As you may now, Nic Dowd is a Huntsville native who will lead third-ranked St. Cloud State against the Chargers this weekend at the VBC.
More on Dowd will come here on Thursday, but it brings up an interesting question: How many players from Huntsville have played college hockey but not for UAH?
Dowd is the third player to do so. The first was Carey Gandy, who played goaltender for Dartmouth from 1981-84.*
The second was James Patterson, who played four years for Denver from 1995-99. Patterson played 141 games for the Pioneers, scoring 45 goals and 94 points, and helped them win the 1999 WCHA playoff championship. Patterson played for the Huntsville Channel cats in 1999-2000 and 2003-04, and captained the Huntsville Havoc from 2004-08.
But Denver never played UAH during that time, so Dowd was the first to face his hometown team last season when the Chargers visited St. Cloud. He’ll be the first to do so in Huntsville this weekend.
Two other Huntsville natives are currently playing in Division III. Hunter Brown is a junior defenseman for St. Norbert, which won the national championship in 2012. Erick Ware is another junior defenseman for Potsdam.
So that’s five, which oddly enough is the number of Huntsville natives to see ice time for the Chargers since UAH hockey became a varsity program in 1985: Tacoma Kapustka*, Matt Parker, Jared Ross, Blake Thompson, and Troy Maney.**
The highest until this weekend was Nov. 13-14, 2009, when No. 5 UMass Lowell came to town and won 3-1 and 4-0.
Rarely do top-10 teams — or ranked teams in general — come to Huntsville. UAH has hosted only 10 games (five series) against ranked opponents since returning to Division I in 1998. The Chargers are 1-8-1 in those games, with the one win coming against No. 20 Niagara on Feb. 23, 2008.
The tie came the last time a top-10 team visited Huntsville: A 2-2 draw against No. 8 Bemidji State on March 6, 2010.
The only time UAH beat a top-10 opponent was when the Chargers shocked No. 5 Notre Dame, 3-2 in South Bend on Oct. 9, 2009.
Promotions: For Friday night’s game, kids 12 and under can help local area food banks by bringing a canned food item and receiving free admission. This is sponsored by Spirit Coach.
On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans will receive a pair of UAH Chargers thunder sticks.
Friday luncheon: The third Blue Line Club luncheon of the year will take place this Friday at noon in the Varsity Room in Spragins Hall.
St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko will be the special guest speaker. UAH coach Mike Corbett will follow to talk about this weekend’s series.
Terranova’s will be catering the lunch, which is $8 at the door but free to Blue Line Club members.
* Thanks to UAH hockey alumni Paul Scott and Bud McLaughlin for providing corrections and updates. If you know of any others I may have missed, email me at email@example.com.
** This may be on the test.