Series Preview: at Bemidji State, Feb. 26-27

Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 – 7:37 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 – 7:07 p.m.
Team statistics: UAH | Bemidji State

It’s do or die for the Chargers as they face rival Bemidji State for the 79th and 80th times.

UAH will need wins and some help to avoid being eliminated from WCHA playoff contention.

UAH is five points behind Alaska Anchorage for eighth place in the WCHA standings, the final conference playoff spot. Meanwhile, Bemidji State, sitting in sixth place, looks to lock their spot in the playoffs.

Matchup history: Bemidji State leads the all-time series over UAH at 45-29-4, including a 25-9-1 record in Bemidji. The teams met in Huntsville around Thanksgiving this season, with the Beavers taking a pair of 4-1 wins. BSU has won 33 of the last 40 meetings.

Charger recap: UAH (6-19-5 overall, 4-15-5 WCHA) was swept at Northern Michigan last week in Marquette.

On Friday, three first-period goals was all NMU needed to win 3-0. Matt Larose stopped 28 of 31 shots but UAH could not solve goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom. Larose’s .929 save percentage this season is second-best in the WCHA and 14th-best in Division I.

On Saturday, Brent Fletcher put UAH on the board first in the first period, but NMU rallied with three unanswered for a 3-1 victory. Carmine Guerriero made 32 saves.

While the Chargers had a rough time offensively, they have already scored more goals this season then last. UAH has 63 goals in 30 games, compared to 62 goals in 38 games last season.

LEADING SCORERS: Max McHugh (So., 6-15–21, 30 GP), Chad Brears (Sr., 9-8–17, 26 GP), Brennan Saulnier (So., 6-11–17, 26 GP), Brandon Parker (So., 2-8–10, 30 GP), Matt Salhany (Jr., 3-6–9, 29 GP), Kurt Gosselin (Fr., 2-7–9, 25 GP)

GOALTENDING: Carmine Guerriero (Jr., 3.10 GAA, .904 SV%, 17 GP), Matt Larose (Jr., 2.30 GAA, .929 SV%, 14 GP)

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
Bemidji State
6-19-5 Overall record 14-13-5
4-15-5 (10th) WCHA record 9-11-4 (6th)
2.10 (9th) Goals/game 2.53 (T-5th)
2.97 (8th) Goals allowed/game 2.38 (4th)
13.1 (4th) Pen. minutes/game 10.2 (8th)
10.7% (10th) Power play 19.8% (2nd)
83.6% (8th) Penalty kill 88.9% (1st)

About the Beavers: Bemidji State (14-13-5 overall, 9-11-4 WCHA) is coming off a split at home against second-place Michigan Tech. The Beavers shut out the Huskies 3-0 before getting slammed 9-2.

Goaltender Michael Bitzer has the fifth-best goals against average in the WCHA at 2.10 (17th in the nation), posting a league-high five shutouts. He did not play against the Chargers in Huntsville, where backup Reid Mimmack started both games.

Gerry Fitzgerald and Brendan Harms are tied for seventh in the WCHA with 22 points. Fitzgerald’s 12 goals are tied for seventh in the league, while Harms’s 15 assists are tied for sixth with Max McHugh.

LEADING SCORERS: Gerry Fitzgerald (So., 12-10–22, 28 GP), Brendan Harms (Jr., 7-15–22, 32 GP), Markus Gerbrandt (Sr., 6-14–20, 31 GP), Cory Ward (Sr., 7-10–17, 32 GP), Graeme McCormack (Sr., -10–16, 32 GP)

GOALTENDING: Michael Bitzer (So., 2.10 GAA, .916 SV%, 27 GP), Reid Mimmack (Jr., 2.28 GAA, .904 SV%, 7 GP)

Around the WCHA: 

All times Central. Games featuring WCHA teams at home can be seen on

Friday, Feb. 26
UAH at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m.
Ferris State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at #14 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:37 p.m.
#18 Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 27
UAH at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at #14 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#18 Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.