Michael Napier

Mar 092017
 

Kurt Gosselin (Photo by UAH Athletics)

UAH sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin was named third-team All-WCHA on Thursday, as the league announced its postseason awards. He becomes the first Charger to earn a spot on the All-WCHA first, second, or third teams.

Gosselin scored nine goals this season, tied for the team lead and tops among all WCHA defensemen. He and teammate Cam Knight were tied for fourth among WCHA defensemen with 18 league points.

Gosselin becomes the first Charger to earn all-WCHA honors since Max McHugh made the all-rookie team in 2015.

In addition, 19 Chargers were named to the WCHA All-Academic Team: Hunter Anderson, Richard Buri, Cody Champagne, Madison Dunn, Brent Fletcher, Hans Gorowsky, Kurt Gosselin, Jetlan Houcher, Josh Kestner, Cam Knight, Matt Larose, Max McHugh, Brandon Parker, Brandon Salerno, Matt Salhany, Regan Soquila, John Teets, Jordan Uhelski and Adam Wilcox.

The WCHA All-Academic Team includes student-athletes who earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher over the last two semesters.

Salhany signs with Reading: Forward Matt Salhany has signed a standard player contract with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, who announced the deal Thursday.

Salhany finished his UAH career with 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 137 games. The Warwick, R.I. native had seven goals and 13 points as he played all 34 games in his recently-completed senior season.

Feb 252017
 

UAH was officially eliminated from WCHA playoff contention when Northern Michigan defeated Michigan Tech 5-3. But topping off the disappointing season was a 2-0 loss at Bowling Green on Saturday in the final game of the regular season.

BOX SCORE

The Chargers finish the season 9-22-3 overall and 9-16-3 in the WCHA. While the nine wins is the most for UAH since 2009-10, UAH will miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

Bowling Green improved to 17-17-2 overall and 14-13-1 in the WCHA. The win clinched the Falcons the fourth seed in the playoffs, giving them home ice in the first round against Ferris State.

The Chargers started off with a road sweep of Ferris State, held fourth place at the holiday break, and won seven conference road games. However, UAH left many points on the table, particularly at home, where the Chargers were 2-10-2.

UAH also had trouble against Bowling Green, which posted back-to-back shutouts behind their star junior goaltender Chris Nell, who made 38 saves Saturday. The Chargers were shut out for the sixth time this season.

Bowling Green scored first with 11:11 left in the first period. UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski made a couple of quick saves on a Falcon rush, but Tyler Spezia took a rebound, went behind the net and had an open wrap-around goal.

UAH had a whopping five power plays (of varying lengths) in the first period alone, thanks to five minor penalties against BGSU. The Chargers could not do much with them though: BG’s defense clamped down, and two power plays were killed by UAH penalties.

On one power play, a pass was intercepted by Sean Walker in the Falcon zone, and he took it near the length of the ice on a 2-on-1 break. His shot beat Uhelski high just after the UAH power play ended to give Bowling Green a 2-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first.

No scoring in the second period, but more penalties. UAH had two more power plays, one again killed by a penalty of their own, while Bowling Green finally got their first advantages of the night.

The same continued in the third period, making for a slow game lacking any real flow. The teams combined for 20 minor penalties.

UAH’s power play was stymied all series, going 0-for-11 Saturday and 0-for-18 for the series.

Shots were even at 38. Uhelski finished with 36 saves on the night.

Feb 252017
 

It’s going to be a frantic couple of hours tonight as the Chargers get once last chance to make this year’s WCHA playoffs.

UAH plays Bowling Green tonight at the Slater Family Ice Arena at 6 p.m. Central Time for the regular-season finale.

UAH lost 7-0 on Friday in the series opener. Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan also lost, making for no change in 7th through 9th place in the WCHA standings.

Lake Superior has 33 points, Northern Michigan has 31, and UAH has 30. One of these teams will not make the playoffs.

For UAH to get in, they have to get more points against Bowling Green than Northern Michigan gets at home against Michigan Tech tonight. The Chargers will have the tiebreaker advantage over the Wildcats, either by having more conference wins (“B” tiebreaker) or having swept NMU earlier this season (“D” tiebreaker).

