The University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers entered tonight’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association match-up against the Minnesota State Mavericks coming off of a stellar overtime victory against Bowling Green State University. Riding a five-game winning streak, the Mavericks stormed out of the gates during the first period, putting up twenty shots compared to just five for the Chargers.
Holding the Mavericks scoreless until 12:45 of the first, UAH goaltender, Matt Larose, was not able to stop Dylan Margonari (from Teddy Blueger and Zach Stepan) on the power play. The remainder of the period saw a multitude of shots from Minnesota State, as they peppered Larose with 20 total shots for the period. Larose stopped 19 of 20 in the first, as the team in front of him was only able to put five shots on the net defended by Cole Huggins.
Coach Mike Corbett must have said something to spark his team, as the Chargers came out rolling in the second period. UAH was able to double their shot total in just under four minutes. The pressure was so consistent that Minnesota State was forced to take a timeout to slow the Chargers down. In back-to-back power plays, UAH was able to generate scoring opportunities, but the Mavericks came up big, with multiple players stepping up and using their bodies to block shots. This included a wide-open net block by Chase Grant on a shot by Brandon Carlson. Neither team was able to register a goal during the period, but at the end of the second, Minnesota continued to lead in shots, 32-16.
The Chargers began the third period on the power play but were never able to completely set up and were unable to convert. There were a few near-miss chances, but Huggins was stoned the Chargers on every opportunity. At 3:46 of the third, UAH finally gets on the board after a flurry of attempts with a goal from Jack Prince, his second of the season (from Matt Salhany and Joakim Broberg). The Chargers were unable to hold on to the tie and Minnesota State regains the lead less than a minute later as JP Lafontaine netted his seventh of the season on the power play (from Johnny McInnis and Matt Leitner). The Mavericks add the lead and make it 3-1 at 7:41 when Zach Lehrke puts in his third goal of the season (Mat Knoll and Blueger). After what should have been a momentum-changing goal by UAH, they quickly allow two goals, completely diminishing all of the momentum built during the second and early third. Continuing their strong play, Minnesota State converted again on the power play where McInnis notched his sixth of the season at 14:16 with assists from Lafontaine and Leitner. The Chargers had multiple chances early on in the third, but Minnesota State was able to dominate the rest of the game, shutting down UAH to a final score of 4-1. Total shots: UAH – 22, Minnesota State – 49.
Below are our post-game interviews with Jack Prince and head coach Mike Corbett: