Preview: UAH at Alaska

Where: Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska
When: Friday, 10:07 p.m.; Saturday, 10:07 p.m. (CST)
Team stats: UAH | Alaska

Josh Kestner

Josh Kestner leads the WCHA in goals in league play. Photo by Todd Thompson/RiverCat Photography

Charger update: UAH (6-14-2 overall, 5-9-2 WCHA) saw its losing streak extended to five games at Bemidji State last week, losing 3-1 and 4-1.

The Chargers have struggled to score during the skid with only four goals in the last five games. UAH is now in seventh place in the WCHA standings, one point ahead of this week’s opponent, Alaska.

Josh Kestner was UAH’s only goal scorer at Bemidji, getting the lone tally in both games. That boosted his season total to 14, the most in a season by any Charger since Grant Selinger scored 17 in the 2006-07 season. Kestner is second in the WCHA in overall goals, and his 12 goals in WCHA play tops the league.

With 35 career goals, Kestner is tied for ninth in UAH’s modern Division I era. It’s been 11 years since anyone has entered the top 10.

UAH will have Brennan Saulnier, who is tied for second on the team in goals with seven, back in the lineup after his two-game suspension.

Jordan Uhelski was very busy between the pipes, stopping 67 of 73 BSU shots on goal.

UAH goes to Fairbanks directly from Bemidji, and will head directly to Anchorage for next week’s series against the Seawolves. This is the fifth of sixth straight series on the road.

Players to watch:
Josh Kestner (Sr., F, 14 goals-4 assists-18 points in 22 games played)
Tyler Poulsen (Jr., F, 5-11-16 in 21 GP)
Brennan Saulnier (Sr., F, 7-4-11 in 20 GP)
Christian Rajic (Fr., F, 7-4-11 in 22 GP)
Kurt Gosselin (Jr., D, 3-5-8 in 22 GP)
Jordan Uhelski (Sr., G, 3.00 goals against average, .907 save percentage in 18 starts)

Lance West

Lance West, who had 113 points as a Charger, fires a shot against the Nanooks in a 1991 game in Huntsville.

About the Nanooks: Alaska (7-11-2 overall, 5-8-1 WCHA) has had the last three weeks off for the holidays. The Nanooks’ last action was Dec. 8-9, sweeping their arch-rival Alaska Anchorage. They have won three of their last four, all on the road.

This weekend will be the first time UAH will face a Division I opponent whose head coach is a Charger alum. Lance West, who was promoted to head coach at Alaska over the summer, played for UAH from 1991-95. West was an assistant at UAF for nine seasons under departing coach Dallas Ferguson.

Justin Woods is tied for fourth among WCHA defensemen in points with 15.

Players to watch:
Kylar Hope (So., F, 8-8-16 in 20 GP)
Justin Woods (Sr., D, 8-7-15 in 20 GP)
Colton Leiter (So., C, 7-8-15 in 19 GP)
Nikolas Koberstein (Jr., D, 1-8-9 in 20 GP, 5th-round pick by Montreal in 2014)
Anton Martinsson (So., G, 3.11 GAA, .893 SV% in 18 starts)

UAH Tale of the tape
(per game averages)
6-14-2 Overall record 7-11-2
5-9-2 WCHA record 5-8-1
2.50 (8th) Goals 2.93 (3rd)
3.25 (8th) Goals allowed 3.21 (7th)
16.2 (2nd) Penalty minutes 13.8 (7th)
18.7% (3rd) Power play 9.7% (10th)
81.2% (6th) Penalty kill 80.9% (7th)
WCHA rank in parentheses, conference games only


Series notes: Alaska leads the all-time series 21-8-2, including a 12-4-0 mark in Fairbanks. The teams played four times last season, with an Alaska win (3-1) and tie (3-3) in Huntsville and a split (UAF 3-0, UAH 4-1) in Fairbanks.

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

Friday, Jan. 5
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* #7 Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
#13 Boston College vs. Michigan Tech, 7 p.m. (Ice Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas)
Arizona State vs. Northern Michigan, 10:30 p.m. (Ice Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas)

Saturday, Jan. 6
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* #19 Bowling Green at Ferris State, 4:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* #7 Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Arizona State/Northern Michigan vs. Michigan Tech, 7 or 10:30 p.m. (Ice Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas)
#13 Boston College/Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan, 7 or 10:30 p.m. (Ice Vegas Invitational, Las Vegas)

Sunday, Jan. 7
* #19 Bowling Green at Ferris State, 2:07 p.m.