Nov 222014
 

While UAH had a fine first two periods, the wheels came off in the third period, as the homestanding Ferris State University Bulldogs (7-6-0 overall, 4-4-0 WCHA) pulled away to win 5-2 and secure a conference split at the Robert L. Ewigleben Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  The loss dropped UAH to 3-9-2 on the season and 2-6-0 in WCHA play.  No worries, though: Bemidji lost, too, so we’re still tied with the rodents in the league standings.

The Chargers scored early again in this one, as freshman defenseman Richard Buri (Nitra, Slovakia) ripped a shot from the point off of a draw by freshman forward Max McHugh (Seattle, Wash.) to junior forward Chad Brears (Cold Lake, Alta.) just 2:29 into the contest.  The visitors then held serve for the next ten minutes or so, going on the power play at 12:10 when Ferris freshman forward Mitch Maloney (Macomb, Mich.) kicked freshman defenseman Brandon Parker (Fairbault, Minn.) behind the Chargers’ net and received a major penalty and match disqualification.

The hopes for an early 2-0 lead were quickly dashed when Ferris junior forward Matt Robertson (Rohnert Park, Calif.) picked up a puck along the wall in the Bulldogs’ defensive zone and saw sophomore teammate Chad McDonald (Battle Creek, Mich.) with time and space.  The pass was good for the first of Robertson’s four assists on the night, and McDonald went forehand-backhand before roofing the puck past the outstretched blocker of UAH sophomore netminder Carmine Guerriero (Montréal, Que.) for the first of his two goals just :16 into the major.  The SHG was the fourth that the Chargers have allowed this year.

Robertson made his presence known halfway through the second, stick-handling through the defense between the circles before finding Islanders draftee and sophomore forward Kyle Schempp (Saginaw, Mich.) for the go-ahead goal at 10:05.  The Chargers struck back a couple of minutes later when freshman forward Brennan Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia) fed junior defenseman Frank Misuraca (Clinton Township, Mich.) the puck at the point.  Misuraca’s strong shot bounced right to senior forward Jeff Vanderlugt (Richmond Hills, Ont.), who pounded the puck past Ferris senior netminder C.J. Motte (St. Clair, Mich.) to tie the game at two with 4:22 left in the second period.

And at that point, it was pretty okay for the Chargers.  They out-shot the Bulldogs 11-9 in the first and 12-9 in the second — more SOG in 40:00 tonight than they had in a full game last night.  But a facemasking penalty on Brears at 19:35 of the 2nd, combined with a cross-checking penalty to Ferris junior defenseman Brandon Anselmini (Guelph, Ont.) sent the teams to the locker room at 4-on-4, an option that isn’t to the Chargers’ strength.

McDonald struck :26 into the period off of a feed from Robertson, and it was on.  Ferris State outshot UAH 17-7 in the final frame, including a goal from sophomore forward Jared VanWormer (Traverse City, Mich.) at the tail end of Brears’s major.  At that point, it got rough.  Saulnier had already taken two cross-checking minors, and then he picked up a major high-sticking penalty.  Ferris killed the advantage :48 later, but then McHugh ran into Motte 1:56 into the major and 1:02 into the 4-on-4.

UAH was back to killing the 5-on-4 major penalty when Guerriero interfered with a Bulldog, sending Misuraca to the box, a place Frank has only been to twice this season.  1:01 later, Guerriero committed another infraction, this time sending senior defenseman Graeme Strukoff (Chilliwack, B.C.) to the box to serve his roughing penalty.  McDonald also went off for a misconduct penalty at the same time.  Mind you, there are still four seconds remaining on Saulnier’s major at this point.

Sophomore forward Matt Salhany (Warwick, R.I.) went off at 17:35 for roughing, and Schempp followed :11 for hooking.  In all, eight penalties were called in the third, three involving goalies, two by a goalie, and an extended 4-on-3.  The Chargers were at full strength just 10:25 of the second period, and that just won’t cut it.

Saulnier was really in trouble again tonight, and that just can’t keep happening.  Brears’s facemasking penalty was pretty borderline to my eye, as both players were making the same motions and it just seems that Chad’s fingertip got caught in a hole in the grid as he pushed the player’s head back in a scrum.

The Chargers came into the game averaging 15.8 PIM/G, but they racked up twice that tonight.  In fact, that average has been steadily climbing, with PIM totals of 16, 16, 16, 22, 18, and 36 tonight.  This has to be a worrying trend.  Yes, the PK was 8-for-9 tonight and has killed 29 of their last 32 penalties, but you just can’t keep doing that and expect positive results all of the time.

