Series Preview: at Bemidji State, Jan. 9-10

Times: 7:37 p.m. Fri, 7:07 p.m. Sat
Online video: (subscription)
Online audio: Beaver Radio Network
Live stats: Friday | Saturday
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @BSUBeavers

Back at it. UAH vs. Bemidji State.

The Chargers begin the second half of the WCHA league schedule with a trip to their old rivals, the Bemidji State Beavers. Both teams are riding unbeaten streaks and look to use this series as a springboard up the conference standings.

Both games from the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota, can be seen on Friday’s game begins at 7:37 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 7:07 p.m.

All-time series: UAH and Bemidji State have played each other 74 times, the most of any opponent in Charger history, starting with the 1994 NCAA Division II championship. BSU leads the series 41-29-4 overall and 23-9-1 in Bemidji. Last season, the Beavers won both games in Huntsville in UAH’s first-ever WCHA series, but UAH stunned BSU in Bemidji 2-1 before losing 4-1 in the second game.

Chargers recap: UAH (5-14-3 overall, 4-10-0 WCHA) swept a two-game series with a Division I opponent for the first time since Jan. 29-30, 2010 with a pair of one-goal victories over Alaska-Anchorage at the Von Braun Center. The Chargers moved into eighth place in the WCHA standings with 8 points, one point behind Bemidji State.

On Friday, Max McHugh scored twice and Cody Marooney added another as UAH built a 3-0 lead. The Chargers held on to win 3-2.

On Saturday, Marooney got his second game-winning goal, breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period for a 2-1 UAH victory. Brandon Carlson scored the first goal for the Chargers.

Carmine Guerriero stopped 58 of 61 shots for the series, raising his save percentage to .934, which is 3rd in the WCHA and 9th in Division I. His goals against average dropped to 2.31.

McHugh has taken over the rookie lead in the WCHA with 15 points. Jeff Vanderlugt, Jack Prince, and Chad Brears each have 10 points. Brandon Parker added a couple of assists in the series to raise his team-leading total to nine.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
4-10-0 WCHA (8th)
Record 5-10-3
3-6-3 WCHA (7th)
1.86 (9th) Goals/game 2.89 (5th)
3.00 (8th) Goals allowed/game 3.17 (9th)
16.5 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 10.7 (8th)
18.8% (2nd) Power play 16.2% (7th)
83.9% (6th) Penalty kill 79.7% (9th)

About the Beavers: Bemidji State (5-10-3 overall, 3-6-3 WCHA) will see its first action in four weeks after a lengthy holiday break. The Beavers are unbeaten in five games (2-0-3), most recently winning and tying Northern Michigan at home on Dec. 12-13. BSU’s schedule has been tough, with the first seven series coming against ranked opponents.

The Beavers’ top scoring threat, Brendan Harms, was expected to be out 4-6 weeks after an injury caused by a hit against Alaska-Anchorage on Dec. 6. Sophomore center Nate Arentz has moved to the top of BSU’s scoring list with seven goals and 14 points. All-conference defenseman Matt Prapavessis leads the Beavers in assists with eight.

Then there are the Baby Geniuses/Super Babies: Gerry, Leo, and Myles Fitzgerald. The freshman triplet, Gerry (center), Myles (right wing), and Leo (left wing) have combined for eight goals and 23 points this season.

The Beavers have split goaltending duties with senior Andrew Walsh (2.85 goals against, .900 save percentage) and freshman Michael Bitzer (2.66, .897).

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State 11-2-1 23
Michigan Tech 10-2-0 20
Bowling Green 8-1-1 17
Alaska* 7-7-0 14
Northern Michigan 5-6-3 13
Ferris State 6-6-0 12
Bemidji State 3-6-3 9
Alabama-Huntsville 4-10-0 8
Lake Superior State 3-11-0 6
Alaska-Anchorage 2-6-2 6
* Ineligible for postseason play

Around the WCHA: All 10 teams are seeing conference action this week.

While UAH and Bemidji State are bringing unbeaten streaks into their series, the hottest teams in the WCHA are meeting in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Alaska Nanooks have won four straight, while the 11th-ranked Falcons are unbeaten in their last seven.

And UAH-Bemidji isn’t the only rivalry series this week. No. 8 Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan have a home-and-home, playing in Marquette on Friday and Houghton on Saturday.

Tech will be looking to gain ground on league-leader and 4th-ranked Minnesota State, which hosts Lake Superior State. Ferris State, looking to stop a four-game slide, finishes their two-week odyssey in Alaska with a Thursday-Friday series in Anchorage.

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

Thursday, January 8

* Ferris State at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Friday, January 9

* UAH at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m.
* Alaska at #11 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* #8 Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior State at #4 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 10

* UAH at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Alaska at #11 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #8 Michigan Tech, 6:37 p.m.
* Lake Superior State at #4 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.

* WCHA conference game

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