Hoof Beats: Larose wins WCHA rookie of the week

Matt Larose won the WCHA Rookie of the Week Award on March 4, 2014.

Courtesy Joey Daniels, UAH Sports Information

Friday’s performance in UAH’s 2-1 win at Bemidji State earned freshman goaltender Matt Larose the WCHA Rookie of the Week award.

Larose, of Nanaimo, British Columbia, stopped 40 of 41 shots as the Chargers won in Bemidji for the first time since 2007. It was his third straight start with 40 or more saves.

Princely highlight: The goal that won Friday’s game was by Jack Prince, and it was featured in Wednesday’s WCHA Plays of the Week (see the :22 mark in the video below). It was Prince’s sixth goal of the season, tying for the team lead.

Blue Line Club luncheon: The eighth and final Blue Line Club luncheon is Friday at noon in the Varsity Room at Spragins Hall. Northern Michigan head coach Walt Kyle is the special guest, and he and UAH coach Mike Corbett will talk about the final series of the regular season.

Terranova’s is catering the lunch, which is $8 at the door and free to Blue Line Club members.

BhjSCQlCMAAoCtSFriday tailgate: Get ready for Friday night’s game against NMU with a tailgate party outside Propst Arena. There will be free food, entertainment, and parking from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

UAH students who ride the chartered buses from campus to Propst Arena will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize. The first 100 students to arrive get a free taco or cupcake.

The party is sponsored by Downtown Huntsville Inc., in conjunction with UAH, the UAH Blue Crew and the UAH Student Government Association.

Weekend promotions: All general admission tickets to both Friday and Saturday night’s games are free, courtesy of Huntsville International Airport.

On Friday, the first 500 fans will receive a set of UAH hockey trading cards.

Saturday is Senior Night, as the Chargers’ four seniors, Alex Allan, Brice Geoffrion, C.J. Groh, and Mat Hagen will be honored before the game. The first 500 fans will receive a free Saturn V mini rocket, courtesy of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. It’s also  Huntsville International Airport is also giving away a $500 airline voucher.

Around the WCHA: This is it. A crazy-tight race for playoff positioning comes down to the final weekend.

Long story short: Either Ferris State or Minnesota State (or both) will win the MacNaughton Cup as regular season champions, with tie-breakers possibly needed for seeding. Ferris State had a rough go in Fairbanks, getting swept by the Nanooks. Couple in Minnesota State’s sweep at Lake Superior and we have a tie at the top with 38 points.

Ferris State dropped to 7th in the latest USCHO.com poll, while Minnesota State went up to No. 17. Alaska received votes.

Elsewhere, Bowling Green split at Northern Michigan. Now third through ninth is separated by five points, and the top eight teams make the WCHA playoffs.

It goes without saying: All five remaining league series mean something in this final regular-season weekend. Bemidji State, which might be rooting for UAH now, is at Bowling Green. The top seed may be won in Big Rapids, where Ferris State hosts Lake Superior, or Mankato, where Minnesota State hosts Michigan Tech. And first-round hosting duties and bragging rights are on the line in the Governor’s Cup as Alaska hosts Alaska-Anchorage.

WCHA Standings Conference Overall
GP W L T Pts W L T
y-Minnesota State 26 19 7 0 38 21 13 0
y-Ferris State 26 18 6 2 38 23 9 3
x-Alaska 26 13 11 2 28 16 12 4
x-Michigan Tech 26 12 10 4 28 14 16 6
Alaska-Anchorage 26 11 11 4 26 15 13 4
Bowling Green 26 11 11 4 26 14 14 6
Lake Superior State 26 12 14 0 24 16 17 1
Bemidji State 26 10 12 4 24 10 17 7
Northern Michigan 26 11 14 1 23 13 19 2
Alabama-Huntsville 26 2 23 1 5 2 33 1

x-Clinched playoff berth.
y-Clinched home ice in first round.

All times Central.
* WCHA game.

Friday, March 7
* Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* Michigan Tech at Minnesota State, 7:37 p.m.
* Alaska-Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, March 8
* Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* Michigan Tech at Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
* Alaska-Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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