Special teams are indeed a strength for the Chargers, who have had positive events in 79 of 128 situations, a 61.7% rate that is second in the nation behind Harvard, but those 128 opportunities are tied for the third-most in the country with Colgate behind Minnesota-Duluth (138) and Miami (131).  But until guys like Salhany and fellow sophomore forward Cody Marooney (Eden Prairie, Minn.) have turned themselves into Steve Charlebois (1999-2003, Carbon, Alta.) or Jason Hawes (1999-2003, Perth, Ont.), the Chargers are playing with fire.

Ferris junior forward Kenny Babinski (Midland, Mich.) concluded the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:01.  Guerriero ended up with 30 saves and drops to 3-5-1 on the season.  Motte pushes to 7-6-0 on the strength of a 28-save effort.

The Chargers face Michigan Tech at the VBC next weekend.  The Huskies came into the weekend as the #1 team in the country, but Minnesota State swept them in two one-goal games in Houghton.  Look for the dogs to come a-barking.

Nov 212014
 

The boys are back.  I repeat, the boys are back.

The Alabama-Huntsville Chargers (3-8-2 overall, 2-5-0 WCHA) never trailed in this hockey game, scoring in the first two minutes and holding the lead for the next 31:08.  The homestanding Ferris State Bulldogs (6-6-0 overall, 3-4-0 WCHA) pulled even midway through the second, but two third-period goals pushed the home fans to the brink, and the Chargers held on for a 3-2 win at the Robert L. Ewigleben Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.

The Chargers are now 3-1-1 in their last five games.  Their last two-game win streak against Division I opponents came when that Cam Talbot guy was in net, backstopping the Herd to the 2010 CHA Championship.  The last stretch of at least 3-1-1 was also in 2010, when UAH won the replacement game from the Amy Bishop shooting at Niagara, lost by one goal and tied Bemidji at the VBC next weekend, and then beat Robert Morris and the Purple Eagles for that NCAA berth.

If you want to look at the last three-game winning streak, it also comes that season: two wins at home against Niagara, a road win there before being called home, then a home win against the Colonials.  Oh, and last night, Talbot shut out the Flyers and Bemidji alumnus Matt Read.  #CHAForever

There are three major stories to the evening’s proceedings.  They are: junior forward Chad Brears (Cold Lake, Alta.), an overtaxed but strong penalty kill, and sophomore netminder Carmine Guerriero (Montréal, Que.), who made his fourth start in five games.

Brears

Brears hadn’t lit the lamp all season, but he did it twice tonight on five shots-on-goal.  His first goal came at 1:48 of the first, when a splendid feed across the goal mouth from freshman forward Max McHugh (Seattle, Wash.) and an entry pass from senior defenseman Graeme Strukoff (Chilliwack, B.C.) gave him the time, space, and angle that he needed to rip the puck hard past Ferris senior goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire, Mich., 6-6-0, 15 sv).  The primary assist put McHugh temporarily atop the team’s scoring chart.

Brears would score the game-winning goal on the power play in the third, when a point shot rattled from freshman defenseman Brandon Parker (Faribault, Minn.) around and found his stick after touching that of junior forward Jack Prince (Leicester, England).  The assists for Parker and Prince pushed them to six points, alongside McHugh.  It was a fine night for Chad.  Cheers, buddy.

Penalty Kill

After giving up three, third-period power play goals against Air Force, the Chargers limited Lake Superior to one on Friday and none in ten on Saturday.  Tonight, the Chargers again had problems staying out of the box, committing nine minor penalties resulting in eight power play chances for the homesteading Bulldogs.  The Chargers nearly killed them all, but the Bulldogs struck gold on their seventh when sophomore forward and New York Islanders draftee Kyle Schempp (Saginaw, Mich.) scored to make it a 3-2 game.

A late-period interference penalty by Strukoff led to the Bulldogs pulling Motte for an extra attacker with around :50 left.  While you hate to see them get all the opportunities, the fact is that the Chargers have killed 21 of their last 23 penalties, a 91.3% clip that’s well above their season rate of 84%.

