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Preview: UAH at Michigan Tech

Where: John C. MacInnes Student Ice Arena, Houghton, Mich.
When: Friday and Saturday, 6:07 p.m. CST
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (2-14-0 overall, 2-8-0 WCHA), coming off a desperately needed victory at Bemidji State, hit the road again for another WCHA series at Michigan Tech.

After a nondescript 4-0 loss on Friday, the Chargers scored four unanswered goals to frustrate the Beavers 4-2 on Saturday. Four different Chargers found the net: Connor Wood (first), Bauer Neudecker (2nd), Cam Knight (1st), Connor Merkley (1st). Jesper Ohrvall had two assists to give him a team-leading six.

Jake Theut, the senior graduate transfer from Northeastern, finally got his first collegiate victory, making 21 saves. He now sports a .910 save percentage and 3.52 goals against average. Mark Sinclair played in Friday’s game, and now has a .916 save percentage and 2.93 GAA.

UAH is off next week before heading to a non-conference holiday tournament, the Catamount Cup at Vermont, on Dec. 28-29. The Chargers’ next home series is Jan. 4-5 against Ferris State.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Huskies: Michigan Tech (9-6-1 overall, 8-1-1 WCHA) stands in second place in the WCHA standings, one point behind Minnesota State.

Since sweeping the Chargers in Huntsville last month, the Huskies have gone 6-3-1. Two of those losses were non-conference affairs at Clarkson, and the other came last Friday in Marquette against their arch-rival Northern Michigan, 5-3. Tech got revenge with a 3-1 win last Saturday at home.

Jake Lucchini leads all Tech scorers with six goals and 13 assists for 19 points. He had two goals in the second game against UAH. Defenseman Seamus Donohue is second with 11 points, 10 on assists. They lead an offense that is second in the WCHA with 4.00 goals per game in league play.

Junior goaltender has a 2.86 goals against average and .895 save percentage in a team-leading 10 starts. Robbie Beydoun was between the pipes in Saturday’s win over NMU, stopping 28 of 29 saves in his first start of the year.

Trenton Bliss was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week, scoring two goals and three points against NMU. He now has four goals and 10 points in 14 games. Two other freshmen, Brian Halonen and Alec Broetzman, also have four goals.

Michigan Tech 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Michigan Tech leads 15-1-2.
In Houghton: Michigan Tech leads 8-1-1.
Last 10 meetings: Michigan Tech leads 7-1-2.
Last meeting: Nov. 2-3, 2018 in Huntsville. Michigan Tech won 2-1 and 4-1.

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

Friday, December 14
UAH at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#3 Minnesota State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.

Saturday, December 15
UAH at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#3 Minnesota State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.

Sunday, December 16
Lake Superior State at USA Under-18 Team (exhibition), 1 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Bemidji State

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

Charger update: UAH (1-13-0 overall, 1-7-0 WCHA) hits the road for the rest of 2018, starting with a two-game WCHA series at rival Bemidji State. This will be the 87th and 88th meetings between the two schools.

UAH was swept at home by 12th-ranked Bowling Green last week. The Chargers lost 6-2 on Saturday, as the Falcons pulled away with two early third-period power play goals. But the numbers in that game were closer than in Sunday’s 2-1 loss, in which UAH’s lone goal was given to them when the Falcons hit the puck into their own net on a delayed penalty.

Freshman Jack Jeffers got credit for the goal, giving him a team-leading four on the season for the freshman. He has five points along with senior Madison Dunn and sophomore Christian Rajic.

Despite the loss on Saturday, goaltender Mark Sinclair still sports a .919 save percentage, good for fifth in the WCHA, to go with a 2.81 goals against average. Jake Theut was good on Sunday, stopping 35 of 37 Bowling Green shots to raise his save percentage to .910.

The Charger penalty kill now sits at 11th in Division I at 85.9 percent.

