UAH announces team awards, captains at banquet

Last Wednesday night was the end of season banquet for the Chargers, who celebrated the strides made in the 2014-15 season and looked forward to the next step in the program’s growth.

Sophomore goaltender Carmine Guerriero was the team’s Most Valuable Player of the 2014-15 season. Guerriero had a .928 save percentage, fourth-best in UAH history, and a 2.56 goals against average, fifth-best in program history.

Defensive Player of the Year went to junior Frank Misuraca, who led UAH defensemen in goals with six goals. He was second among Chargers with 69 blocks.

After making the WCHA All-Rookie Team and leading the Chargers in scoring with 23 points, Max McHugh was an obvious choice for Freshman of the Year.

The Charger of the Year Award, which goes to the player who exemplifies what it means to be a UAH Charger, went to senior Craig Pierce. The Roswell, Ga., native became an alternate captain this season, scoring three goals in 28 games and battling a wrist injury.

Also announced were the 2015-16 captains. Junior Brent Fletcher will don the “C” for the Chargers next season, with seniors Frank Misuraca and Chad Brears being the alternate captains.

Press release from UAHChargers.com

Hoof Beats: Prince invited to Team GB

Photo Credit: Timothy Burns

Photo Credit: Timothy Burns

Jack Prince will playing for a spot on his home country’s national team.

The Charger wing from Leicester, England is on Team Great Britain’s initial 31-man squad preparing for the World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The team will be pared down to 23 players in two weeks.

Prince scored five goals with nine assists for 14 points in his just-completed junior season, and has 30 points in three years at UAH.

Dunn commits: The Chargers picked up a commitment on Wednesday from Madison Dunn, a forward from the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Dunn, who is from Calgary, had eight goals and 35 assists for 43 points in 60 games with the Bandits during the regular season. He had two goals and five assists in six playoff games so far as Brooks goes into the second round of the AJHL playoffs.

More information on incoming recruits is coming soon. For more information, visit the Commitments page.

Banquet in two weeks: Remember that the UAH hockey post-season banquet is Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m. at Spragins Hall.

The cost is $25 per person, and you have the opportunity to sponsor a player’s dinner at the banquet for $25.

There will be several silent auction items at the event as well as the opportunity to sit with your favorite player at dinner. Payments will be accepted at the door upon arrival.

The hockey office asks that you RSVP for the event.  If you have any other questions you can email Nick Laurila.

Around the WCHA: The WCHA Final Five is this weekend at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The semifinals take place Friday, with Bowling Green facing Michigan Tech at 4:07 p.m. MacNaughton Cup champion Minnesota State faces Ferris State at 7:37 p.m. The Broadmoor Cup championship game is Saturday night at 6:07 p.m.

The champion gets an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota State and Michigan Tech, ranked second and fifth respectively in the Pairwise Rankings, are locks to be at-large bids, with No. 12 Bowling Green in decent shape with at least a semifinal victory. If Ferris State wins the Broadmoor Cup, it is conceivable that the league could get four teams in college hockey’s big dance.

The WCHA Final Five can be seen on Fox College Sports Central. Find FCS on your local cable or satellite provider.

 

Chargers fall 1-0 to Tech in record-breaking playoff opener

BOX SCORE

This will be remembered forever by Charger fans as a classic. It’s a classic example of how far the Chargers have come this season, but also a classic playoff heartbreak.

Tyler Heinonen’s goal with 1:11 left in the third overtime lifted Michigan Tech to a 1-0 victory on Friday, taking game one of this best-of-3 WCHA quarterfinal series.

It’s hard to believe that back in late January, the Chargers were blown out of the John D. MacInnes Student Ice Center by scores of 5-0 and 11-1. But thanks to the historic effort by UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero, the Chargers (8-25-4) were even with the fourth-ranked Huskies (27-8-2).

Guerriero made a 76 saves, an all-time record for UAH and the WCHA. They happened in a game that lasted 118:49, which is the longest game in both UAH’s and Michigan Tech’s histories, the second-longest in WCHA history, and the seventh-longest in NCAA history.