One concern that I (and I’m sure that many of you as well) have with all the penalties is that you take Prince off of the ice.  Anyone who’s watched UAH play even-strength hockey for any length of time has come away with good impressions of Prince and his freshman linemates Brennan Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Josh Kestner (Rocket City, U.S.A.).  Prince leads the team in shots on goal (30) despite losing ice time every time that his team is down by a man or more.  Saluter is second with 24 and Kestner fifth with 19.  With UAH mired at 1.92 goals per game, you want your volume shooters out there as often as you can.

Guerriero

What is there to say about Guerriero?  Last year’s squad struggled with puck possession, and when they did finally get it across the center line, they were often there just to dump, change, and chase.  What we’re seeing right now is a lot better than that, but it still starts between the pipes for the Chargers.  CG35 made 36 saves as the Bulldogs outshot UAH 38-18.  If he wasn’t the best player in blue out on the ice tonight — you could argue that Brears was — he was in the top two or three.

The confidence that exudes from Guerriero radiates out through his teammates, and it’s really clear to me that Parker and fellow freshman defensemen Cody Champagne (Brookfield, Conn.) and Richard Buri (Nitra, Slovakia) know what to do with the puck when they get just a little room to move it out of the zone.  Combine their work with that of Strukoff, senior Ben Reinhardt (Arnprior, Ont.),  junior Frank Misuraca (Clinton Township, Mich.) ,and sophomore Brandon Carlson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and the Chargers have a solid D core that feels like it improves every weekend.

But it’s always going to stop and start with the fantastic Québécois, who pushed his GAA down to 2.23 and his SV% up to .939.  The WCHA is clearly a goalies’ league, what with Motte (8th), Northern Michigan’s Mathias Dahlström (Smedjebacken, Sweden, 1st), and Michigan Tech’s Jamie Phillips (Caledonia, Ont., 2nd) all in the top ten of Division I net minders in terms of goals-allowed average.  Guerriero currently stands at 31st, but more outstanding efforts from him that are coincident with his teammates limiting shot opportunities and strongly possessing the puck could see him pick up his first collegiate shutout.  (I’m sure that folks in Bemidji might start in here by saying something about small sample sizes, but the only people that take that course at Bemidji are math majors, and …)

Random thoughts

  • The go-ahead goal from junior forward Alex Carpenter (Portage, Mich.) was a fantastic workmanlike goal.  He and Saulnier worked to corral a bouncing puck low.  Carpenter hasn’t gotten to play competitive hockey since 2010-11, his final year in the USHL.  After not getting ice at Western Michigan, he came to Huntsville and seems to have found a place to play after sitting out a transfer year.  Alex, we’re excited for you.
  • Sophomore forward Cody Marooney (Eden Prairie, Minn.) just kept popping off of my TV screen tonight.  He had two shots on goal, stick-checked a number of pucks, and was really active on the PK.  The Shattuck St. Mary’s product should be joined next season by his brother Joey.
  • Carlson (3), Brears, and Marooney were the only Chargers with more than one SOG.  I’d do something with ±, but they don’t have that for our players.

So the hopes for tomorrow:

  1. Six or fewer minor penalties, no majors.
  2. Fewer than 30 SOG.
  3. At least 28 SOG.
  4. A road sweep.

Keep up with the game tomorrow night, and we’ll be back then.

Oh, one last thing: while the Chargers are 3-1-1 in their last five matches, the hated Bemidji State Beavers are 0-5-0.  The teams are tied for sixth in the WCHA standings with four points apiece.

Nov 202014
 

The Chargers head to Big Rapids, Mich., this Friday and Saturday to face the Ferris State Bulldogs.

CATCHING THE GAMES
Times: 6:07 p.m. CT Friday and Saturday
Online video: WCHA.tv (subscription)
Online audio: WDEE-FM
Live stats: Click here
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey@FerrisHockey
More previews: UAHChargers.com
FerrisStateBulldogs.com

All-time series: Ferris State leads the series 9-2, including a 6-0 record in Big Rapids dating back to UAH’s first-ever varsity game in 1985. Last season, the two teams met for their WCHA series in Huntsville, where the Bulldogs won 5-0 and 3-2. The last time the Chargers were at Ferris State was in February of 2011, won by the Buldogs 5-2 and 5-1.

Chargers recap: UAH (2-8-2 overall, 1-5-0 WCHA) snapped a 31-game home winless streak against Division I opponents on Saturday and earned a split against Lake Superior State. The Chargers are 2-2-2 in their last six games.

On Friday, Carmine Guerriero stopped 33 of 34 shots, but the Chargers could not find the net as Lake Superior State won 1-0.