After this week’s trip to Bemidji, UAH heads to Michigan Tech (Dec. 14-15) and the Catamount Cup in Vermont (Dec. 28-29). The Chargers’ next home series is Jan. 4-5 against Ferris State.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Beavers: Bemidji State (6-6-2 overall, 4-3-1 WCHA) is 1-4-1 in its last six after a 5-1-1 start. The Beavers currently sit sixth in the WCHA standings with 13 points.

Last week, the Beavers went on the road to Michigan Tech and tied a back-and-forth game 3-3, losing the extra point in the 3-on-3 second overtime. BSU lost handily in the second game, 7-2.

Goaltending in Bemidji still appears to be strong after the departure of Michael Bitzer. Henry Johnson has a .921 save percentage and 1.99 goals against average (both third in the WCHA) with a shutout in seven starts. Fellow sophomore Zach Driscoll has a .909 save percentage and 2.33 goals against (fifth in the WCHA) also in seven starts.

The Beavers are scoring 2.36 goals per game, and the goals have been well distributed. Sophomore Aaron Miller and junior Adam Brady each have five goals, with sophomore Charlie Combs and freshmen Owen Sillinger and Nick Cardelli each netting four.

Bemidji State 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Bemidji State leads 50-31-5.
In Bemidji: Bemidji State leads 28-9-2.
Last 10 meetings: Bemidji State leads 7-2-1.
Last season: Dec. 29-30, 2017 at Bemidji; BSU won 3-1 and 4-1. Jan. 26-27, 2018 at Huntsville; UAH won 5-1, BSU won 5-1.

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

Friday, December 7
UAH at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
#12 Bowling Green at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#20 Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, December 8
UAH at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
#12 Bowling Green at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at #20 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: #12 Bowling Green at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Saturday, 6:07 p.m.; Sunday, 3:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)
Promotions: Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days. UAH will be giving away the fourth installment of the 2018-19 trading card set to the first 500 fans on Saturday evening.

Ticket information

Charger update: UAH (1-11-0 overall, 1-5-0 WCHA) returns to the Von Braun Center after a trip to Alaska sandwiched by two off weeks.

The Chargers finally got their first victory of the season in Alaska, beating the Nanooks 3-1 on Nov. 16. Alaska won the next night 2-1 to split the series.

“We’ve had a few moments where we’ve had to come together,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We’ve had some moments where we have to grab some guys and say some things to them, and they say some things to the staff. It’s small successes we’re looking at right now.”

The Chargers will need to rely on their defense to contain the 12th-ranked Falcons, because the offense has remained mostly dormant, scoring 13 goals in 12 games. Freshman Jack Jeffers leads the squad with three goals, and senior Madison Dunn has the most points with five.

“Our team defense has been good, and our penalty kill has been fantastic, and Mark Sinclair has a .93 save percentage. For a guy who’s 1-7, his numbers are fantastic. We can’t waste that right now.”

Sinclair had 44 saves in the victory over Alaska, which earned him WCHA goaltender of the week honors.

UAH’s penalty kill is ranked sixth in Division I, and is second only to Bowling Green in the WCHA at 87.9 percent. The team defense has improved in conference play at 2.50 goals allowed per game, tied for sixth through six games.

“I like our group, but we’ve got to get them to play together. We believe in them more than they believe in themselves, unfortunately. We have to get them to believe in themselves, and if they do that, we’re going to have a good second half.”

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Falcons: Bowling Green (8-3-2 overall, 3-2-1 WCHA) has cooled off after a blistering start.

The Falcons were scoring almost five goals a game through their first eight games, going 6-1-1. In their last five games, they have scored only eight goals, being shut out three times.

Still, Bowling Green is second in the WCHA in scoring offense at 3.62 goals per game.

“Details against Bowling Green are going to be big,” Corbett said. “They have a good offensive team, and our details are going to be important.

“They’re going to be heavy, they’re going to be strong, and we have to be able match that. That intensity is going to be key and our compete level has to be at its best.”

Sophomores Max Johnson and Connor Ford, and junior Lukas Craggs lead the Falcons with six goals apiece. Vegas Golden Knights prospect Brandon Kruse has 12 assists as part of his team-leading 15 points. All-WCHA first teamer Alec Rauhauser leads the defensemen with 10 points.

