UAH, Bemidji battle to end regular season

UAH (3-14-1, 3-9-0 WCHA) vs. Bemidji State (11-8-3, 6-5-1 WCHA)
WHERE: Sanford Center, Bemidji, Minn.
WHEN: Saturday, 4:07 p.m.; Sunday, 2:07 p.m.
WATCH: (subscription)

The UAH Chargers and Bemidji State Beavers have battled each other almost every year for almost 27 years, but this could be the last meeting between the longtime rivals for a while.

Next season, Bemidji State will be in the new CCHA. UAH’s future has yet to be determined.

The rivalry began with the 1994 NCAA Division II championship in Huntsville. The teams would meet four times in five years for the national title, each winning two championships. UAH and BSU would continue meeting as they moved into Division I, becoming members of College Hockey America in 1999 and staying through the men’s league’s end in 2010. The teams met four times while UAH was an independent, and then UAH joined Bemidji State in the WCHA in 2013.

The schools have played each other 92 times, with the Beavers holding a 55-32-5 advantage in the all-time series.

This weekend’s affair will not affect UAH’s seeding in the WCHA playoffs. Locked into seventh place, the Chargers will try to get some momentum into the postseason after being swept by Bowling Green last week and losing nine of their last 10.

The Beavers, ranked 17th in the latest poll, are playing for home ice in the quarterfinals. They are in sixth place but could finish as high as fourth.

A bunch of busy Beavers, Bemidji State is playing six games in 11 days to close the regular season. They split a home-and-home series with Minnesota State last weekend and split with Lake Superior in Bemidji on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Senior Zach Driscoll has put together another solid year between the pipes for Bemidji State, posting a 2.52 goals against average and a .919 save percentage, starting in all but one of BSU’s 22 games this season.

The Beavers have experienced forwards in seniors Ethan Somoza (11 goals) and Brendan Harris (16 points) and junior Alex Ierullo (19 points). Junior Owen Sillinger had nine goals but has missed BSU’s last seven games with an injury suffered against Northern Michigan on February 12.

This week in the WCHA: All times Central.

Friday, March 5
#19 Michigan Tech at #4 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.

Saturday, March 6
UAH at #17 Bemidji State, 4:07 p.m.
Ferris State at #20 Lake Superior State, 2:07 p.m.
#19 Michigan Tech at #4 Minnesota State, 6:07 p.m.

Sunday, March 7
UAH at #17 Bemidji State, 2:07 p.m.