In summary, UAH gets a playoff berth if:

  • UAH wins (3 pts) and NMU ties (1-2 pts) or loses (0 pts).
  • UAH ties and wins in 3×3 OT/shootout (2 pts) and NMU loses in 3×3 OT/shootout (1 pt) or regulation (0 pts).
  • UAH ties and loses in 3×3 OT/shootout (1 pt) and NMU loses in regulation (0 pts).

If UAH loses in regulation, or if NMU wins in regulation, it’s over.

The above alone would ensure UAH the 8th seed. There is also a scenario where UAH would get the 7th seed, but UAH, NMU, and Lake Superior must finish in a three-way tie, which is only possible if:

  • UAH wins (in regulation).
  • Lake Superior loses to Ferris State (in regulation).
  • Northern Michigan ties Michigan Tech and wins in 3×3 OT/shootout.

In fact, this is the only way Lake Superior does not get in — they would be the odd team out with the fewest conference wins of the three.

Elsewhere:

  • Michigan Tech secured the 2nd seed with its win over Northern Michigan. Minnesota State will be the 3rd seed after losing to Bemidji State.
  • Bowling Green and Ferris State will meet in the first round in the 4-5 matchup — now it’s a question of where it will be. They are tied for 4th, with BGSU holding the tiebreaker for home ice.
  • Alaska clinched the 6th seed and will go to Minnesota State in the first round.
  • Alaska Anchorage is eliminated and will finish 10th after its loss to Alaska.

Full list of playoff scenarios by the WCHA

Feb 242017
 

The Chargers’ playoff chances took a hit after an ugly 7-0 loss at Bowling Green on Friday night to start the regular season’s final series.

Fortunately for UAH (9-21-3 overall, 9-15-3 WCHA), Northern Michigan lost to Michigan Tech 3-2, keeping UAH one point behind NMU for the eighth and final playoff spot. But it means the Chargers must figure out how to solve the Falcons (16-17-2 overall, 13-13-1 WCHA), who have outscored UAH 19-4 in three games this season, or they are staying home for the playoffs for the second straight year.

BOX SCORE

The game was marred by 85 total penalty minutes on both sides. But Bowling Green was able to slam the Chargers with four power play goals on 11 opportunities. UAH was 0-for-7 with the advantage.

UAH also couldn’t contain Kevin Dufour, who seems to always have the Chargers’ number. Dufour had a hat trick, and he got the Falcons started with two goals in the first period.

At 10:23, right off the faceoff, Dufour broke away and beat UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero as the Falcons drew first blood.

About five minutes later, Dufour took the puck from the far wall, around in front of the Charger net, and scored on a backhander for a 2-0 BGSU lead.

Bowling Green extended its lead to 3-0 on the power play early in the second period after a high sticking penalty on Cody Champagne. Mitch McLain deflected a Mark Friedman shot past Guerriero at the 4:06 mark.

UAH’s best opportunity to get back into the game was after back-to-back penalties by the Falcons. Lukas Craggs made contact to the head on Hans Gorowksy, earning him a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

After 2:24 of the ensuing major power play, Mark Friedman cross-checked Josh Kestner, giving the Chargers a full two minutes of 5-on-3.

However, the Falcons would survive, as UAH had trouble getting set and Chris Nell making important saves to the delight of a relatively small but vocal crowd at the Slater Family Ice Arena.

The third period started with more penalties on UAH that made it difficult to get any rally going. Further, Adam Smith scored on the power play at the 5:14 to make it 4-0.

Then Dufour completed the hat trick with 13:06 remaining for a 5-0 Falcon lead. That too was on the power play.

The rest of the game was featured more penalties on both sides as several scuffles broke out. Both BGSU’s Tyler Spezia and UAH’s Brennan Saulnier each had 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Reminiscent of the Nov. 19 game in Huntsville, the Falcons added two late garbage goals by Frederic LeTourneau and Alec Rauhauser for the final 7-0 score.

Guerriero made 35 saves, but he was tagged with all seven goals. Nell stopped all 33 shots he faced for the shutout.