BG’s defense has also been stout, allowing only 1.69 goals per game. A big reason is junior goaltender Ryan Bednard, a Florida Panthers prospect, who has a 1.72 goals against average and a .925 save percentage with two shutouts in 11 starts.

Bowling Green is also coming off an off week. The Falcons last played on Nov. 21, a 5-4 exhibition win against the Team USA Under-18 team. Their last official action was Nov. 16-17 at home against Lake Superior State, losing 5-0 and winning 5-2.

Bowling Green 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Bowling Green leads 23-5-2.
In Huntsville: Bowling Green leads 10-4-0.
In WCHA games (since 2013-14):  Bowling Green leads 16-3-1.
First meeting: Jan. 21-22, 2000 at Bowling Green. BGSU won 4-3 and 5-1.
Last meeting: Feb. 23-24, 2018 at Huntsville. UAH won 3-2, BGSU won 3-0.

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

Friday, November 30
* #4 Minnesota State at #20 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, December 1
* #12 Bowling Green at UAH, 6:07 p.m.
* #4 Minnesota State at #20 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Sunday, December 2
* #12 Bowling Green at UAH, 3:07 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Alaska

Where: Carlson Center, Fairbanks, Alaska
When: Friday & Saturday, 10:07 p.m. CST (7:07 p.m. AKST)
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (0-10-0 overall, 0-4-0 WCHA) is looking to hit the reset button on a confounding and frustrating start to the season.

“Hopefully the week off gives us a good energy level coming into this weekend,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We will be rusty from not playing but for us to have success we need our energy levels high.

“The mood has been good. The group is realizing what we have to do to be successful after being humbled the first quarter of the season.”

The Chargers enter the series with Alaska still looking for its first win, having scored only nine goals in ten games. Two weeks ago, UAH hosted Michigan Tech and lost 2-1 and 4-1. The Chargers scored a lone goal in the third period in each game. Brandon Salerno scored his second goal of the season, and Madison Dunn notched his first.

The Chargers are also battling injuries. Senior captain defenseman Kurt Gosselin, who left the first game against Michigan Tech with a broken finger, will be out for a few more weeks. Forwards Connor Wood and Ben Allen are also out, but Corbett says they are hoping they return in two weeks when the Chargers host Bowling Green.

One bright side has been goaltender Mark Sinclair, who continued to show why he’s become the everyday starter. He stopped 63 of 68 shots in the Tech series (38 of 40 in the first game) to gave him a season save percentage of .922, sixth-best in the WCHA.

Another strength for the Chargers has been the penalty kill. UAH has killed 85.1 percent of opponents’ power plays, which is second in the WCHA and 11th nationally.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Nanooks: Alaska (1-7-2 overall, 1-2-1 WCHA) has had its own rough start in Erik Largen’s first season as head coach, although last week the Nanooks had a successful trip to Lake Superior State, taking five of six points in the WCHA series. UAF took two points after scoring in the 3-on-3 overtime following a 3-3 tie on Friday, then got its first victory 4-3 on Saturday.

The Nanooks’ leading scorer this season is freshman Chris Jandric, who has nine points. He scored his two goals, along with two assists, in the series at Lake Superior, earning him WCHA Rookie of the Week honors. His brother Steven, a sophomore, has two goals this season.

Colton Leiter, who had the most goals last season among returning players with nine, leads Alaska in goals so far this season with three.

Junior Anton Martinsson has gotten the bulk of action at goaltender this season, posting a 3.24 goals against average and a .896 save percentage in eight starts.

Alaska 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Alaska leads 22-9-2.
In Fairbanks: Alaska leads 13-5-0.
In WCHA games (since 2013-14):  Alaska leads 10-3-1.
First meeting: Dec. 11-12, 1987 at Fairbanks. Alaska won 10-6 and 5-4.
Last meeting: Jan. 5-6, 2018 at Fairbanks. Alaska won 3-2, UAH won 3-1.

