May 222017
 

Arizona State announced Monday that it and UAH have swapped the home-and-home series for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

The Chargers were to play the Sun Devils at the Von Braun Center on Dec. 2-3. That series will now be played at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 3-4.

ASU will now visit Huntsville early in the 2018-19 season, on Oct. 19-20, 2018.

Arizona State was the only non-WCHA home series this coming season. UAH will have no non-conference games at home for the second straight year.

May 122017
 

The 2017 UAH Hockey Frenchy Open will tee off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 at Hampton Cove Golf Course.

The golf tournament is the program’s biggest summer fundraising event. The tournament layout will be a four-player scramble with prizes going to the top three teams and individual winners. Raffle and door prizes will be available.

Register online to reserve your spot. Registration per player is $150, which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, a UAH Hockey souvenir, refreshments, and dinner. Full four-player teams can register for $600.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact assistant coach Matty Thomas at 256-824-2989 or matthew.thomas@uah.edu.

In addition, there will be an UAH alumni hockey game at the Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex in Huntsville on June 24 at 6 p.m.

“The Frenchy Open” is named after Charger left wing Jean-Marc Plante, who died in 2001. Also known as “Frenchy,” the Laval, Quebec, native played for UAH from 1988-92, scoring 16 goals and 19 assists in 94 games. Plante worked at the front office of the Florida Panthers and became the athletic marketing director at UAH. A memorial scholarship is awarded in his honor to the Charger hockey player who demonstrates leadership, sportsmanship, and team spirit, and who participates in community and university volunteer service.

Commitments: Bauer Neudecker of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) announced his commitment to UAH. He is expected to join the Chargers in the 2019-20 season.

Neudecker, 18, is a native of St. Louis Park, Minn. He joined the Ice Dogs after scoring 39 goals in his senior season at St. Louis Park High School. With Fairbanks, he scored five goals in 11 regular-season games and three goals in seven playoff games.

Neudecker was selected in the 12th round by Dubuque in Phase II of the USHL draft last week.

Connor Merkley, who will join the Chargers this fall, is a 20-year-old forward coming from the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL, where he played with current UAH forward Jordan Larson.

Merkley had 29 goals and 66 points in 61 games for the Canadians this season.

Cole, Luongo reunited at Michigan State: Former UAH coaches will be trying to bring the Michigan State hockey program back into prominence.

Danton Cole, who helmed the Chargers from 2007-10, was named the Spartans’ head coach on. The Chargers won the CHA Tournament title and earned an NCAA Tournament berth under Cole’s watch in 2010, after which Cole left UAH to coach in the U.S. Hockey National Team Development Program.

Chris Luongo, who was an assistant under Cole at UAH and was the head coach from 2010-12, will assist Cole again at Michigan State. Luongo also worked with Cole at the NTDP.

Both Cole and Luongo are MSU alums, playing from 1985-89. They won the 1986 national championship as freshman and made two more Frozen Four appearances in 1987 and 1989.

May 042017
 

UAH and the WCHA released the 2017-18 schedule on Thursday. The Chargers play 32 games this season, 16 at home, 16 on the road.

It will be UAH’s 33rd season as a varsity program and 39th overall. It will be the Chargers’ 19th season since re-joining Division I and their fifth in the WCHA.

In addition to the 28-game WCHA schedule, the Chargers will play non-conference series against Notre Dame and Arizona State.

Opening: The Chargers start the 2017-18 campaign on Oct. 6-7 at Notre Dame, which will be making its debut as a member of the Big Ten. It will be UAH’s 1,000th game as a varsity hockey program.

Long home stand: After UAH visits Michigan Tech on Oct. 20-21 for the first conference series, the Chargers spend the next 10 games at home. It’s the Chargers longest home stand since the 1998-99 season. The first four series are WCHA tilts against Northern Michigan, Alaska Anchorage, Lake Superior State, and Ferris State. The last two games are…

Burritos vs. Biscuits: Arizona State visits Huntsville for a series on Dec. 1-2 in the first battle between the NCAA’s southernmost programs. It might be the first of many with reports of ASU being in negotiations with the WCHA to join the league.

Long road swing: After the home stand, the Chargers have their longest road trip since 2012-13. UAH will go to Bowling Green and Minnesota State before the holiday break, then visit Bemidji State for the first series of 2018. The Chargers then spend a week in Alaska for the first time since joining the WCHA, going to Fairbanks on Jan. 5-6 and Anchorage on Jan. 12-13.

