Hoof Beats: Playoff push in the final 10 games

Ten games to go. It’s been a while since UAH hockey has had meaningful games down the stretch.

The Chargers find themselves tied with Lake Superior State for eight place in the WCHA with 20 points. UAH has two games in hand, and are two points up on Alaska-Anchorage The top eight teams make the WCHA playoffs, not counting postseason-ineligible Alaska.

UAH is only one point behind seventh-place Bemidji State, but also only four points behind Ferris State and Northern Michigan, who are tied for fourth. The top four get to host the first round of the playoffs. It will take some masterful play against some tough opponents to earn one of those coveted spots.

Here’s how the remaining schedule break down:

  • Away at Michigan Tech, Friday-Saturday: Arguably the toughest series is this next series. Back in November, the Chargers were swept by the Huskies, now ranked 8th in the nation, in Huntsville. The 4-2 and 5-2 scores at home were more competitive than last year’s games in Houghton, where UAH was blown away 4-1 and 10-4. Points here will go a long way.
  • Away at Lake Superior State, Feb. 13-14: The Chargers get a week off before heading to the Soo, where they’ll face a Lakers team fight they didn’t have the first half of the season, primarily thanks to the hot goaltending of Gordon Defiel. UAH and LSSU split their series in Huntsville back in November, with Defiel getting a 1-0 shutout.
  • Home vs. Ferris State, Feb. 20-21: UAH surprised many by nabbing a win in Big Rapids against C.J. Motte and the Bulldogs on November 21. The Chargers may benefit at home against a Ferris State team that has hovered around .500 while having trouble scoring consistently.
  • Home vs. Alaska, Feb. 27-28: It’s been a roller-coaster season for the Nanooks, who received a postseason ban from the NCAA in October. Alaska would love to play spoiler (and could very well) in Lance West’s homecoming, but the ‘Nooks have had difficulties on the road.
  • Away at Bowling Green, March 6-7: The Falcons have joined the upper echelon of the league this season, and could still be battling for the MacNaughton Cup in the regular-season finale. Could another MisuRocket™ stun the BG faithful and perhaps clinch a playoff berth for the Chargers?

What will happen? Watch for Geof Morris’s calculations on The WCHA Playoff Prediction Blog in the coming weeks.

Watch the boys on the road: Charger fans an get together to watch UAH hockey road games the rest of the season at two Huntsville locations.

On campus, UAH students can watch the games at Charger Union’s World of Wings, thanks to UAH Student Affairs.

Games can also be seen at The Office Break Room and Bar, for those who are adult beverage inclined.

Teets commits: UAH received another commitment last week, as John Teets announced he would play for the Chargers.

Teets is a 6-3, 200-pound defenseman from Fairbanks, Alaska, currently playing for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League. Teets has three goals and 13 assists for the Ice Dogs this season.

His Ice Dogs teammate, foward Adam Wilcox, committed to UAH back in December.

Also see: Penalty Box Radio had a feature Tuesday exploring the improvement of the Chargers this season. Justin Bradford talked with UAH coach Mike Corbett, rising star goaltender Carmine Guerriero, and top-scoring freshman Max McHugh about how the work the team has put in is paying off.

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