HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The homestanding Alabama-Huntsville Chargers are still looking for their first home-ice win of the season after losing 3-2 to visiting Yale University in front of 2,773 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Fans of the Chargers, who started slowly in 2006-07 but finished with an upset tournament win in the College Hockey America tournament, saw their team again fall behind early as Michael Karwoski carried the puck strongly into the zone and fired a shot glove-side on Chargers’ netminder Blake MacNicol, and then put home his own rebound with just 4:29 gone in the first period.
The teams skated the remainder of the first period without scoring, although both teams had several solid flourishes without lighting the lamp. The lamp didn’t stay dark long in the second, though, when Sean Backman dug the puck out of the stick-side corner on a power play and found Matthew Thomey right in the slot to open up a two-goal advantage on the Chargers.
Chargers’ coach Danton Cole was happy with his team’s overall effort and how they rallied after going down early in the second.
“We did most things quite a bit better. In the end, though, there’s another word for coming close: losing. It’s tough on our guys, because they haven’t won a lot, but they went down 2-0 and didn’t bat an eye.”
It wasn’t long before the Chargers answered the Elis. Junior center Joe Federoff found captain Scott Kalinchuk cheating in from the blue line and fed him a one-timer near the crease that Kalinchuk banged home to bring the game back to a one-goal deficit just 4:01 into the second. Joey Koudys knotted the game at two when he and fellow freshman Chris Fairbanks worked a two-on-one past Yale netminder Billy Blase for Koudys’s first collegiate goal.
The Chargers never went higher on the scoreboard, while the visitors surged when Jeff Anderson found space on MacNicol’s stick side to score the game-winning goal with just :28 left in the second.
Cole was disappointed, saying, “We were really good physically all night, and then we take our eyes off for a second, miss a guy, and let them walk in a goal the last minute of the period.”
Both teams had their chances in the third, but both Blase and MacNicol stopped every puck thrown at them as Yale won its first hockey game south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The two teams meet again on Saturday night at 7:05 at the Von Braun Center to finish their two-game, non-conference series.