Preview: UAH at Northern Michigan

Where: Berry Events Center, Marquette, Mich.
When: Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Saturday, 6:07 p.m. (CST)
Team stats: UAH | Northern Michigan

Brandon Salerno (Photo by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography)

Charger update: UAH (5-8-1 overall, 4-3-1 WCHA) gutted out a split against Ferris State last week to finish its six-game homestand. After allowing six unanswered goals in a 6-2 loss on Friday, the Chargers overcame bumps, bruises, and two deficits to win 5-3 on Saturday. UAH finished the homestand 3-2-1, and is 4-2-1 in its last seven games overall.

Northern Michigan is the first of six road series in seven weeks. The Chargers won’t play at home until Jan. 26.

Brandon Salerno scored twice in Saturday’s victory, including the game-winning goal with 7:06 remaining in regulation.

Josh Kestner got a goal in each game to raise his season total to eight to lead all the team. Kestner is third in the WCHA in overall goals. He has 12 points on the season, tied with Tyler Poulsen.

Poulsen had two assists on Saturday, give him a team-leading nine (tied for seventh in the WCHA).

Freshman goaltender Mark Sinclair made his third start of the season on Friday, making 29 saves. Senior goalie Jordan Uhelski was back between the pipes Saturday, stopping 32 of 35 FSU shots in the win.

Charger leaders:
Josh Kestner (Sr., F, 8 goals-4 assists-12 points in 14 games played)
Tyler Poulsen (Jr., F, 3-9-12 in 13 GP)
Brennan Saulnier (Sr., F, 7-4-11 in 14 GP)
Christian Rajic (Fr., F, 6-3-9 in 14 GP)
Kurt Gosselin (Jr., D, 3-5-8 in 14 GP)
Jordan Uhelski (Sr., G, 2.90 goals against average, .907 save percentage in 11 starts)

UAH Tale of the tape Northern Michigan
5-8-1 Overall record 7-7-0
4-3-1 WCHA record 5-3-0
3.62 (2nd) Goals/game 2.38 (T-8th)
3.25 (8th) Goals allowed/game 2.12 (1st)
15.9 (4th) Pen. minutes/game 14.4 (6th)
26.3% (2nd) Power play 16.2% (8th)
80.9% (6th) Penalty kill 89.7% (3rd)
WCHA rank in parentheses, league games only

About the Wildcats: Northern Michigan (7-7-0 overall, 5-3-0 WCHA) has lost three in a row after being swept in a non-conference series at Omaha. It was NMU’s first time being swept this season, following a strong start that included splits with then-No. 6 Wisconsin and then-No. 9 Minnesota State.

Robbie Payne has been the main offensive force for the Wildcats, with 12 goals in 14 games this season. The senior captain is tied for the WCHA lead in overall goals and tied for second in overall points (16). NMU is 6-1-0 when Payne has scored a goal this season.

Phillip Beaulieu (no relation to UAH’s Austin Beaulieu) is tied for fifth in the league in defenseman scoring with 10 points.

Junior Atte Tolvanen is their top netminder, whose 2.43 goals against average is third in the WCHA and .916 save percentage is second. He posted a 35-save shutout at Ferris State on Oct. 14 and a 19-save shutout against Michigan Tech on Nov. 11.

Players to watch:
Robbie Payne (Sr., F, 12-4-16 in 14 GP)
Troy Loggins (Jr., F, 3-9-12 in 14 GP)
Darien Craighead (So., F, 4-7-11 in 13 GP)
Philip Beaulieu (So., D, 4-6-10 in 14 GP)
Atte Tolvanen (Jr., G, 2.43 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO in 10 starts)

Series notes: Northern Michigan leads the all time series 11-4-3 (going back to 2003), including a 7-2-1 record in Marquette. However, those two Charger wins at NMU came last season in December by scores of 4-1 and 3-1.

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. Games featuring WCHA teams at home can be seen on

Friday, Dec. 1
UAH at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 2
UAH at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.