Sep 202016
 

The Chargers were picked to just miss the WCHA playoffs this season by the coaches and media, selected to finish ninth in both preseason polls released Tuesday during the league’s preseason media teleconference.

Last season, UAH finished in last place with a 5-17-6 conference record, falling four points short of a playoff berth. UAH head coach Mike Corbett, now in his fourth season at the helm, says it is time for the Chargers to “turn the corner.”

“Our group has taken a lot of punches over the course of the last three years,” Corbett said. “Some well deserved. But we’ve taken a lot of punches and yet my guys have gained a lot of experience playing North Dakota, St. Cloud, and Colorado College, along with the WCHA schedule because every night it’s a battle. My team and I have grown together over the course of the last three years.”

Seniors Brent Fletcher and Matt Salhany, along with junior Max McHugh, who led the Chargers in scoring the past two seasons, will be the Charger captains this season.

“Those guys are leading us,” Corbett said. “Our two goaltenders, Matt Larose and Carmine Guerriero, and Brandon Carlson and Regan Soquila, our seniors: Those are the guys will be leaning on heavily. They’ve seen it all in college hockey, from a program that folded to a team that was not very good in their freshman year, moving up into the WCHA, being in every game, giving ourselves a chance to win.

“We’ve got a full complement of Division I players in our lineup right now. To me, the biggest thing is to be able to add depth.”

The top eight teams in the WCHA make the playoffs, which have a new twist: All playoff games will be held at the rinks of the higher seeds, with best-of-3 quarterfinals and semifinals, and a single-game championship.

WCHA games will also be worth three points in the standings, with an extra overtime of 3-on-3 hockey for five minutes following the traditional 5-on-5 overtime, and a shootout if the game is still tied after that. Winners get three points for a win in regulation or the 5-on-5 overtime, two for a win in 3-on-3 OT or the shootout. Losers in the 3-on-3 OT or the shootout get one point.

“These new changes with the playoff format and the overtime changes, and the NHL nets, will make for an exciting and fantastic year,” WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson said.

“We are concentrating on making the existing WCHA as strong as it can be for our member institutions. We want to be proactive and progressive.”

2016-17 Mankato Free Press WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Coaches’ Poll 

Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Bowling Green (8) 89
2. Michigan Tech (2) 79
3. Minnesota State 71
4. Ferris State 70
5. Northern Michigan 54
6. Bemidji State 48
7. Lake Superior State 44
8. Alaska Anchorage 29
9. UAH 23
10. Alaska 21


Preseason WCHA Player of the Year: 
Gerald Mayhew, Sr. F, Ferris State (7 votes)
Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year: Parker Tuomie, F, Minnesota State (4 votes)
Preseason All-WCHA Team:
F Gerald Mayhew, Ferris State
F Dominik Shine, Northern Michigan
F Brandon Hawkins, Bowling Green (tie)
F Corey Mackin, Ferris State (tie)
D Mark Friedman, Bowling Green
D Matt Roy, Michigan Tech
G Chris Nell, Bowling Green

2016-17 Bemidji Pioneer WCHA Men’s Hockey Preseason Media Poll 

Team (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Bowling Green (15) 251
2. Michigan Tech (6) 239
3. Minnesota State (5) 236
4. Ferris State (2) 218
5. Northern Michigan 161
6. Bemidji State 144
7. Lake Superior State 106
8. Alaska 68
9. UAH 56
10. Alaska Anchorage 50


Preseason WCHA Player of the Year: 
Gerald Mayhew, Sr., F, Ferris State
Preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year: Cameron Clarke, D, Ferris State
Preseason All-WCHA Team:
F Gerald Mayhew, Ferris State
F Dominik Shine, Northern Michigan
F Tyler Heinonen, Michigan Tech
D Mark Friedman, Bowling Green
D Matt Roy, Michigan Tech
G Chris Nell, Bowling Green

UAH’s Max McHugh received votes for WCHA player of the Year. UAH’s Connor James and Austin Beaulieu received votes for WCHA Rookie of the Year.

Geof Morris and Michael Napier of UAHHockey.com participated in the media poll. Here are our ballots:

Geof Morris’s ballot:

  1. Bowling Green
  2. Michigan Tech
  3. Minnesota State
  4. Ferris State
  5. Northern Michigan
  6. UAH
  7. Bemidji State
  8. Lake Superior State
  9. Alaska Anchorage
  10. Alaska

Preseason All-WCHA:
G Chris Nell, Bowling Green
D Mark Friedman, Bowling Green
D Sean Walker, Bowling Green
F Tyler Heinonen, Michgan Tech
F Gerald Mayhew, Ferris State
F Max McHugh, UAH
Player of the Year: Chris Nell, Bowling Green
Newcomer of the Year: Austin Beaulieu, UAH


Michael Napier’s ballot:

  1. Bowling Green
  2. Michigan Tech
  3. Minnesota State
  4. Ferris State
  5. Northern Michigan
  6. Bemidji State
  7. Lake Superior State
  8. UAH
  9. Alaska
  10. Alaska Anchorage

Preseason All-WCHA:
G Chris Nell, Bowling Green
D Mark Friedman, Bowling Green
D Sean Walker, Bowling Green
F Tyler Heinonen, Michigan Tech
F Gerald Mayhew, Ferris State
F Dominik Shine, Northern Michigan

Player of the Year: Tyler Heinonen, Michigan Tech
Newcomer of the Year: Parker Tuomie, Minnesota State

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