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Preview: UAH at Minnesota State, WCHA quarterfinals

Where: Verizon Center, Mankato, Minn.
When: Game 1, Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Game 2, Saturday, 7:07 p.m.; Game 3 (if necessary), Sunday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

It’s the 2019 WCHA playoffs, and the eighth-seed Chargers head to Mankato this weekend to face top-seed and No. 4-ranked Minnesota State.

The Mavericks (27-7-2) won the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular-season champions for the second straight season and fourth time in five years.

Needless to say, UAH (8-26-2) is the clear underdog. The Chargers will need the usual great goaltending, timely goals, and minimal mistakes to pull off an upset win, and they’ll have to do it twice within three days.

Most likely candidates to help UAH pull the upset: Goaltender Mark Sinclair has posted big games this season in the WCHA, earning two shutouts. Hans Gorowsky has been hot as of late, scoring goals in four in his last five games.

The defensive corps has been stalwarts blocking shots, with Cam Knight leading the way with 75 blocks.

UAH players to watch:
Mark Sinclair, G, So. (2.84 GAA, .917 SV%)
Hans Gorowsky, F, Sr. (12g-7a-19p)
Kurt Gosselin, D, Sr. (4g-11a-15p)
Bauer Neudecker, F, Fr. (7g-7a-14p)
Jack Jeffers, F, Fr. (7g-7a-14p)
Chargers 2018-19 statistics

Minnesota State players to watch:
Dryden McKay, G, Fr. (1.78 GAA, .928 SV%)
Marc Michaelis, F, Jr. (16g-10a-26p)
Parker Tuomie, F, Jr. (13g-21a-34p)
Jared Spooner, F, So. (7g-20a-27p)
Connor Mackey, D, So. (6g-16g-22p)
Mavericks 2018-19 statistics

WCHA quarterfinals schedule:

Friday, March 8 (Game 1)
#8 UAH at #1 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#7 Alaska at #2 Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#6 Michigan Tech at #3 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
#5 Bemidji State at #4 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.

Saturday, March 9 (Game 2)
#8 UAH at #1 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#7 Alaska at #2 Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#6 Michigan Tech at #3 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
#5 Bemidji State at #4 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.

Sunday, March 10 (Game 3, if necessary)
#8 UAH at #1 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#7 Alaska at #2 Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#6 Michigan Tech at #3 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
#5 Bemidji State at #4 Lake Superior State, 3:07 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Bowling Green

Where: Slater Family Ice Arena, Bowling Green, Ohio
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST; Saturday, 6:07 p.m. CST
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (7-25-2 overall, 7-17-2-2 WCHA) goes into the final week of the regular season holding the eighth and final WCHA playoff spot. The Chargers split on the road against the team trying to snatch it away from them, the Ferris State Bulldogs.

UAH won the first game in Big Rapids 2-0, with Mark Sinclair making 35 saves in earning his second shutout of the season. Sinclair is now fourth in the WCHA in save percentage at .917.

The Chargers scored first in the second game but allowed three second-period goals in the second period and couldn’t come back in a 5-2 defeat.

UAH still holds the advantage over Ferris State by four points. While the Chargers visit No. 15 Bowling Green, the Bulldogs will be at 19th-ranked Lake Superior State.

The magic number for the Chargers to clinch the playoff spot is three points. Any combination of UAH points won and Ferris State points lost totaling three (such as a UAH win or FSU loss) will send UAH to Mankato next week to face Minnesota State in the WCHA quarterfinals.

Hans Gorowsky scored a goal in each game last week for a team-leading 11 goals on the season. He has found the net in three straight games.

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

WCHA standingsPts.WCHA record
x-Minnesota State6220-5-1-1
y-Bowling Green5215-7-4-3
z-Northern Michigan5016-8-2-0
z-Lake Superior State4715-9-2-0
z-Bemidji State4513-9-4-2
z-Michigan Tech4313-10-3-1
z-Alaska3410-14-2-2
UAH257-17-2-2
Ferris State216-17-3-0
e-Alaska Anchorage112-21-3-2

x-Clinched MacNaughton Cup. y-Clinched home ice in the first round. z-Clinched playoff berth. e-Eliminated from playoff contention.

About the Falcons: Bowling Green (20-8-5 overall, 15-7-4-3 WCHA) enters the final weekend in second place in the WCHA standings. The Falcons are undefeated in their last four games and 5-2-2 in their last nine.