Game two is Saturday night at 6:07 p.m., and that won’t seem like a long time to rest for the Chargers after playing the equivalent of two games in one, especially since most of the action was in their end. Michigan Tech finished with a 77-32 shots on goal advantage, controlling possession right from the start.

But that did not mean the Chargers didn’t have scoring opportunities. Despite being credited with only three shots on goal in the first period, the Chargers may have put more pressure on the Huskies than in either of the two regular-season games in Houghton.

Michigan Tech was able to notch 11 shots on goal in the first, and had what amounted to an extended power play to help.

Richard Buri was called for holding when he took down MTU’s Reid Sturos with 6:15 left, and after UAH killed the ensuing power play, Buri iced the puck coming out of the box. That forced the Chargers to keep their penalty killers on the ice, and it took another minute for Guerriero to cover the puck and allow UAH to make a change. In that minute, Guerriero had to make three more saves.

Still, UAH kept the Huskies off the board, the first shutout period for the Chargers against the Huskies in six.

Michigan Tech kept pouring it on in the second period, but Guerriero was up to the task. He denied Joel L’Esperance on a partial break, and had to make several body saves and cover ups as the Huskies had three power play opportunities.

On on power play chance of the second period for Tech with 5:35 to go, the puck went by Guerriero as he tried to cover up, but a quick whistle led to the goal being immediately waved off. Guerriero then made a body save on Shane Hanna and had to pounce on another puck in the crease to keep the game scoreless.

UAH finished off another penalty kill to start the third period, and Guerriero continued to make saves. One was very close to being not, however, as a Tanner Kero drive went five-hole on Guerriero, and the puck trickled through the crease and wide of the net by about two inches with about 13 minutes left in regulation.

With 9:22 left in the third, the Chargers finally got their power play after Shane Hanna is called for high sticking. Then with 8:00 left, Matt Roy cross-checked Brennan Saulnier to the right of the Husky net, giving UAH a two-man advantage for 38 seconds.

Jack Prince’s chance from the slot was stopped by MTU goalie Jamie Phillips, who scrambled to cover as he finally started getting some work. Phillips made five saves during the 3:22 of UAH power play time, keeping the Chargers off the board.

UAH, which was outshot 28-6 in the first two period, outshot MTU 7-6 in the third as the teams finished scoreless in regulation.

In the first overtime, UAH had to kill off more Husky power play time. First, Brandon Parker was called for roughing with 10:23 left, but no goal.

But the biggest hit was by Brennan Saulnier, who crushed Tech’s Alex Petan in the UAH corner with 3:02 left in overtime. Petan was down for a few minutes but was able to leave the ice. Saulnier was given a five-minute checking from behind and a game misconduct, and with his third game misconduct will be disqualified for Saturday’s Game 2 and may get more discipline from the WCHA.

The Huskies had a couple of great chances during the power play near the end of the first overtime. Tanner Kero somehow got a shot of while being hampered in the slot, but Guerriero was able to get a blocker on it. Then, Joel L’Esperance, who had been denied by Guerriero on a couple of breakaways during the game already, was stopped again at the doorstep.

UAH killed the remaining 1:58 of the MTU major power play to keep going. Guerriero kept seeing rubber and keeping out of the net, including a Blake Pietila’s blast that stunned him in his upper left arm. He eventually broke UAH’s all-time single saves record of 62, which was set by Barry Friedman against Geneseo State in 1986.

The Chargers had a power play chance of their own with 6:17 left in the second overtime after a high stick by Mike Neville, but UAH could do nothing with it.

With 4:41 left in the second overtime, the game became the longest in UAH history, surpassing the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal against Notre Dame, which UAH lost 3-2.

UAH had two power play chances in the third overtime, including a 4-on-3 situation, but despite jabs by Brandon Parker and Max McHugh, the Chargers could not score.

Then came Heinonsen’s game-winner on Michigan Tech’s 77th shot. He beat Guerriero high on a rebound, sending euphoria to the Husky faithful.

Phillips got the shutout with 32 saves.

Game two can be seen at WCHA.tv for a subscription fee, or free at the World of Wings at Charger Union. It can also be heard on Pasty.net.

