Preview: Ferris State at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: Ticket information | (subscription required)
Promotions: Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days. On Friday, the first 500 fans receive the fifth set of UAH hockey trading cards. On Saturday, the first 500 fans receive a UAH foam puck.

Charger update: UAH (3-17-0 overall, 3-9-0 WCHA) begins 2019 back in Propst Arena against one of the teams the Chargers must beat if they want to reach the WCHA playoffs. UAH has a two-point lead over Ferris State for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Last week, the Chargers finished non-conference play at the Catamount Cup. UAH lost to host Vermont 4-1 and 11th-ranked Northeastern 2-0.

Offense remained a struggle for the Chargers, who only got a goal from Bauer Neudecker and 28 shots on goal for the weekend.

The goaltending remained solid, with Mark Sinclair getting 29 saves against Vermont and Jake Theut stopping 41 shots against his former Northeastern teammates.Sinclair’s .925 overall save percentage this season is second among WCHA goalies (16th nationally). Theut is fifth in the league at .917.

UAH’s penalty kill is back up to eighth-best in Division I at 86.2 percent.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Bulldogs: Ferris State (5-14-1 overall, 2-9-1 WCHA) defeated Minnesota last Saturday, snapping an 11-game winless streak (0-10-1).

This could be an opportunity for the Charger offense to get in gear. Defense has been problematic for the Bulldogs, who are last in the WCHA allowing 3.75 goals per game. During the winless streak, FSU allowed fewer than four goals only once (the tie against Bowling Green).

The two leading scorers for the Bulldogs are defensemen: Freshman Cooper Zech (4-13-17) and junior Nate Kallen (3-14-17), both tops in the WCHA among blueliners and in the top 10 overall. Zech was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week for getting two points at Minnesota last week.

Senior forward Corey Mackin has seven goals and junior Jason Tackett has six.

Between the pipes, freshman Roni Salmenkangas (3.69 goals against average and, .880 save percentage in 18 starts) has been seeing a lot of action with junior star Justin Kapelmaster out with an injury. All-WCHA defenseman Ryker Killins has also missed almost two months of action.

Ferris State 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Ferris State leads 15-7-1, dating back to 1985.
In Huntsville: Ferris State leads 7-3-0.
Last 10 games: Ferris State leads 5-4-1.
Last meeting: Nov. 24-25, 2017 at Huntsville: FSU won 6-2, UAH won 5-3.

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

Thursday, January 3
Bemidji State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.

Friday, January 4
Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 5
Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.