Hoof Beats: Offense boosting UAH’s solid start

Cody Marooney

Cody Marooney was named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week. (Photo by UAH Athletics/Doug Eagan)

UAH head coach Mike Corbett said before the season that he thought the Chargers would be able to “score a few more goals.” That certainly has been the case in the early going in 2015-16, and a big reason UAH is off to its best six-game start since 2004 with a 3-2-1 overall record.

The Chargers have averaged 3.67 goals scored per game through six games this season, good for 15th in NCAA Division I. Considering UAH averaged 1.08 and 1.63 goals per game the last two seasons, the increased offensive production is profound, even if it’s only been six games and the Chargers have yet to face the WCHA’s favorites. They’ll get their first chance this weekend at the Von Braun Center against Michigan Tech.

In the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, UAH scored four or more goals in a game a total of four times. The Chargers already have three games of five goals scored this season.

Brennan Saulnier currently is No. 1 in NCAA Division I in goals per game at 1.20 (six goals in five games). Saulnier missed Saturday’s game due to a one-game suspension by the WCHA for contact to the head late in Friday’s 5-4 overtime win at Lake Superior State. He’ll be back in the lineup on Friday against Michigan Tech at the VBC.

Saulnier is ranked 13th in NCAA Division I in points per game at 1.8 (nine points in five games), leading UAH’s prolific top scoring line from the left wing. Center Max McHugh is 26th (1.33) and right wing Chad Brears is 42nd (1.17).

Cody Marooney is tied for third in the nation in game-winning goals with two, both coming this weekend. He scored the overtime winner on Friday and the first goal of a 5-0 shutout win on Saturday at Lake Superior.

If there’s one part of the offense that has yet to consistently click, it’s the power play. UAH is 3-of-24 with the man advantage, a .125 percentage that ranks 42nd in the country. The Chargers were a combined 1-of-8 on the power play at Lake Superior State.

Players of the week: For the second time, UAH players earned two of the three WCHA player of the week honors on Monday.

Cody Marooney won the Offensive Player of the Week award for his aforementioned two game-winning goals at Lake Superior. He also had an assist in Friday’s game. Marooney did the same thing last season when he had two game-winning goals against Alaska-Anchorage.

Kurt Gosselin was named Rookie of the Week after a four-point weekend in his first two collegiate games. He had two goals on Friday and two assists on Saturday.

This week’s promotion: The Chargers host Michigan Tech, which eliminted UAH in the WCHA playoffs last season and is expected to content for the league title, this weekend. Puck drop is 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the first 500 fans receive the third set of UAH Hockey trading cards, courtesy of Wells Fargo.

On Saturday, the first 500 fans receive a free UAH Hockey puck, courtesy of SportsMed.

All kids 12 and under get free general admission, courtesy of Huntsville International Airpor

Blue Line Club lunch: Another home series means another Blue Line Club luncheon this Friday at noon in the Varsity Room at Spragins Hall on the UAH campus.

Bojangles will be catering, and the special guest speaker will be Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson. UAH head coach Mike Corbett will also speak to the group about this weekend’s series.

Tickets are $8, but free to Blue Line Club members.

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State 4-0-0 8
Michigan Tech 3-3-0 6
UAH 2-1-1 5
Alaska-Anchorage 2-1-1 5
Northern Michigan 2-1-1 5
Ferris State 2-2-0 4
Bowling Green 1-1-0 2
Bemidji State 0-3-1 1
Alaska 0-2-0 0
Lake Superior State 0-2-0 0

WCHA roundup: Michigan Tech comes to Huntsville this weekend after splitting a home series with Ferris State. The Huskies dropped out of this week’s USCHO.com poll. … Minnesota State moved to 4-0 in conference play after sweeping Alaska in Mankato. The Mavericks started the season 0-4. … Alaska’s Tyler Morley was also served a one-game suspension Saturday for a hit to the head on a Minnesota State player. … Alaska-Anchorage split with No. 12 Bowling Green in Anchorage. Bowling Green dropped to No. 14 in the USCHO.com poll. … Bemidji State and Northern Michigan skated to a scoreless tie Friday (by the way, UAH has never been involved in one of those), but NMU won Saturday to take three points in the series.

Friday, Oct. 30
UAH 5 at Lake Superior State 4, OT
Ferris State 4 at #18 Michigan Tech 5, OT
Bemidji State 0 at Northern Michigan 0, OT
Alaska 2 at Minnesota State 5

Saturday, Oct. 31
UAH 5 at Lake Superior State 0
#12 Bowling Green 2 at Alaska Anchorage 4
Ferris State 3 at #18 Michigan Tech 2
Bemidji State 1 at Northern Michigan 3
Alaska 1 at Minnesota State 2

Sunday, Nov. 1
#12 Bowling Green at Alaska Anchorage, 5:07 p.m.

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