College Hockey:
Chargers Fight Off Second-Period Findlay Outburst

— Alabama-Huntsville fought off four second-period goals by the Findlay to maintain its hold on fourth place in College Hockey America with a 5-4 victory Friday night in front of 1,963 at the Von Braun Civic Center.

UAH took the early lead as defenseman Ryan Leasa skated up on a breakaway and scored with 3:41 left in the first period. Leasa’s shot crossed the line just before he crashed into Oiler netminder Jamie VandeSpyker.

Findlay answered with a four-goal flurry on 20 total shots in the second. Senior defenseman Brant Somerville, now just three points shy of the Findlay career record, tallied the Oilers’ first goal 2:57 into the period. He was followed by right winger Lee Arnold, who put the puck past junior netminder Mark Byrne at 4:24.

UAH responded by tallying two quick goals. Charger right winger Steve Milosevski skated onto the ice in a partial line change, took the puck from freshman center Jared Ross, and put home a wrister past VandeSpyker to tie the game at two. Junior winger Karlis Zirnis put UAH back ahead after taking a rebound off a hard Tyler Butler slapshot into the left leg pad of VandeSpyker and sending it top shelf with a wrister.

Not to be outdone, freshman winger Rigel Shaw answered the UAH tallies with two straight goals four minutes apart. After a Gerald Overton elbow put the Oilers on the power play at 13:29, Shaw scored at 13:55 with assists from Brent Somerville and Andy Croak. Shaw followed that up with an even-strength goal at 17:55, with the assists going to Nick Udovicic and Mark Bastl.

Alabama-Huntsville controlled the next period, though, as junior right winger Joel Bresciani tying the game at four goals apiece on a breakaway at 3:43 of the third. Junior center Jason Hawes scored three minutes later to knot the game at 5-4.

After the game, UAH head coach Doug Ross was pleased that the Chargers had overcome a long losing streak and injuries to win the game.

“It was good to win this game; it was hard fought, and Findlay’s a tough young team. But I told our guys before the game that they could come out and get this done.”

UAH improved to 12-14-1 overall [6-6-1 CHA], while Findlay slipped to 10-15-2 [4-8-1 CHA]. The two teams will skate out again at 7:05 Central time Saturday at the VBCC.

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