Hoof Beats: Larose’s big weekend earns WCHA weekly award

Matt Larose

Matt Larose earned his first WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award for his play against Minnesota State. (Photo by UAH Athletics)

Sure, there were some crazy plays this weekend that drew a lot of attention and allowed the Chargers to steal a couple of points from first-place Minnesota State and keep their playoff hopes alive. But it was the play of junior goaltender Matt Larose that gave UAH any chance at all.

Larose was named the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Larose stopped 83 of 87 Minnesota State shots on goal, including a combined 13 in both overtimes, as UAH got two ties against the 17th-ranked Mavericks at home.

In Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Larose made 49 saves, the most by any WCHA goaltender this season. He had 27 saves in Friday’s 3-3 tie.

Larose has started four straight games for the Chargers, the longest stretch of his UAH career, and six of the last seven. In that span, he has posted a .942 save percentage and 2.09 goals against average. For the season, his .931 save percentage is third-best in the WCHA, and his 2.24 goals against average is seventh.

Ties ties: You might have heard that there have been a plethora of ties in the WCHA this season, to where some have wondered if the WCHA should change its overtime procedures to reduce their frequency or outright eliminate them. Ties haven’t been much of an issue for UAH until recently with the two ties against Minnesota State over the weekend and three in its last six games.

The two ties against the WCHA leaders and defending champions was unexpected enough, but getting two ties in a series has been very rare in UAH’s program history. The only other time it happened was Oct. 22-23, 1999, at home against Mercyhurst.

With five, the Chargers have tied the season record for ties in a season, set in 2008-09. UAH has had seven overtime games this season (with a record of 1-1-5), two shy of the club record of nine set in 2002-03 (3-3-3).

McHugh impact: He’s only a sophomore, but Max McHugh already has as many career points as any current Charger. McHugh has 44 career points, which is tied with senior Chad Brears.

The difference is McHugh has done it through 66 career games at UAH, while Brears has played 120. It not a bad rate of production.

McHugh has more career assists with 26, and only trails Brears by one goal (19-18).

Save the date: The Frenchy Open, the program’s biggest summer fund-raising golf tournament, is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, at 8 a.m. at Hampton Cove Golf Course. Registration details will come soon.

The alumni hockey game will be Friday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Huntsville Ice Plex.