On Saturday, Guerriero started back-to-back games for the first time at UAH, and the Chargers responded offensively in a 5-2 victory. Jeff Vanderlugt had three points on the night, and was one of five different scorers (Cody Marooney, Richard Buri, Max McHugh, Vanderlugt, Jack Prince). It was the Chargers largest offensive output against a Division I opponent since 2010. UAH killed all 10 Laker power plays.

The Chargers now have five players with five points to lead the team: Max McHugh, Brandon Carlson, Jack Prince, Matt Salhany, and Brandon Parker. McHugh and Frank Misuraca each have three goals. UAH has 20 points from freshmen this season — a third of the team’s total.

Guerriero now sports a 2.27 goals against average (6th in the WCHA) and a .938 save percentage (4th in the WCHA).

UAH Tale of the tape
WCHA rank in parentheses
FSU
2-8-2
1-5-0 WCHA
Record 6-5-0
3-3-0 WCHA
1.83 (9th) Goals/game 2.27 (7th)
3.00 (6th) Goals allowed/game 1.64 (3rd)
15.7 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 14.4 (4th)
18.4% (4th) Power play 8.2% (9th)
83.6% (7th) Penalty kill 90.5% (4th)

About the Bulldogs: Ferris State (6-5-0 overall, 3-3-0 WCHA) finally exploded offensively in a sweep at home against Alaska-Anchorage. After scoring just 11 goals in their first 10 games this season, the Bulldogs put a 10-spot on the Seawolves last Thursday, then shut out UAA 4-0. FSU has won four of six.

The Bulldogs have been relying heavily on their senior all-star goalie, C.J. Motte. A top-10 Hobey Baker finalist last season, Motte has posted a 1.58 goals against average and a .948 save percentage so far in 2014-15.

Offensively, FSU is led by junior Matt Robertson, who has nine points (four goals, five assists). Sophomore Gerald Mayhew — who was the WCHA’s Offensive Player of the Week for his five-point weekend against Alaska-Anchorage — also has four goals, and sophomore Chad McDonald has five. Senior defenseman Jason Binkley has five assists.

Around the WCHA: It’s a marquee matchup in Houghton, as Michigan Tech — the new No. 1 team in Division I — hosts Minnesota State. The Huskies are the only unbeaten and untied team in the nation at 10-0-0 after a sweep at Bemidji State last week. Tech is 8-0-0 in WCHA play, while the ninth-ranked Mavericks are tied with Bowling Green with a 5-1-0 conference record.

This is the first weekend with all 10 teams in conference action. Elsewhere, Bowling Green hosts Bemidji State, Alaska is at Lake Superior State, and Northern Michigan is in Anchorage.

Here’s the schedule for league teams this week. All times are Central. Games involving WCHA teams at home can be seen online on WCHA TV.

Friday, November21

* UAH at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at #18 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* #9 Minnesota State at #1 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* #17 Northern Michigan at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, November 15

* UAH at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at #18 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* #9 Minnesota State at #1 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* #17 Northern Michigan at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Nov 202014
 

Alabama HockeyOn Tuesday, Arizona State surprised the college hockey world by announcing it was elevating its club hockey team to become the 60th program in NCAA Division I.

ASU will take over as D-I’s southernmost program from UAH by about a degree of latitude, although if you capitalize the S, UAH will hands down be the most Southern. There is a chance they may be joining us in the WCHA by 2017, although I would think the NCHC is more likely for the Sun Devils.

Naturally, not long after the press conference wrapped up in Tempe, speculation abounded on which will be the #nexthockeyschool in Division I. It includes the usual suspects: Navy, Rhode Island, Buffalo, Illinois.

Also, Alabama.

The Frozen Tide club team has been in existence since the 2005-06 season. The Tide is coached by former Charger Mike Quenneville, who played for UAH from 1987-89 during its first foray in Division I. Alabama plays in ACHA Division III and is a member of the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC), which is comprised of club teams from eight Southeastern Conference schools. The Tide won the 2012 SECHC championship at the Huntsville Ice Complex, and was runner up to Arkansas in 2013 and 2014. Alabama is 12-1 so far this season.

The Tide has seen growing support, with good crowds at their home in the Pelham Civic Complex (especially during the Iron Cup matchups with Auburn).

So what would happen if Alabama decides to make the jump to NCAA Division I?