Stretch run: The Chargers finish the regular season with six of the last eight games at home. Bemidji State comes to Huntsville on Jan. 26-27, Minnesota State visits Feb. 9-10, and the final series of the season is against Bowling Green on Feb. 23-24. The only road series is at Northern Michigan on Feb. 2-3.

UAH Hockey 2017-18 Schedule
* WCHA game
Home games in bold.

Oct. 6 at Notre Dame
Oct. 7 at Notre Dame
Oct. 20 at Michigan Tech*
Oct. 21 at Michigan Tech*
Oct. 27 vs. Northern Michigan*
Oct. 28 vs. Northern Michigan*
Nov. 10 vs. Alaska Anchorage*
Nov. 11 vs. Alaska Anchorage*
Nov. 17 vs. Lake Superior State*
Nov. 18 vs. Lake Superior State*
Nov. 24 vs. Ferris State*
Nov. 25 vs. Ferris State*
Dec. 2 vs. Arizona State
Dec. 3 vs. Arizona State
Dec. 8 at Bowling Green*
Dec. 9 at Bowling Green*
Dec. 15 at Minnesota State*
Dec. 16 at Minnesota State*
Dec. 29 at Bemidji State*
Dec. 30 at Bemidji State*
Jan. 5 at Alaska*
Jan. 6 at Alaska*
Jan. 12 at Alaska Anchorage*
Jan. 13 at Alaska Anchorage*
Jan. 26 vs. Bemidji State*
Jan. 27 vs. Bemidji State*
Feb. 2 at Northern Michigan*
Feb. 3 at Northern Michigan*
Feb. 9 vs. Minnesota State*
Feb. 10 vs. Minnesota State*
Feb. 23 vs. Bowling Green*
Feb. 24 vs. Bowling Green*

Feb 092017
 
CATCHING THE GAMES
Friday, Feb. 10, 7:07 p.m.
First 500 get free cell phone wallets
Saturday, Feb. 11, 3:07 p.m.
First 500 get UAH hockey trading cards
Ticket information
Kids 12-under get free admission
Season stats: UAH | Bemidji State

The Chargers close out the home regular season schedule against rival Bemidji State at the Von Braun Center on Friday and Saturday.

UAH will try to pull some upsets on the Beavers in order to secure their WCHA playoff position. Bemidji State is a win away from clinching the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA regular season champion.

All-time series: The Chargers and Beavers will be meeting for the 81st and 82nd time. Bemidji State leads overall 46-29-5, while UAH leads 19-17-3 in Huntsville.

This is the only regular season meeting between the programs this season. Last season, Bemidji State won three of the four meetings (the other being a tie).

Josh Kestner

Josh Kestner has 9 goals and 22 points on the season. (UAH Athletics/Doug Eagan)

Charger recap: UAH (8-19-3 overall, 8-13-3 WCHA) snapped a nine-game winless streak Saturday with a 4-1 victory in Alaska, earning a split with the and staying in eighth place in the WCHA standings. Alaska won the first game, 3-0.

Josh Kestner scored his ninth goal of the season, tying him with Kurt Gosselin for the team lead. Brennan Saulnier, Matt Salhany, and Sean Rappleyea scored the other goals for UAH.

Kestner leads the Chargers with 22 points, followed by Gosselin and Max McHugh with 18. Cam Knight has 17 points, buoyed by a team-leading 14 assists.

Connor James earned his two collegiate points with a pair of assists.

Jordan Uhelski made 30 saves on 31 shots in the win over Alaska, and 61 saves for the weekend. His goals against average is now at 2.75 and his save percentage up to .907. He is 6-7-3 in 17 starts.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA games only)
Bemidji State
8-19-3 Overall record 18-11-3
8-13-3-0
(27 pts, 8th)
WCHA record 18-4-2-2
(58 pts, 1st)
2.54 (7th) Goals/game 2.62 (6th)
3.38 (10th) Goals allowed/game 1.42 (1st)
15.0 (5th) Pen. minutes/game 10.0 (10th)
14.8% (T5th) Power play 20.4% (1st)
78.3% (10th) Penalty kill 93.5% (1st)

About the Beavers: Bemidji State (18-11-3 overall, 18-4-2 WCHA) can clinch the WCHA regular season title with a win over the Chargers or a Michigan Tech loss to Ferris State. The Beavers swept Tech by scores of 4-2 and 3-0 last week.

