Hoof Beats: Notes from Notre Dame; Texan commits

With the Chargers off this week, here are some notes about last weekend’s series at Notre Dame:

  • Coach Mike Corbett told the Notre Dame broadcasters that he didn’t want the Chargers to have a special teams battle with the Irish. UAH was 57th of 60 Division I teams last year on power play opportunities, and 49th in penalty killing, and both aspects did not have great starts to the season. For the weekend, the Chargers were 1-for-10 on the power play, and the Irish was 3-for-9.
  • Tyler Poulsen’s two goals on Friday earned him the third star of the game. It was Poulsen’s second two-goal game of his UAH career.
  • Friday’s game was close to a repeat of history. The last (and only) time UAH has defeated a top-10 team was also a season opener and also at Notre Dame. The Chargers beat the fifth-ranked Irish 3-2 on Oct. 9, 2009. UAH led 3-2 at one point of the second period on Friday.
  • Saturday’s 4-0 loss wasn’t fun, but it didn’t appear to be as dominating as the score indicated. UAH had an advantage in shots on goal (34-31), while shots attempted were also close with the Irish with a slight 58-57 edge.
  • All five freshmen forwards played in both games, with Levi Wunder getting an assist on Friday. Freshman goaltender Mark Sinclair make his first start on Saturday, stopping 27 of 31 shots.
  • The Chargers may be feeling the effects of being without injured center Max McHugh in the faceoff dot. UAH won only 22 of 63 faceoffs on Friday and 20 of 53 on Saturday, or 36 percent for the series.
  • McHugh is the team’s captain, with Kurt Gosselin, Josh Kestner, and Brandon Parker being the alternate captains.
  • The UAH softball team was in attendance at Friday night’s game. Les Stuedeman and her squad were in South Bend to play the Irish and Western Michigan in fall practice games on Saturday. They were certainly heard at the Compton Family Ice Arena, particularly late in the game when the Chargers were threatening to score the tying goal.

The Chargers are off this week. Next week they head to Houghton, Mich., visiting Michigan Tech for their first WCHA series of the season.

Recruiting news and notes: Ben Allen, a ’97-born forward from Allen, Texas, recently committed to UAH for the 2018-2019 season. Allen is currently playing for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL after having spent the majority of last season with the Battleford North Stars in the SJHL. He’s not big at 5’9 and 175 lbs., but he makes up for it with an advanced hockey IQ and a relentless motor. With 11 forwards currently committed to play college hockey on Penticton’s roster, this should be a great year for Allen’s development. He’s currently got 2 goals and 1 assist in 7 games, and I expect his production will increase as he gets used to a new league and a new team. All-in-all, another solid commit for Coach Corbett and his staff.
Unfortunately, around the same time Allen committed to the Herd, it was confirmed that blue-chip defenseman Hank Sorensen had decided to open his recruitment back up. At this point in time, it’s unclear whether he’s still considering UAH. —Asher Kitchings

Single-game tickets now available: Reserved single-game tickets to the Chargers’ 14 home games are now for sale. They can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or through the Von Braun Center box office.

Season tickets are still available by calling 256-UAH-PUCK or through uahchargers.com.

The home opening series, which is also Homecoming, is Nov. 10-11 against Alaska Anchorage.

Around the WCHA: Michigan Tech scored a couple of crucial non-conference wins for the league by winning the Ice Breaker Tournament in Duluth, Minn. The Huskies defeated No. 16 Union 4-3 and host No. 6 Minnesota Duluth 4-3. Now at No. 15, Michigan Tech is the only WCHA team in the USCHO.com poll. … Minnesota State opened at home to a large crowd against in-state rival St. Cloud State, but the Mavericks lost 4-0 Saturday despite, like UAH, outshooting the Huskies 42-26. … Alaska Anchorage surprised No. 7 North Dakota at home on Friday with a 1-1 tie, but the Seawolves fell to the Fighting Hawks in overtime on Saturday, 3-2. … UAH alumnus Lance West made his debut as the head coach of the Alaska Nanooks, which took a loss and tie against Air Force in Fairbanks. … Ferris State split with Western Michigan, with each team winning at home. Western defeated Bowling Green 3-1 in Kalamazoo on Tuesday. … Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan split a non-conference home-and-home series.

Friday, October 13
* Northern Michigan at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* #15 Michigan Tech at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Minnesota State at #2 Boston University, 6:30 p.m.
Michigan State at Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
#5 Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska at #6 St. Cloud State, 7:37 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Colorado College, 8:37 p.m.

Saturday, October 14
* Northern Michigan at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
* #15 Michigan Tech at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Minnesota State at #2 Boston University, 6:00 p.m.
Bowling Green at Michigan State, 6:05 p.m.
Bemidji State at #5 Minnesota Duluth, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska at #6 St. Cloud State, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Colorado College, 8:07 p.m.

Season tickets and BLC info now available

Season tickets and Blue Line Club memberships for the 2017-18 season are now available. Existing BLC members should be receiving renewal brochures in the mail.

The price for season tickets remains the same as last year at $192 for 14 home games. FlexTix packages, a set of 10 tickets that can be used for any game you choose, return for a price of $99.

The Blue Line Club is the UAH hockey booster club. Members get many great benefits, including multiple season tickets and FlexTix packs, VIP parking at the VBC, VBC hospitality room access, coaches’ luncheons, special events, and more.

For more information, order tickets, or join the Blue Line Club, call 256-UAH-PUCK (256-824-7825). Or, download and return the Blue Line Club and season ticket brochure.

Tickets to individual games will be available through Ticketmaster and the Von Braun Center box office at a later date. Check back on our tickets page for updates.

The Chargers start the season with four straight road series, beginning with Notre Dame on Oct. 6-7. The home opening series is Nov. 10-11 against Alaska Anchorage.

Trip to Cornell added to updated 2017-18 schedule

More changes have been made to UAH’s 2017-18 hockey schedule, the Chargers announced on Friday.

UAH will travel to Ithaca, N.Y., on Oct. 27-28 to play ECAC opponent Cornell. The Big Red finished this season with a 21-9-5 overall record and a 13-4-5 ECAC mark. Cornell lost in the ECAC championship game to Harvard, and lost to UMass Lowell in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinal.

The Chargers’ home series with Northern Michigan has been moved from Oct. 27-28 to Feb. 3-4. That will be a Saturday-Sunday series with the puck drop for the Sunday game at 3:07 p.m.

UAH’s visit to NMU has been moved from that February wekeend to the first weekend in December.

UAH’s schedule now stands at 34 games, with 14 at the Von Braun Center, all WCHA games. The Chargers will play eight on the road, then six at home, then 12 on the road, then eight at home. The 12-game road swing will tie the longest in UAH history, first set in 2012-13.

UAH confirmed Monday’s announcement by Arizona State that its series with the Sun Devils this season has been moved to Tempe. ASU will visit Huntsville in the 2018-19 season.

 

ASU series switched to Tempe; UAH to host in ’18-19

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.

Hoof Beats: Golf outing and commitment updates

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.