Let’s be clear that there is no known discussion — or even rumor — of Alabama making that jump. For UA to even consider it, they would need to figure out answers to the three issues that come up for every prospective school that wants to join college hockey’s big time:

  • Money. Penn State got a $102 million donation from Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula to start up their team, their women’s hockey team, and build an on-campus arena. Arizona State raised $32 million in private donations. Where would the start-up funds come from? Is the school willing to budget $1-$1.5 million per year to support the program?
  • Place to play: The Tide could conceivably continue to play in Pelham, which is over 50 miles from the Tuscaloosa campus, as a start, but  I suspect they would need a true Division I facility in Tuscaloosa. Would they build an on-campus rink? Renovate Coleman Coliseum and add an ice sheet? Who would pay for that?
  • Appease Title IX: Penn State added women’s hockey to go along with the men’s team. Arizona State may add women’s hockey, or two other women’s athletic programs to stay in compliance. What would Alabama need to add, and how much would that cost?

One of the reasons this thought experiment is even possible is UAH. If the UAH hockey program had folded, it is hard to fathom Alabama adding an expensive sport like hockey when the closest Division I opponent is in Ohio (Miami, 550 miles). 150 miles to Huntsville? That’s much easier. Even with Huntsville, the Tide would have the same issue UAH has to deal with — lots of travel.

Could Alabama spur other SEC schools to add hockey, as some suggest may happen in the Pac-12 with Arizona State? That would involve similar investments at a number of schools, and you simply can’t count on that.

But suppose everything somehow aligns and Alabama announces that the Frozen Tide is joining NCAA Division I. What would this mean for UAH?

Obviously, as alluded to before, it means an in-state rival for the Chargers. Whether they’re in the same conference or not, it’s hard to imagine that the Chargers and the Tide would not meet four times a year because of the proximity alone. And it’s hard to imagine that it would not be a true rivalry, with loud, boisterous crowds for both. (I would think we’d get the Auburn faithful who despise everything crimson.) That would be fun.

Many UAH fans may resent the Tide because they represent the UA system, where a certain former chancellor did the Charger hockey program no favors. Now the Tide would get in on our turf? Heck no.

Then there would be the recruiting battles. Which school would capitalize more on the South’s growing hockey talent? While UAH head coach Mike Corbett maintains that we will still recruit everywhere, there’s no denying that keeping the best players from the South in the region would be a boon. Now add a team in Tuscaloosa, looking to take some of that talent. I’m not sure I can get behind that.

In the end, however, I can’t imagine Alabama hockey going varsity. Even for a big money school like Alabama, so much investment would be required just to start it up, and there’s no guarantee the return would be worth it.

UAH was able to make a niche for itself 30 years ago, turning a popular and successful club team into a Division II power and then back to Division I. We had the support and the facility to do it, but college hockey has changed so much since those days. We’ve been fortunate, and despite all we’ve been through, we’re still fortunate that we are able to build a Division I program today.

All I can say to those who think Alabama should be the next hockey school is: You can dream, and you can wish, but it’s harder than it looks. Much harder.

Nov 162014
 

Hey, UAH won at home tonight!

The last Division I home win was back in January 2011 over our least favorite rodents, Bemidji State, a game where Matt Baxter (Toronto, Ont.) scored two of UAH’s three power-play goals and an unassisted, shorthanded goal by (That Damn) Matt Read wasn’t enough to bring the Beavers level.  It may seem a little painful to think about all what I’ll write next, but I think that it’s important.  Why?  This is another turning point.  This is the way up.  This is our road back to .500.

So the last time UAH won a D-I home game:

So let’s talk about why they won.

“Our PK was 10 for 10, and our power play was 3-for-3,” junior forward Jack Prince (Leicester, England) said.  It’s not often that you can say that your special teams are 100%, and tonight it was for us.  When your special teams are 100%, that’s usually going to be a good result, and for us, tonight, it was.”

Prince’s power-play goal put the nail in the coffin in a 5-2 defeat of WCHA foe Lake Superior State University.  The Lakers fall to 2-10-0 (2-6-0 WCHA) on the season, while the Chargers improve to 2-8-2 (1-5-0).

There were significant changes to the lineup.  Senior defenseman Graeme Strukoff (Chiliwack, B.C.) was in and senior defenseman Ben Reinhardt (Arnprior, Ont.) was out.  Junior defenseman Anderson White (Caledon, Ont.) was in so that sophomore defenseman Brandon Carlson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) could play forward.  Sophomore forward Regan Soquila (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and junior forward Alex Carpenter (Portage, Mich.) left the forward rotation for Carlson and senior forward Jeff Vanderlugt (Richmond Hill, Ont.) respectively.

