Minnesota-Duluth 4, UAH 2

uahvsumdUAH came out of the gate strong, but two power play goals propelled Minnesota-Duluth to a 4-2 win Friday night in Duluth to open the Chargers’ final series of the season.

The Chargers kept the Bulldog faithful quiet throughout most of the first period, and took the first lead at the 8:16 mark. Lasse Uusivirta scored his first goal of the season on a wide-open net, fed with a cross-ice pass by Graeme Strukoff. It was Strukoff’s sixth assist of the season, and Steven Koskey also got his fifth helper.

But it was Duluth who dominated the period with 20 shots on goal to UAH’s nine. Johnny Griggs had to make several sprawling saves, but a big rebound allowed the Bulldogs to tie the game late. Joe Basaraba’s shot bounced off Griggs, then Tony Cameranesi’s knocked in the rebound to even the score at one with seven seconds to go.

Although UMD couldn’t apply as much pressure in the second period, the Bulldogs still came away with two goals.  Chris Casto rifled one just under the crossbar over Griggs’ glove at 2:25 for a 2-1 Duluth lead. Cody Danberg then backhanded a loose puck past Griggs with 3:20 left in the period to make it 3-1 UMD.

UAH cut the lead to 3-2 early in the third, as Doug Reid was fortunate after flipping it on net from an awkward angle closer to the corner.

But the Bulldogs regained the two-goal advantage on the power play. Cal Decowski’s pass across the crease found Justin Crandall on the doorstep.

Griggs got a workout, making 38 saves on 42 Bulldog shots on goal.

The boys face off with UMD tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m. to finish the 2012-13 season.

Catching the Game: at Minnesota-Duluth, March 1-2

uahvsumdAfter another three-week break, UAH finishes up the 2012-13 campaign at Minnesota Duluth on Friday and Saturday. The boys will be looking to send the program into the WCHA on a high note.

The Chargers and Bulldogs met for the first time last season in Duluth. UMD was the defending national champion and top-ranked team in the country, but UAH played them close and lost 2-1 and 4-3.

Duluth isn’t ranked this time around, sporting a losing record (10-17-5) and holding ninth place in its last season in the WCHA. The Bulldogs, who will join the National Collegiate Hockey Conference next season, are winless in their last nine games.

The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. CT both nights. Live video, live stats, and live tweets will be available.