Hoof Beats: Magic numbers

Josh Kestner

Josh Kestner gets a shot off against NMU. (Photo by Todd Thompson / RiverCat Photography)

Sunday’s 4-2 win over Northern Michigan was a critical step toward the Chargers going back to the WCHA playoffs for the first time since 2015.

The victory vaulted UAH back into sixth place with 30 points and four games to go. They are one point ahead of seventh-place Alaska and two points ahead of eighth-place Ferris State. The top eight go to the playoffs.

UAH is nine points clear of ninth-place Lake Superior State, which stayed alive with an unexpected sweep at Bemidji State last weekend. Lake Superior also has four games to play.

(How big was Lake Superior winning that series? If Bemidji State had swept, UAH would have clinched a spot already and the eight-team playoff field would have been determined save for seeding.)

UAH’s magic number to clinch a WCHA playoff spot is four points. This means if UAH earns four points, Lake Superior State gives four points, or any combination thereof totals four points, the Chargers will be in the WCHA playoffs.

The Chargers host fifth-ranked Minnesota State this weekend, while Lake Superior State goes to last-place Alaska Anchorage. Both teams are off next week. UAH hosts Bowling Green and Lake Superior State is at Ferris State in the final week of the regular season (Feb. 23-24).

Where UAH finally lands as anyone’s guess. The Chargers could finish as high as fourth — which would mean playing at home in the quarterfinals — but UAH would need a lot of help to catch and surpass both Michigan Tech and Bemidji State (which has two games in hand).

Most Goals in a Season
UAH Modern D-I era*
1 Bruce Mulherin (2004-05) 24
2 Jared Ross (2004-05) 22
3 Nathan Bowen (1999-00) 21
3 Jared Ross (2002-03) 21
5 Josh Kestner (2017-18) 20
* Since the 1999-2000 season

20: Josh Kestner scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season on Sunday, becoming the first Charger to score 20 or more since Bruce Mulherin and Jared Ross did it in the 2004-05 season.

Kestner has a chance to break the UAH modern Division I era record for goals in a season, which is 24 set by Mulherin in 2004-05. He could also break the modern D-I era record for goals by a senior, which is 22 set by Ross, also in 2004-05.

Kestner also has scored 40 goals in his UAH career, the sixth Charger in the modern Division I era to do so. (The record is 73 by Jared Ross from 2001-05.)

4.0: Ted Rotenberger and John Teets represented the hockey team among the 64 student-athletes honored for earning a 4.0 GPA in the fall or spring semester in 2017.

The athletes were recognized Monday at Spragins Hall during halftime of the Charger men’s basketball game.

300: Sunday’s victory was the 300th varsity win at the Von Braun Center. Since the first varsity season of 1985-86, UAH is 300-178-36 at home.

Blue Line Club luncheon: There will be a Blue Line Club luncheon this Friday at noon in the Varsity Room at Spragins Hall. Several UAH seniors and coach Mike Corbett will discuss this weekend’s series against Minnesota State. Bojangles’ will be catering.