It’s been a hard fall for UAH Charger hockey. But we all know that the ship is turning around, and we can rest our hopes in the future, which we all know is bright.
But with this off week between the 18-game fall and 20-game spring, it’s time for us to ask: What’s your favorite Charger hockey memory? Mine isn’t the 1998 national championship game, which happened my freshman year. It’s not Keenan Desmet’s overtime, game-winning goal in the last CHA tournament in 2010, a game that propelled the boys to their second NCAA appearance in four seasons.
No, my favorite Charger Hockey memory was UAH’s 5-4 overtime defeat of now-conference-foe Ferris State University at the 2002 UConn Ice Classic. “You’re crazy!” is probably what you’re saying. Hear me out, though:
- Everyone loves an overtime game winner. The radio crew loved Gerald Overton, and to see him bang that one in? Come on.
- Go look at the box: two runs of three straight goals. That game was exciting, end-to-end, barnstorming hockey!
- Two goals by Ryan Leasa! I love that guy!
- ONE OF THOSE GOALS WAS SHORTHANDED!!! Tell me the last time that you saw a defenseman score shorthanded. That team was lousy with guys who liked to put shorties in the net — yeah, you, Charlebois — but seeing a defenseman put one in was quality. Nine Chargers scored a man short in 2002-03, including Jeremy Schreiber, another defenseman, which I had forgotten until I looked at the scoring table.
- Two goals for the Zirnis-Ross-Bushey line, which is by numbers the most successful line of the modern Charger era, even if Igor was only on that line for part of a season. They were clicking that night, as was Charlebois-Hawes-Bresciani. That was quite the 1-2 punch.
- The best player on the ice got just one point — Chris Kunitz, whom you now see starring in Pittsburgh. He wasn’t a happy camper after that one.
That post-game atmosphere was fun. The two CHA invitees (Findlay, UAH) had taken down the home school (UConn) and the top-five ranked school. Remember, this was the Ferris State that won 31 games and made the NCAA tournament, the school’s first appearance in the dance. Joel Bresciani was grinning ear-to-ear. Even Coach Ross was in a good mood. It was a good time. I have a huge smile on my face just thinking about it. I was in the building for it, and it was glorious.
What’s your favorite Charger Hockey memory? Sound off in the comments on Facebook, tweet us back, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to know!