The Beavers are not a high-powered offense, but they don’t need to be with a defense that ranks the best in all of Division I in goals per game (1.81). Anchoring the defense is junior goaltender Michael Bitzer, who leads the nation with a 1.61 goals against average, is sixth in the country with a .935 save percentage, and is tied for the D-I lead with five shutouts.

Also tough to penetrate is BSU’s penalty kill, which also ranks the best in the country at 89.5 percent. That’s for the rare time they need it, as the Beavers are one of the least penalized teams in the nation.

Senior Phillip Marinaccio leads Bemidji State with 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists. The goal-scoring leader is junior Kyle Bauman, who has 11.

Around the WCHA: Series to watch as we head to the final stretch toward the playoffs:

Ferris State at Michigan Tech: Ferris State is tied for 6th, two points ahead of UAH. Michigan Tech has a six-point lead for 2nd, but needs to win and Bemidji State to lose to stay in contention for the MacNaughton Cup.

Alaska at Northern Michigan: Alaska is in 5th, just three points ahead of UAH. Northern Michigan is 9th but only two points behind the Chargers.

Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State: Anchorge is in 10th, but the Seawolves are not out of it, only five points behind UAH for 8th. Lake Superior is tied with Ferris State for 6th, also two points ahead of the Chargers.

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

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

Saturday, February 11
* Bemidji State at UAH, 3:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Michigan Tech, 4:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Mercyhurst at Bowling Green, 4:07 p.m.

Feb 042017
 

The Chargers went to Fairbanks looking to solidify its playoff position, and nothing went UAH’s way Friday in the first game of the series with Alaska.

UAH lost 3-0, getting shut out for the fourth time this season. The Chargers (7-19-3 overall, 7-13-3 WCHA) haven’t won since Dec. 10, winless in their last seven WCHA contests and nine overall.

BOX SCORE

The Chargers’ hold of the eighth and final WCHA playoff spot became all the more tenuous. Northern Michigan and Alaska Anchorage both won Friday, cutting the gap to UAH to just two points with the Chargers only having five games left. Both NMU and UAA have two games in hand.

Complicating matters for UAH is the loss of defenseman Kurt Gosselin, who left the game in the first period after a contact to the head by Alaska’s Zach Frye.

The Chargers were stymied, mostly in the third period, by Nanooks goaltender Davis Jones, who made 31 saves (18 in the third period) for the shutout.

Alaska improved to 9-15-3 overall and 8-10-3 in the WCHA, moving into sole possession of fifth place.

The Nanooks got the first goal at 4:31 from John Mullally, who was on the doorstep for a wide open net. UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski could not pick up a rebound from a Zach Frye shot.

Alaska went up 2-0 at 12:35 when Chad Staley drove to the net alone and coaxed the puck around Uhelski’s left.

The Chargers had their chances in the first period, but had nothing to show for it. UAH had the benefit of over three minutes of power play time after Frye’s hit on Gosselin got him a major contact to the head penalty and a game misconduct.

Gosselin was escorted to the locker room by the UAH training staff and did not return.

Meanwhile, Jones made the saves on a 3-on-1 Charger break and a Max McHugh point-blank shot.

The second period saw no scoring, but Alaska maintained most of the puck possession and offensive chances to prevent the Chargers from rallying. The Nanooks outshot the Chargers 13-6 for the period.

Alaska had some golden opportunities to extend its lead, however, thanks to a couple of UAH turnovers. Kylar Hope had a steal behind the net and tried a wraparound, and the shot rebounded to Troy Van Tetering, who missed a wide open net.

Van Tetering had another chance late in the frame, as he took a loose puck in the UAH zone. Uhelski would deflect his shot out of play to keep the Chargers within two.

That didn’t stay long to start the third. Nikolas Koberstein put Alaska up 3-0 just 29 seconds in with a writer from the high slot.

The Nanooks nearly made it 4-0, but Staley was called for a major charging the goalie penalty. For the second time, UAH hindered itself by committing a penalty, this time by Cam Knight, shaving two minutes off its man advantage.

When they did get the power play back, the Chargers had at least six shots on goal. Jones made the saves to preserve the shutout.

In fact, the third period is when UAH finally put the pressure on. The Chargers had 18 shots on goal in the final frame, and Jones seemed to be everywhere with the glove and the pads.

In the end, Alaska still outshot UAH 34-31. Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.

Game two of the series is Saturday night at 10:07 p.m.