In their their third home series of the season, the University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers took on the Ferris State Bulldogs for a chance to move up the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. Following a successful first period for the Chargers, the Bulldogs made adjustments in the first intermission and never looked back, scoring six unanswered goals to securing a 6-2 victory.
UAH didn’t help themselves earlier in the first period as Connor James took a hooking penalty at 1:38. Luckily for them, Ferris State’s Coale Norris took a tripping call at 2:07, negating the Bulldog power play. A few minutes later, at 6:31 of the first, the Chargers took their first lead of the game. Winger Connor Wood, forced a turnover in the neutral zone by intercepting a pass and taking it into the offensive zone. He got a shot on net, which resulted in a rebound opportunity that was banged in by Adam Wilcox, who notched his first goal of the season. A great note about this goal is that both Wood and Wilcox are Georgia natives, with Wood from Buford and Wilcox from Alpharetta.
It didn’t take long for UAH to extend their lead to 2-0. Huntsville’s own Josh Kestner put in his seventh goal of the season at 9:13. Fellow senior Brandon Parker tallied the assist on that marker.
A couple minutes later, Kurt Gosselin took the second penalty for the Chargers by being called for tripping at 11:50. UAH successfully killed it off, but almost immediately following the end of the Bulldog power play, Ferris State got on the board with a goal from Liam MacDougall at 13:55.
Overall in the first period, UAH played well defensively showcasing their speed and ability to block shots. Their sticks were active in the passing lanes and caused multiple turnovers. Goaltender Mark Sinclair, in his third game of the season, was also tracking the puck very well. After 20 minutes, Ferris State had 13 shots, while UAH had 12.
The second period was not kind to the Chargers as they allowed Ferris State to take its first lead of the game. UAH had three power play opportunities, but couldn’t convert. The Bulldogs came out very aggressive with their offensive attack and didn’t let up much. The teams exchanged a few penalties in the period, but neither team had success on their respective power plays.
At 10:49 of the second, Jasen Fernsler tied the game at two after UAH couldn’t keep a bouncing puck in the zone. Ferris State had a rush, and goaltender Mark Sinclair made a few saves, but Fernsler was able to knock in a loose puck.
The Chargers had more power play opportunities, but couldn’t seal the deal on them. Following good pressure by the Chargers, Ferris State notched a goal for their first lead of game at 17:25 of the second. Tyler Dorantes found Corey Mackin hanging out undefended in the slot where Mackin smoothly backhanded the puck through the five-hole for the 3-2 lead.
Less than a minute into the third period, the woes continued for UAH. Just 36 seconds in, Mitch Maloney gave the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead as he ripped a wrist shot past Mark Sinclair after the offensive zone face off was won directly to him by Jasen Fernsler.
Then, just a minute later, the Chargers had a five-on-three opportunity following Ferris State penalties to Jason Tackett and Tyler Dorantes. The Chargers never had a full change to set up and the Bulldogs killed it off. After the penalties expired, UAH had multiple shots on net, but goaltender Darren Smith stepped up with excellent saves to keep the lead.
Ferris State’s Mitch Maloney then added two goals in the third to complete the natural hat trick. He finished the night with four points.
The Chargers finish their home series against the Bulldogs on Saturday night at 7:07pm at Propst Arena.