Series Preview: WCHA Quarterfinals at Michigan Tech, March 13-15

CATCHING THE GAMES
Times: Game 1: 6:07 p.m. CT Friday
Game 2: 6:07 p.m. CT Saturday
Game 3*: 6:07 p.m. CT Sunday
* if necessary
Watch it: WCHA.tv (subscription)
Hear it: Pasty.net
Stats: CollegeHockeyStats.net
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @mtuhky@TechHockeyGuide

As playoff debuts go, this will be tough. Very tough.

UAH makes its first-ever WCHA postseason appearance this weekend with a best-of-3 series at No. 4 Michigan Tech, where the Chargers have simply had problems against the Huskies.

It’s playoff hockey, and strange things can happen, but it’s safe to say that the Chargers are huge underdogs in this series. UAH is the seventh seed, and Michigan Tech is the second seed.

Game 1 is Friday night, game 2 is Saturday night, and, if necessary, a deciding game 3 would be Sunday night. All games are scheduled to start at 6:07 p.m. CDT.

All-time series: The Chargers are 0-6 all-time against the Huskies, and are 0-4 in Houghton. UAH was blown out in both games there in late January this season by scores of 5-0 and 11-1. In 2013-14, the Chargers lost 4-1 and 10-4 at Houghton. That’s a combined score of 30-6 for the Huskies on their home ice.

The two games in Huntsville over Thanksgiving weekend were a bit closer, with Tech winning 4-2 and 5-2.

Brandon Carlson

Brandon Carlson, who scored UAH’s goal on Saturday, is second in the nation with 83 blocked shots. (Photo by Todd Pavlack/BGSUHockey.com)

Charger recap: UAH (8-24-4 overall, 7-20-1 WCHA) saw its losing streak extended to six to finish the regular season by being swept at Bowling Green.

On Friday, the Falcons scored two in the first, two in the second, and three in the third to win 7-2. Two Max McHugh goals in the third period averted the shutout.

Saturday’s game was tighter, but Bowling Green found a way to win 2-1. Brandon Carlson’s goal in the first period erased a 1-0 lead for the Falcons, who retook the lead late in the same period and held on the rest of the way. Matt Larose had his best start of the season, stopping 26 of 28 shots.

McHugh, named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team on Thursday, has 23 points on 12 goals and 11 assists to lead the Chargers. He has the most points by a UAH player since the 2006-07 season.

Other top scorers for UAH: Chad Brears (3-12-15), Jack Prince (5-9-14), Brandon Parker (0-14-14), Jeff Vanderlugt (6-7-13), Frank Misuraca (6-6-12).

Starting goaltender Carmine Guerriero had his worst start of the season last Friday, his 11th straight start in a row. He comes into the postseason with a 2.69 goals against average and a .923 save percentage, which is still fifth-best in the WCHA.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
MTU
8-24-4
7-20-1 WCHA (8th)
Record 26-8-2
21-5-2 WCHA (2nd)
1.72 (9th) Goals/game 3.64 (1st)
3.25 (9th) Goals allowed/game 1.78 (1st)
15.5 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 12.2 (8th)
16.2% (6th) Power play 21.2% (2nd)
81.5% (8th) Penalty kill 85.0% (6th)

About the Huskies: Michigan Tech (26-8-2 overall, 21-5-2 WCHA) fell one point short of Minnesota State in the race for the MacNaughton Cup, but the fourth-ranked Huskies are 10-1-1 in their last 12 after a home-and-home sweep of U.P. rival Northern Michigan to finish the regular season. Tech will be hosting a WCHA playoff series for the first time in 22 years.

Senior foward Tanner Kero was named the league’s Player of the Year after winning the WCHA scoring title with 34 points in 28 conference games. Kero, an All-WCHA First Team selection, is tied for 10th in the nation with 43 points on 18 goals and 25 assists. He totaled nine points against UAH in the four games this season.

Joining Kero on the All-WCHA First Team is goaltender Jamie Phillips. The junior and Winnipeg Jets prospect is second in the league in goals against average (1.76) and top the WCHA in save percentage (.935).

Two junior forwards, Alex Petan and Malcolm Gould, made the All-WCHA Second Team. Petan has 38 points (14 goals, 24 assists), followed by Gould’s 31 (14, 17).

