 6-4 lead with five minutes to go before Alaska stormed back with two quick goals. The Chargers, who finally won their second game of the season last Saturday, were on the verge of back-to-back victories.

“Frustrating,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “These are the games that we have to learn how to win, and we’ve got to shut the door. You’ve got to play the right way from start to finish and understand situational hockey when the score is 6-4.”

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The Chargers will try to at least keep an unbeaten streak going in the series finale Saturday at 7 p.m.

The game was out of the ordinary for its high scoring, particularly for the Chargers, who had only scored more than three goals twice this season.

Daneel Lategan put the Chargers up 1-0 just 1:34 into the game, as his deflection in front beat goaltender Anton Martinsson. His fifth tally of the season was assisted by Liam Izyk and Bauer Neudecker.

Izyk quickly made it 2-0 at the 5:57 mark when he tipped a Tanner Hickey blast up the middle for his third goal of the season. Connor Merkley also got an assist.

The freshman Izyk has been heating up with a three-game point-scoring streak. He also had a goal and an assist in last Saturday’s win over Michigan Tech.

Alaska (13-13-3, 11-9-3-1 WCHA) got on the board with a power-play goal from the right circle by Tyler Kline with 7:17 remaining in the opening period.

The Chargers went back up two at 3-1 when Austin Beaulieu drove up the right side and beat Martinsson high with a wrister with 2:23 remaining. Christian Rajic and Lucas Bahn with the assists.

That concluded an energetic first period with each team getting 12 shots on goal.

“We started well, besides their power-play goal,” Corbett said. “We took care of our chances in front of the net. We got two tipped goals and Austin Beaulieu scores a nice shot coming off the wing.”

Alaska switched to Gustavs Grigals in goal to start the second, and made it a one-goal game almost immediately.

Nanooks leading scorer Steven Jandric beat Mark Sinclair on a backhander through the slot just nine seconds in.

The Nanooks tied the game when Kyler Hope, all alone in front, had two chances on Sinclair following a centering pass. The goalie stopped the first, but not the second, and it was 3-3 just short of five minutes into the second.

UAH regained the lead at 4-3 with 8:34 left in the period. Tyr Thompson, who had a shot hit the post just a minute earlier, found the puck in the slot and whipped it around past Grigals.

The Chargers went up two again on another tipped shot. This time it was Connor Wood getting his fourth goal of the season by deflecting Max Coyle’s shot from the right circle with 3:58 left in the second.

UAH had its season high in goals at five with a period to spare. And they weren’t done yet.

Markus Komuls scored with 58 seconds left in the second to trim UAH’s lead to 5-4, but just nine seconds later, Rajic scored on the doorstep off a centering pass from Beaulieu and it was 6-4 UAH at the second intermission.

Josh Latta notched his team-leading 10th assist.

The scoring got quiet for most of the third until the Nanooks tied the game at 6-6 on back-to-back goals 18 seconds apart with just under five minutes left in regulation. James LaDouce and Max Newton did the deeds for Alaska.

Alaska had the most of the third period, outshooting the Chargers 13-5. The Nanooks had a 43-28 shots advantage for the game. Sinclair finished with 37 saves.

Despite the six-goal output, Corbett says there will be changes to the lineup for Saturday’s game.

“Our group has to understand that this is unacceptable,” Corbett said. “If you want to be a team that gets into the playoffs, this is unacceptable, and it’s disappointing.”

No goals occurred during the regular 5-on-5 overtime, leading to the Chargers’ fifth tie of the season. They are 0-0-5 after OT.

Tyler Cline ended the extra 3-on-3 overtime quickly, scoring 29 seconds in. UAH has only gotten one point in five extra-point opportunities this season.

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Chargers end skid with win over Michigan Tech

The Chargers withstood the storm, and finally got back in the win column.

UAH defeated Michigan Tech 3-1 on Saturday at the Von Braun Center, ending the Chargers’ 12-game winless streak.

The Chargers (2-20-4, 2-14-4-1 WCHA) took a lead into the third period for the second straight night, but this time finished the job. On Friday, a 1-0 lead turned into a 4-1 loss.

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“The boys deserved it,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We played hard and we’ve been close many times, but we were able to finish it off tonight.”

Another solid performance by goaltender Mark Sinclair helped. The junior, who was a little under the weather this weekend, stopped 29 of 30 shots.

“I think we sweated it out of him,” Corbett said. “He played well. Mark’s been our guy all year. Once again, it was another well-deserved win for him.”

Michigan Tech (15-13-3, 10-10-2-0 WCHA), battling inconsistency in recent weeks and sit in fifth place in the WCHA, suffered a defeat to UAH for the third straight season.

The Chargers scored the first goal for the second straight night, and a bit earlier this time. Connor Wood drove toward the net from the right circle, deflected the puck off a Tech defender and past goaltender Matt Jurusik.

It was Wood’s third goal of the season. Ben Allen got his second assist.

UAH took a 2-0 lead with 2:23 left in the second period.

Bauer Neudecker drew a hooking penalty on a break after getting around a Husky defender. On the ensuing power play, Jack Jeffers pocketed in a loose puck in front for his sixth goal of the season. Liam Izyk and Christian Rajic had the assists.

“Izyk put it through the crease and I was lucky enough to have a wide-open net,” Jeffers said. “It was a great play by him.”

The goal wound up being the game-winner for Jeffers, who along with senior defenseman Connor James were left out of the lineup on Friday.

“Sometimes you sit a night and you get a little kick in the butt,” Corbett said. “And they know it. They’re two of our core players and they need to be our core players, and they responded well.”

It was an odd game for Neudecker, who committed three penalties. He had only one penalty in 61 career games with UAH coming in.

Michigan Tech dictated the action again in the third period. The Huskies cut UAH’s lead 2-1 on Tommy Parrottino’s goal in 4-on-4 play.

The Huskies had three opportunities on the power play in the third period. They pulled Jurusik for the extra attacker during the last chance after a Lucas Bahn slashing penalty with 2:14 to go.

“We always make it a little hard for ourselves at the end, but it was nice to get a win,” Corbett said.

UAH sealed the victory when Izyk scored from behind his own goal line into the empty net. It was Izyk’s second goal and the first short-handed goal for the Chargers this season.

The game was riddled with penalties, with each team getting 10 for 23 minutes. UAH went 1-for-7 on the power play, while Michigan Tech went 0-for-6.

“We just played period by period and you see what we can do when we play a complete game,” Jeffers said. “When we’re going up 2-0 going into the third, we have to win that game. From here on out, we’ve got to get points in every single game. You never know what can happen, and hopefully we can make a run at the playoffs.”

The Chargers still have a ways to go to get back into that WCHA playoff contention. UAH is eight points behind Alaska Anchorage for the eighth and final spot with eight games remaining and two games in hand.

UAH hosts Alaska, which is currently fourth in the league, next weekend at the VBC.

“We’ve got to beat some really good teams,” Corbett said. “We’ve got to beat the teams that are in the top three or four. To me, that’s the challenge. We put ourselves in this position, now we’ve got to be able to go for it.”

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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.”