3 games in 4 days for UAH at Lake State, Ferris

UAH at Lake Superior State
WHERE: Taffy Abel Arena, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
WHEN (CST): Saturday, 4:07 p.m.; Sunday, 2:07 p.m.
WATCHFloHockey.tv (subscription)

UAH at Ferris State
WHERE: Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.
WHEN (CST): Tuesday, 4:07 p.m.
WATCHFloHockey.tv (subscription)

Only this season could have UAH play two WCHA opponents in three non-conference contests over four days. Also, the Chargers are playing on a Tuesday.

At least, that’s the current plan at the time this is posted. Remember, no games are given as college hockey tries to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Chargers (0-2) are set to be in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. on Saturday and Sunday to play Lake Superior State (3-0-1), then head south about 250 miles to Big Rapids to face Ferris State for a single game on Tuesday.

Originally, UAH was to visit Ferris State first on Friday and then play LSSU on Sunday and Monday. But the pandemic had already affected the seasons for both Ferris and Lake Superior State.

The two clubs were scheduled to play each other last weekend, but a positive test at FSU forced a cancellation. Lake Superior State played a home-and-home series with Division III Adrian instead, winning both games.

This weekend will finish UAH’s non-conference schedule. UAH’s next action will be Jan. 1-2 at Michigan Tech to officially start WCHA league play.

The Chargers opened their season two weeks ago at Robert Morris. The first game was going fine with UAH leading 1-0 after two periods before RMU rolled in the third to take it 5-2. UAH played a more complete second game, but lost 4-3 on a power-play goal in the third.

There were some bright spots: Bauer Neudecker and Tyr Thompson each had two goals, with Thompson’s three points giving him the WCHA Forward of the Week award. Freshman Tyrone Bronte’s three assists earned him WCHA Rookie of the Week honors, and Dayne Finnson’s perfomance made him WCHA Defenseman of the Week.

Goaltender David Fessenden held the Colonials scoreless through the first two periods of the first game before being pulled for injury. He backed up freshman Derek Krall in the second game.

Add that UAH didn’t have its full complement of players in Pittsburgh, and it could be said that the Chargers may have yet to reach their full potential.

Lake Superior State is led by junior Ashton Calder, who has been dazzling in scoring three goals and two assists through four games. Jack Jeffers, a junior who scored six goals for UAH last season, has two so far for the Lakers in 2020-21.

Senior goaltender Mareks Mitens has a .939 save percentage and a 1.74 goals against average this year. He has one shutout, a scoreless tie against Michigan Tech to start the season.

Ferris State has yet to begin their campaign following up its 7-26-2 record last season. The Bulldogs are led by sophomore defenseman Jake Willets, who led FSU in scoring last season with 22 points (19 assists) and is a preseason all-WCHA selection. Senior Marshall Moise had 10 goals last year.

The last time the Chargers played hockey on a Tuesday: The second game of a very odd Monday-Tuesday series at the VBC against Robert Morris on December 18, 2007.

Series notes vs. Lake Superior State:
Lake Superior State leads 15-7-4, starting in 2005.
Last 10 meetings: LSSU leads 7-1-2.
Last series: Feb. 14-15, 2020 in Sault Ste. Marie. Tied 0-0 and LSSU won 4-1.

Series notes vs. Ferris State:
Ferris State leads 18-9-2, starting in 1985.
Last 10 meetings: FSU leads 5-4-2.
Last series: Dec. 13-14, 2019 in Big Rapids. Tied 2-2 and FSU won 3-1.

This week in the WCHA: All times Central.

Friday, December 4
#6 Minnesota State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.

Saturday, December 5
UAH at Lake Superior State, 4:07 p.m.
Mercyhurst at #18 Bowling Green, 12:30 p.m.
#6 Minnesota State at Michigan Tech, 5:07 p.m.

Sunday, December 6
UAH at Lake Superior State, 2:07 p.m.
#18 Bowling Green at Mercyhurst, 2 p.m.

Tuesday, December 8
UAH at Ferris State, 4:07 p.m.