The Falcons can finish anywhere between second and fourth in the standings. They lead third-place Northern Michigan by two points and fourth-place Lake Superior by five.

Bowling Green swept the Chargers in its visit to Huntsville in December by scores of 6-2 and 2-1.

The Falcons are led by three 13-goal scorers: Sophomores Max Johnson and Connor Ford and junior Lukas Craggs. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruse leads the squad with 33 points (second in the WCHA) on the strength of 25 assists (tops in the WCHA).

Goaltender Ryan Bednard (Florida Panthers) leads the WCHA in goals against average (1.78) and save percentage (.926).

Bowling Green 2018-19 Statistics

Series notes: 
Overall: Bowling Green leads 25-5-2 (first meeting: Jan. 21, 2000).
In Bowling Green: BGSU leads 12-1-2. UAH win was Dec. 7, 2013 (4-3 in OT).
Last meeting: Dec. 1-2, 2008 at Huntsville. BGSU won 6-2 and 2-1.

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on FloHockey.tv.

Friday, March 1
UAH at #15 Bowling Green, 7:07 p.m.
Ferris State at #19 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #4 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, March 2
UAH at #15 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at #19 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #4 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Ferris State

Where: Ewigleben Ice Arena, Big Rapids, Mich.
When: Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Saturday, 6:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (6-24-2 overall, 6-16-2-2 WCHA) can clinch a WCHA playoff spot by earning at least four points against Ferris State in Michigan this weekend.

The Chargers, who were idle last week, are in eighth place and hold the final conference playoff berth, four points ahead of the ninth-place Bulldogs with four games left in the regular season. UAH is nine points behind seventh-place Alaska, which hosts first-place Minnesota State.

UAH had a 2-2 tie (with a 3-on-3 OT win) and a 6-3 loss against Northern Michigan two weeks ago in the Chargers’ final home series of the season. Winless in their last six games, UAH last won on Jan. 19 against Alaska Anchorage.

Hans Gorowsky scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season against NMU. Freshman Jack Jeffers is second at seven goals, the last coming in the tie against NMU.

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Bulldogs: Ferris State (8-21-3 overall, 5-16-3-0 WCHA) gained four points on the idle Chargers last week with a win and a tie at last-place Alaska Anchorage. The Bulldogs were 1-7-1 in the nine games prior.

Last month in Huntsville, FSU and UAH battled to a series split with both games going to overtime. In the first game on Jan. 4, the Bulldogs scored with 8:52 left in the 3rd and 56 seconds into overtime to win 6-5. The Chargers turned the tables the next night, rallying with two goals in the third, including Brandon Salerno’s score with 11 seconds left in regulation, to tie the game before Austin Beaulieu scored in OT to win 4-3.

Freshman defenseman Cooper Zech leads the Bulldogs in scoring with 27 points on seven goals and 20 assists. The favorite to win the WCHA Rookie of the Year award had two goals against the Chargers in Huntsville last month.

Freshman goaltender Roni Salmenkangas played both games in Anchorage. He has a 3.44 goals against average and .883 save percentage in 24 games.

Ferris State 2018-19 Statistics

Series notes:
Overall: Ferris State leads 16-8-1 (first meeting: Oct. 25, 1985).
In Big Rapids: FSU leads 8-3-1.
Trend: UAH leads 5-3-0 over the last three seasons.
Last series: Jan. 4-5, 2019 in Huntsville. FSU won 6-5 in OT, UAH won 4-3 in OT.

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on FloHockey.tv.

Friday, Feb. 22
UAH at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
#18 Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#15 Bowling Green at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
#4 Minnesota State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 23
UAH at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
#18 Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#15 Bowling Green at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
#4 Minnesota State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: Northern Michigan at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Saturday, 3:37 p.m.
Watch: Ticket information | FloHockey.tv (subscription required)
Promotions:

  • Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office.
  • UAH hockey trading cards will be given to the first 500 fans on Friday.
  • UAH team photos (sponsored by SportsMed) will be given to the first 500 fans on Saturday.
  • Tickets to Saturday’s Huntsville Havoc game will be good for general admission to UAH’s Saturday game.

Charger update: UAH (6-23-1 overall, 6-15-1-1 WCHA) ran into trouble at sixth-ranked Minnesota State, losing 6-1 and 4-0.

“Playing teams like Mankato is a great learning experience for our guys,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “Obviously, certain teams have more talent, but for us it’s to get our guys to compete consistently.

“I was proud of our guys on Saturday because we knew we were out of gas after about midway through that game. We had a good third period and hopefully take that into this weekend.”