New Jersey Devils draftee Blake Pietila is close behind with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points, putting him on the All-WCHA Third Team. Sophomore defenseman Shane Hanna also made the Third Team.

Around the WCHA: Here are the other three WCHA quarterfinal series this weekend. The winners of the best-of-3 series will go to the WCHA Final Five at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on March 20-21. All times are Central and all games can be seen online on WCHA TV.

No. 8 Lake Superior State at No. 1 Minnesota State
Game 1: Friday, 7:07 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, 7:07 p.m.

No. 6 Northern Michigan at No. 3 Bowling Green
Game 1: Friday, 6:07 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 6:07 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday, 6:07 p.m.

No. 5 Ferris State at No. 4 Bemidji State
Game 1: Friday, 7:37 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Game 3 (if necessary), 5:07 p.m.

McHugh named to WCHA All-Rookie Team

Max McHugh

Max McHugh

Max McHugh, UAH’s freshman forward from Seattle, was named to the All-Rookie Team among the 2014-15 WCHA Awards announced Thursday.

McHugh is the Chargers’ leading scorer with 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points, the most for a UAH player since the 2006-07. He had 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in WCHA play this season, which was third among all rookies in the league and tied for 19th among freshmen in NCAA Division I.

McHugh has played in all 36 of UAH’s games this season, winning the WCHA Rookie of the Week Award twice. His 12 goals are tied for 12th among all players in the WCHA.

The league also announced its all-academic team, featuring 13 Chargers: Chad Brears (Jr., F, Cold Lake, Alberta, 2013-14 WCHA Outstanding Scholar-Athlete of the Year); Brandon Carlson (So., D, Huntington Beach, Calif.); Alex Carpenter (Jr., F, Portage, Mich.); Brent Fletcher (So., F, New Westminster, British Columbia); Matt Larose (So., G, Nanaimo, British Columbia); Frank Misuraca (Jr., D, Clinton Township, Mich.); Craig Pierce (Sr., F, Roswell, Ga.); Jack Prince (Jr., F, Leicester, England); Doug Reid (Sr., F, Innisfil, Ontario); Ben Reinhardt (Sr., D, Arnprior, Ontario); Regan Soquila (So., F, Maple Ridge, British Columbia); Jeff Vanderlugt (Sr., F, Richmond Hill, Ontario); Anderson White (Jr., D, Caledon, Ontario).

2014-15 WCHA Awards

Player of the Year – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Defensive Player of the Year – Colton Parayko, Jr., D, Alaska
Rookie of the Year – Michael Bitzer, Fr., G, Bemidji State
Scoring Champion – Tanner Kero, Sr., F, Michigan Tech
Goaltending Champion – Stephon Williams, Jr., G, Minnesota State
Coach of the Year – Mike Hastings, Minnesota State

2014-15 All-WCHA First Team

Forwards: Tanner Kero, Sr., Michigan Tech; Matt Leitner, Sr., Minnesota State; Tyler Morley, Jr., Alaska
Defensemen: Colton Parayko, Jr., Alaska; Zach Palmquist, Sr., Minnesota State
Goaltender: Jamie Phillips, Jr., Michigan Tech

2014-15 All-WCHA Second Team

Forwards: Bryce Gervais, Jr., Minnesota State; Alex Petan, Jr., Michigan Tech; Malcolm Gould, Jr., Michigan Tech
Defensemen: Matt Prapavessis, Sr., Bemidji State; Casey Nelson, So., Minnesota State
Goaltender: Stephon Williams, Jr., Minnesota State

2014-15 All-WCHA Third Team

Forwards: Blake Pietila, Sr., Michigan Tech; Marcus Basara, So. Alaska; Brendan Harms, So., Bemidji State and Blake Tatchell, Sr., Alaska Anchorage (tied)
Defensemen: Shane Hanna, So., Michigan Tech; Brock Maschmeyer, So., Northern Michigan
Goaltender: CJ Motte, Sr., Ferris State

2014-15 WCHA All-Rookie Team

Forwards: Brandon Hawkins, Bowling Green; C.J. Franklin, Minnesota State; Max McHugh, Alabama Huntsville
Defensemen: Mark Friedman, Bowling Green; Nolan Valleau, Bowling Green
Goaltender: Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State