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

Friday, November 16
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior at #10 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
* Ferris State at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Clarkson, 6 p.m.
Bemidji State at #2 St. Cloud State, 7:07 p.m.

Saturday, November 17
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* Alaska Anchorage at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Lake Superior at #10 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Clarkson, 6 p.m.
Bemidji State at #2 St. Cloud State, 6:07 p.m.

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Preview: Michigan Tech at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala,
When: Friday & Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)
Ticket information

Charger update: UAH (0-8-0 overall, 0-2-0 WCHA) dropped one-goal decisions to Lake Superior State in each of its first two games of the conference schedule.

“We competed very well last weekend, so we’ve got to be able to take the next step,” UAH head coach mike Corbett said. “We got on the doorstep to be able to win a game, and we didn’t finish. That’s the disappointing part.”

The Chargers finally scored multiple goals in the first game, but lost 4-3 last Friday. Tyr Thompson, Brandon Salerno, and Connor James found the back of the net.

Mark Sinclair stopped 31 of 34 shots for his third straight solid game between the pipes. That earned him another start in the second game, giving him consecutive starts for the first time.

Sinclair did well again on Saturday, making 24 saves, but the Chargers fell again 2-1. UAH had its first lead when Jack Jeffers scored early in the second period, but the Lakers scored twice in the third period for the win.

Now comes Michigan Tech to finish off three straight weekends at home with UAH still looking for its first win of the season. The Chargers have scored only seven goals in eight games.

“I’m not too worried about the other team,” Corbett said. “Right now, it’s all about us and making sure we execute under pressure. That’s going to be the biggest thing.

“Confidence and egos and things like that can be a little bit fragile right now for kids, and we’re trying to get them confident. To take a little bit from football, we want to make up for our mistakes with some aggression.”

On Friday night, the first 500 fans will receive the third set of the 2018-19 UAH hockey trading cards, courtesy of Bojangles. Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Huskies: Michigan Tech (1-3-0) will be starting its WCHA slate against the Chargers after two tough non-conference series.

The Huskies opened the year at home against defending national champion and third-ranked Minnesota Duluth, losing 2-1 and 5-2. Last week, they traveled to No. 14 Wisconsin, splitting a pair of games each with the score of 6-2.

“Michigan Tech went to the national tournament last year,” Corbett said. “They split with Wisconsin and gave up some goals.”

Brian Halonen was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week for his performance against Wisconsin, getting two points in each of the two games. The freshman has moved into the team lead for scoring with five points.

While the Huskies are getting production from freshmen in the early going, Tech has some dangerous upperclassmen. Senior Jake Lucchini led the team in scoring (16-23-39) last season, with junior Gavin Gould and senior Jake Jackson (San Jose Sharks prospect) pitching in 14 and 13 goals, respectively.

Goaltending has been a little shaky so far. The Huskies have already used all three goalies in four games. Junior Matt Jurusik and senior Devin Kero each have posted .881 save percentages in two starts, but Kero had some success last season as Patrick Munson’s primary backup with a 2.50 GAA and .910 save percentage.

The Huskies, who won the WCHA tournament and lost in overtime to Notre Dame in the NCAA East Regional semifinals, were picked to finish fourth in both the coaches’ and UAHHockey.com media preseason polls.

Michigan Tech 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Michigan Tech leads 13-1-2.
In Huntsville: MTU leads 5-0-1.
First meeting: Feb. 7-8, 2014 at Houghton, Mich. MTU won 4-1 and 10-4.
Last meeting: Oct. 20-21, 2017 at Houghton, Mich. MTU won 5-4, UAH won 4-2.
Last meeting in Huntsville: Jan. 27-28, 2017. MTU won 5-2, tied 4-4 (MTU won shootout point).

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

Friday, November 2
* Michigan Tech at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #9 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Michigan State, 6 p.m.
#12 Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#4 Minnesota State at #10 Minnesota, 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 3
* Michigan Tech at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at #9 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan State at Ferris State, 6 p.m.
#12 Michigan at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#10 Minnesota at #4 Minnesota State, 7 p.m.