Preview: #12 Bowling Green at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Saturday, 6:07 p.m.; Sunday, 3:07 p.m.
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Promotions: Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days. UAH will be giving away the fourth installment of the 2018-19 trading card set to the first 500 fans on Saturday evening.

Ticket information

Charger update: UAH (1-11-0 overall, 1-5-0 WCHA) returns to the Von Braun Center after a trip to Alaska sandwiched by two off weeks.

The Chargers finally got their first victory of the season in Alaska, beating the Nanooks 3-1 on Nov. 16. Alaska won the next night 2-1 to split the series.

“We’ve had a few moments where we’ve had to come together,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We’ve had some moments where we have to grab some guys and say some things to them, and they say some things to the staff. It’s small successes we’re looking at right now.”

The Chargers will need to rely on their defense to contain the 12th-ranked Falcons, because the offense has remained mostly dormant, scoring 13 goals in 12 games. Freshman Jack Jeffers leads the squad with three goals, and senior Madison Dunn has the most points with five.

“Our team defense has been good, and our penalty kill has been fantastic, and Mark Sinclair has a .93 save percentage. For a guy who’s 1-7, his numbers are fantastic. We can’t waste that right now.”

Sinclair had 44 saves in the victory over Alaska, which earned him WCHA goaltender of the week honors.

UAH’s penalty kill is ranked sixth in Division I, and is second only to Bowling Green in the WCHA at 87.9 percent. The team defense has improved in conference play at 2.50 goals allowed per game, tied for sixth through six games.

“I like our group, but we’ve got to get them to play together. We believe in them more than they believe in themselves, unfortunately. We have to get them to believe in themselves, and if they do that, we’re going to have a good second half.”

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Falcons: Bowling Green (8-3-2 overall, 3-2-1 WCHA) has cooled off after a blistering start.

The Falcons were scoring almost five goals a game through their first eight games, going 6-1-1. In their last five games, they have scored only eight goals, being shut out three times.

Still, Bowling Green is second in the WCHA in scoring offense at 3.62 goals per game.

“Details against Bowling Green are going to be big,” Corbett said. “They have a good offensive team, and our details are going to be important.

“They’re going to be heavy, they’re going to be strong, and we have to be able match that. That intensity is going to be key and our compete level has to be at its best.”

Sophomores Max Johnson and Connor Ford, and junior Lukas Craggs lead the Falcons with six goals apiece. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruse has 12 assists as part of his team-leading 15 points. All-WCHA first teamer Alec Rauhauser leads the defensemen with 10 points.

BG’s defense has also been stout, allowing only 1.69 goals per game. A big reason is junior goaltender Ryan Bednard, a Florida Panthers prospect, who has a 1.72 goals against average and a .925 save percentage with two shutouts in 11 starts.

Bowling Green is also coming off an off week. The Falcons last played on Nov. 21, a 5-4 exhibition win against the Team USA Under-18 team. Their last official action was Nov. 16-17 at home against Lake Superior State, losing 5-0 and winning 5-2.

Bowling Green 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Bowling Green leads 23-5-2.
In Huntsville: Bowling Green leads 10-4-0.
In WCHA games (since 2013-14):  Bowling Green leads 16-3-1.
First meeting: Jan. 21-22, 2000 at Bowling Green. BGSU won 4-3 and 5-1.
Last meeting: Feb. 23-24, 2018 at Huntsville. UAH won 3-2, BGSU won 3-0.

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on
* Denotes conference game.

Friday, November 30
* #4 Minnesota State at #20 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, December 1
* #12 Bowling Green at UAH, 6:07 p.m.
* #4 Minnesota State at #20 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Sunday, December 2
* #12 Bowling Green at UAH, 3:07 p.m.