This weekend is Senior Weekend, the final home series of the season. The eight seniors will be honored before Saturday’s game.

Two of those seniors are Hans Gorowsky and Kurt Gosselin, who were named the WCHA Forward and Defenseman of the Month, respectively, for January. Each scored 10 points in eight games for the month.

Gosselin, one of the team’s captains who battled injury through most of the season’s first half, has 13 points in 17 games. He scored the lone goal for UAH at Minnesota State.

“[Gosselin] is the guy leading the charge as far as commitment,” Corbett. “That’s a guy right now we need to play 25 to 26 minutes every single night and every other shift for us to be successful.

“Whether he wants it or not, he’s willing to jump the boards for us. That’s kind of a ‘watch me, follow me’ type of leadership, and we need other guys to follow.”

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Wildcats: Northern Michigan (14-13-0 overall, 13-7-0-0 WCHA) sits in fourth place in the WCHA standings, meaning the Wildcats are fighting for home ice in the conference playoffs. NMU split with then 13th-ranked Bowling Green last week, ending a three-game losing streak.

NMU and UAH got very familiar last season, meeting four times in the regular season, splitting both series, and the Wildcats besting the Chargers in three games in the WCHA quarterfinals at NMU.

The Wildcats have two players leading with 24 points. One is senior forward Troy Loggins, who has 12 goals on the season. The other is junior defenseman Philip Beaulieu, who has 19 assists (tied for third in the WCHA).

Senior goaltender Atte Tolvanen has started all 27 games for NMU this season, posting a 2.33 goals against average and .914 save percentage with four shutouts.

Northern Michigan statistics 2018-19

Series notes:
Overall: NMU leads 15-7-3. First meeting: Jan. 24, 2003.
In Huntsville: NMU leads 5-3-2.
Trend: Series tied 5-5-0 over the last 10 meetings.
Last series: March 2-4, 2018, WCHA quarterfinals in Marquette, Mich. NMU won game 1, 7-1; UAH won game 2, 3-2; NMU won game 3, 5-2.

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on FloHockey.tv.

Friday, February 8
Northern Michigan at UAH, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#6 Minnesota State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 9
Northern Michigan at UAH, 3:37 p.m.
Bemidji State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#6 Minnesota State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Idle: #16 Bowling Green, #19 Lake Superior State

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Preview: UAH at Minnesota State

Where: Verizon Center, Mankato, Minn.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (6-21-1 overall, 6-13-1-1 WCHA) had a rough series last week at home against Alaska, getting swept by the Nanooks.

On Friday, the Chargers were given plenty of power play opportunities, but couldn’t do anything with them in a 3-1 loss. On Saturday, UAH paid dearly for not staying out of the box, allowing four power play goals in 10 Alaska chances in a 5-2 defeat.

Hans Gorowsky scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season on Saturday. Bauer Neudecker and Christian Rajic scored the other goals in the weekend.

Mark Sinclair started both games in net, making 26 saves on Friday and 32 on Saturday. He now has a 2.93 goals against average and .914 save percentage on the season.

UAH is now firmly in eighth place, the last of the WCHA playoff positions. With 20 points, the Chargers are six behind Alaska and seven ahead of Ferris State.

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Mavericks: Minnesota State (21-6-1 overall, 16-4-0-0 WCHA) stands atop the WCHA with 48 points, eight ahead of second-place Bowling Green. The sixth-ranked Mavericks, who lead the nation in wins, have won seven of eight and swept third place Northern Michigan last week.

Minnesota State has the highest-scoring offense in the league and fifth-highest in Division I at 3.68 goals per game. The Mavs are lethal on the power play, scoring on 21.7 percent of their opportunities.

Two German juniors pace the Mavericks. Marc Michaelis has 29 points (13 goals-16 assists) and Parker Tuomie has 27 (10-17). Another German, Julian Napravnik, is in the running for WCHA’s top freshman with 15 points (5-10).

The Mavericks have also been stout on defense, tops in league play at 1.75 goals allowed per game. Freshman goaltender Dryden McKay has 21 starts this season, posting a 2.04 goals against with a .919 save percentage and two shutouts.

Minnesota State 2018-19 statistics

This week in the WCHA: All times are Central. All WCHA home games can be seen on FloHockey.tv.

Friday, February 1
UAH at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#13 Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#20 Lake Superior State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 2
UAH at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#13 Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#20 Lake Superior State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.