The Falcons were tied for fourth place with Ferris State in the WCHA standings coming in, looking for home ice in the first round of the conference playoffs.

The regular season finale is Saturday at 6:07 p.m. Central Time.

Notes: Brent Fletcher played his 138th game at UAH, setting a new program record. … UAH defenseman Kurt Gosselin was back in the lineup after missing three games for concussion-like symptoms.

Feb 232017
 
CATCHING THE GAMES
Friday, Feb. 24, 6:07 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25, 6:07 p.m.
Season stats: UAH | Bowling Green

In the hunt for a berth in the WCHA playoffs, the Chargers head to Ohio to finish the regular season at Bowling Green.

UAH is in ninth place in the WCHA standings, one point behind Northern Michigan for the final conference playoff spot. They’ll need points against the Falcons and some help.

All-time series: Bowling Green leads the series 19-4-1, including a 9-1-1 mark at home.

Back in November, the Falcons swept the Chargers in Huntsville by scores of 4-1 and 8-3, but the games were closer than the scores indicate. The first game was a one-goal affair until BG scored with less than two minutes to go and then added an empty-netter. UAH had the lead going into the third in the second game and was down only one halfway through the third before the Falcons again added another late goal and empty-netter (plus two garbage goals afterward).

Cam Knight has 16 assists this season. (Photo by UAH Athletics/Doug Eagan)

Charger recap: UAH (9-20-3 overall, 9-14-3 WCHA) was idle last week. Two weeks ago, the Chargers split with Bemidji State to finish out their home schedule, losing 3-2 and winning 5-2. Tyler Poulsen scored twice in the win.

The Chargers have started to play better, going 2-2-1 after a seven-game losing streak that has them fighting to stay in the playoff chase.

Kurt Gosselin, who is tied for the team lead with nine goals, did not suit up against Bemidji. He has missed the last three games due to concussion like symptoms.

Cam Knight has 16 assists on the season, the most by a Charger since Brandon Roshko had 17 in the 2007-08 season. Knight has helpers in his last three games and five of his last seven.

Senior captain Brent Fletcher is set to break the school record for most games played this weekend. He is tied with Joel Bresciani, who played 137 games as a Charger from 1999-2003.

Junior goaltender Jordan Uhelski has a 2.82 goals against average and .904 save percentage. In the finale against Bemidji State, senior Carmine Guerriero replaced Uhelski in the second period and stopped all 23 shots he faced.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA games only)
Bowling Green
9-20-3 Overall record 15-17-2
9-14-3-0
(30 pts, 9th)
WCHA record 12-13-1-1
(38 pts, T4th)
2.62 (T6th) Goals/game 2.69 (5th)
3.31 (10th) Goals allowed/game 2.50 (T3rd)
14.8 (6th) Pen. minutes/game 14.9 (5th)
14.6% (5th) Power play 12.9% (8th)
77.6% (10th) Penalty kill 85.6% (4st)

About the Falcons: Bowling Green (15-17-2 overall, 12-13-1 WCHA) played a non-conference game at home, beating Mercyhurst 3-0.

The Falcons haven’t played a conference game in three weeks, when they were swept and double shut out by Atte Tolvanen and Northern Michigan (3-0 and 2-0). BG has been shut out in three straight conference games.

Bowling Green is tied with Ferris State for fourth place in the WCHA standings. The Falcons have already clinched a playoff berth, looking to secure home ice in the first round.

Mitchell McClain, Bowling Green’s top scorer, has 16 goals (2nd in the WCHA) and 28 points (6th), but has been kept off the scoresheet in his last six games. He had a hat trick against UAH on Nov. 19.

Tyler Spezia, who scored a goal in each win against the Chargers in November, is second on the Falcons with 22 points. Chris Dufour also had two goals against UAH earlier and has 10 goals on the season.

Junior goaltender Chris Nell has a 2.35 goals against average and .902 save percentage in 26 starts this season.

Around the WCHA: All times Central. Games featuring WCHA teams at home can be seen on WCHA.tv.

Friday, February 24
* UAH at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Lake Superior State, 6:37 p.m.
* Minnesota State at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 25
* UAH at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Minnesota State at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.