But the most important lineup move was one that didn’t make a change, as sophomore goaltender Carmine Guerriero (Montréal, Que.) again started in net for the Chargers.  His 23-save effort was enough to move him to 2-4-1 on the season.

For UAH coach Mike Corbett, playing Guerriero both nights was an instinct.  “He was the best player on the ice.  Matt Larose didn’t lose his spot.  [Guerriero]’s playing so well that we just had to give him the extra game.”  Throughout their tenure as a tandem, neither Guerriero nor Larose had started both nights of a weekend, though each had come to relieve the other for the bulk of a start before playing their full game.  The change surprised many, including both Michael and me.

When I spoke with Guerriero late last season, I asked him what he’d be working on over the summer.  I hadn’t even finished the question when he responded with one word: “Conditioning.”  It always felt to me that Corbett felt uneasy about playing either goaltender both nights regardless of the success from the Friday game.  Witness the Air Force weekend: after a solid night on Friday, Carmine gave way to Matt on Saturday, who stopped 36-of-39.  Even after stopping 61 shots in a game last season, Guerriero knew that he’d have to come back stronger for his sophomore campaign.

“I worked hard this summer with my goalie coach, and I think that it paid off, honestly,” Guerriero said.  He was effusive in his praise for his teammates — despite enduring 10 power plays, UAH allowed just 25 shots on goal.  “I was just there in case they needed me.”  When asked if he missed the extra work, he said, “That’s okay.  I like it.  It’s what I’m there for.”

Senior captain Doug Reid (Innisfil, Ont.) was elated after the win.  “It feels great, and it’s been a long time coming,” he said of his first Division I home win.  “We knew that we had to come in and compete.  We really out-worked them, and we got the result that we wanted.”

Reid praised his teammates’ work on the PK.  “We play a very disciplined game when killing penalties.  We know that we’re a defensive team, so our focus is to just get to the puck and get it out.”

The Chargers got goals from five different skaters.  Sophomore forward Cody Marooney (Eden Prairie, Minn.) got the first goal of the night with a shorthanded marker that came most of the way through a bench minor served by Prince for too many men on the ice.  Marooney forced a turnover with pressure and sliced right through the Laker defense and past freshman netminder Gordon Defiel (Stillwater, Minn.), who had just 25 saves on the night.

Freshman defenseman Richard Buri (Nitra, Slovakia) scored fifteen seconds after serving a minor tripping penalty to push the Chargers to 2-0 5:22 into the second period.  Laker goals off of the sticks of senior forward and assistant captain Chris Ciotti (Oxford, Mich.) and sophomore forward Garret Clemment (Wausau, Wisc.) knotted the game up at two apiece with just 3:23 left in the second.

But a tripping penalty by sophomore forward Gus Correale (Prince George, B.C.) set up the Chargers’ power play with their first opportunity of the night after killing seven Laker power plays.  Freshman forward Max McHugh (Seattle, Wash.) made the Lakers pay for their sin a minute into the advantage, and the Chargers would retain a one-goal lead into the third.

The UAH offense would turn into overdrive in the final frame, peppering Defiel with ten shots, including a power-play marker by Vanderlugt in his first action in two weeks.  Prince would roof the puck to finish the Lakers off, laughing off an early miscue.  “I had a wide open net early and hit the post, and I knew then that it would be a long night.”

The Chargers travel to Ferris State next weekend for a tilt against the tough Bulldogs, who nearly doubled their season scoring output with fourteen goals this weekend against Alaska-Anchorage.  “I’m super excited,” Guerriero said.  “It’s a nice rink and very rowdy.  We just want to keep up this momentum that the boys have and pick up two W’s on the road.”

And then there’s Michigan Tech in two weeks, who are the likely #1 when the next round of polls come out, as they defeated Bemidji State tonight to move to 10-0-0 (thanks, boys) while the other unbeaten all lost this weekend.  “I’m excited for that as well,” Guerriero said.  “It’s a challenge, and we want the opportunity to show everyone what we’re capable of.”  The Huskies go to Mankato next weekend to face the Mavericks, and the Verizon Wireless Center is a tough place to play.  That said, the Huskies are rolling right now, and we could have the #1 team in town the day after Thanksgiving.