Hoof beats: Chargers pick up two from portal

UAH has picked up two student-athletes through the NCAA transfer portal, but has lost its top goaltender from this season.

On Friday, defenseman Dominick Procopio announced his was joining the Chargers after three years at UMass Lowell. The Grosse Pointe, Mich. native played 41 games for the River Hawks, but only two this season, collecting an assist. Procopio played 31 games as a sophomore in 2019-20, garnering a +4 rating and seven blocked shots.

Before going to Lowell, Procopio played for the Shreveport Mudbugs of the NAHL, coached by now UAH associate head coach Karlis Zirnis.

On April 10, Ohio State forward Matthew Jennings announced he was transferring to UAH after three seasons. Jennings is a native of Buford, Ga., the same as graduating senior Connor Wood.

Jennings played in seven games this season with the Buckeyes before suffering a season-ending injury in January. He was co-winner of the team’s most improved player award in the 2019-20 season, scoring two goals and an assist in 29 games.

However, goaltender David Fessenden, established himself as the Chargers’ No. 1 netminder in his sophomore season, is transferring to New Hampshire. Fessenden posted a .910 save percentage and a 2.94 goals against average in his sophomore season at UAH.

The Grand Forks Herald reports that forward Quinn Green has also entered the transfer portal. Green was tied for third on the team in scoring as a freshman with six points on three goals and three assists.

The NCAA is now allowing first-time transfers to change schools without sitting a year. Along with allowing an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic, the NCAA transfer portal has been busy in many sports, and hockey is no different.

Kestner shines in Finland: UAH alumnus Josh Kestner keeps striking gold in the pros with TPS in Turku, Finland.

Kestner scored the game-tying goal and assisted on the game-winner Monday in TPS’s 3-2 win over HIFK (Helsinki), which advanced TPS to Finland’s Liiga semifinals.

In nine playoff games this season, Kestner has eight points on five goals and three assists.

Kestner won Liiga’s “Golden Helmet” award last month for his regular-season play. Each team has one player wear a gold helmet in each game where he is the team’s leading scorer, and Kestner won the league award for wearing gold the most: 56 games. He was first in Liiga in game-winning goals (9), second in power-play goals (12), third in goals (24), and third in points (49).

Here is the game-winning goal that sent TPS to the semis:

Tennessee State considering hockey: The Nashville Post reported on April 26 that Tennessee State will soon announce conducting a feasibility study on starting an NCAA Division I men’s hockey program, according to sources.

TSU, which is in Nashville, would be the first HBCU (historically Black college and university) to create a Division I hockey program if the study proves that a hockey program would be viable. Sources say TSU would enter a partnership with the Nashville Predators.

The Tigers would easily be the closest Division I opponent for UAH and only the second program in the Southeast.