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Preview: Alaska at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 p.m.
Watch: Ticket information | FloHockey.tv (subscription required)
Promotions: Military Appreciation Weekend, presented by the UAH Office of Economic Research and Bryant Bank: All active and former military personnel get free admission, and military T-shirts will be given away on Saturday. Kids 12 and under can get free general admission tickets, courtesy Huntsville International Airport, at the VBC box office on game days. UAH hockey trading cards will be given to the first 500 fans on Friday.

Charger update: UAH (6-19-1 overall, 6-11-1-1 WCHA) got its first series sweep of the season with 6-2 and 6-3 wins over Alaska Anchorage at the VBC last week.

After starting 0-9, the Chargers have won three straight at home. UAH is 3-1-1 in its last five games overall.

The 12 goals last week were the most the Chargers scored in a two-game series since Jan. 2004. UAH has scored 21 goals in its last four home games, a 5.25 average.

Leading the offensive charge were seniors Hans Gorowsky and Kurt Gosselin. Gorowsky scored four goals with an assist over the weekend to earn WCHA Forward of the Week honors. Gosselin had six points on three goals and three assists for the WCHA Defenseman of the Week award and the NCAA’s No. 1 star.

Cam Knight added a goal and three assists, and Austin Beaulieu also had three assists. Andrew Dodson, Jack Jeffers, Connor Wood, and Jesper Ohrvall all pitched in a goal.

Mark Sinclair played both games in goal, stopping 47 of 52 shots.

The penalty kill now sits at 87.7 percent, tops in the WCHA and fifth in Division I.

UAH moved into a dead heat for seventh in the WCHA standings with this week’s opponent, Alaska. The Chargers are 10 points clear of ninth-place Ferris State.

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Nanooks: Alaska (6-16-2 overall, 6-11-1-1 WCHA) is coming off a series split at home with No. 9 Bowling Green, winning the opener 4-1 before falling 2-0. The Nanooks have one win in each of their last two series, but those have been the only wins in their last eight games.

The Chargers and Nanooks met in Fairbanks back in November, with UAH winning the first game 3-1 before Alaska took the second 2-1. This series could decide potential tiebreakers for seeding in the WCHA playoffs.

Sophomore left wing Steven Jandric leads the Nanooks in scoring with six goals and 12 points. The Nanooks are averaging 1.79 goals per game this season, just behind UAH’s 1.81.

Anton Martinsson is Alaska’s top goaltender with a 3.02 goals against average and .905 save percentage in 16 starts. He made 67 saves on 69 Bowling Green shots last week.

Alaska 2018-19 statistics

Series notes: 
Overall: Alaska leads 23-10-2 (first meeting: Dec. 11, 1987).
In Huntsville: Alaska leads 8-4-2.
Trend: Tied 4-4-1 in the last nine meetings.
Last meeting: Nov. 16-17, 2018 in Fairbanks. UAH won 3-1, Alaska won 2-1.

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

Friday, January 25
Alaska at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #18 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#7 Minnesota State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at #9 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 26
Alaska at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #18 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#7 Minnesota State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at #9 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: Alaska Anchorage at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 3:07 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 on game days.

Charger update: UAH (4-19-1 overall, 4-11-1-1 WCHA) had a 7-2 loss and a 1-1 tie at 18th-ranked Lake Superior State last week. The Chargers earned two WCHA points in the tie after winning the shootout.

After an awful first period in the first game Friday where they allowed six goals, the Chargers bared down the five periods after.

UAH had a 1-0 lead in the third period Saturday thanks to Madison Dunn until the Lakers tied it up with 1:57 remaining in regulation.

Goaltender Mark Sinclair had a great night Saturday, stopping 36 of 37 shots. He also played the majority of Friday’s game, relieving Jake Theut halfway through the first.

Austin Beaulieu scored on Friday to tie Jack Jeffers for the team lead with five.

“The last five periods of last weekend was pretty good for us,” UAH head coach Mike Corbett said. “We just gained confidence every period. Hopefully we can move forward with that.”

The Chargers have started to turn things around somewhat, going 3-3-1-1 in their last seven WCHA games after a 1-8-0-0 start.

“Right now, we’re getting points every weekend,” Corbett said. “We’ve scored some goals and done some things that we were hoping what was going to happen at the start of the year.

“The buy-in of our players is exactly what we wanted it to be. We had some type of a disconnect on what was needed for us to be successful and win. Now our kids are executing that way and they’re competing a lot harder, too.”

The next two weekends are a prime opportunity for UAH to rack up some points at home. After last-place Alaska Anchorage visits the VBC this week, the Chargers host the team just ahead of them in seventh, Alaska, next week.

“We say not to talk about (the standings), but they all look at it,” Corbett said. “I want you to look at it and be hungry and make sure these next four games count at home. This is a weekend where we have to take care of our business.”

The Chargers’ penalty kill remained strong, keeping the Lakers off the scoreboard in 10 power play opportunities. UAH is now sixth in Division I and second in the WCHA at 88 percent penalty killing efficiency.

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Seawolves: Alaska Anchorage (2-19-1 overall, 1-14-1-0 WCHA) is in full rebuilding mode for first-year head coach Matt Curley. The Seawolves are in last place in the WCHA.

The Seawolves have had greater struggles on offense than the Chargers have, with only 24 goals in 22 games. UAA’s top goal scorers are seniors: Jeremiah Luedtke (five), Nicolas Erb-Ekholm (four) and Nils Rygaard (three).

UAA has split goaltending duties among three youngsters: Two sophomores and a freshman. Brodys Claeys has put up the best numbers in nine games, posting a 2.33 goals against average and .921 save percentage with a shutout.

Alaska Anchorage 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall: UAA leads 21-9-3 (first meeting: Dec. 7, 1987).
In Anchorage: UAA leads 15-4-0.
Trend: UAH is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings, and 7-3-2 in the last 12.
Last meeting: Jan. 12-13, 2018 in Anchorage. UAH won 4-2, UAA won 2-1.

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

Friday, January 18
Alaska Anchorage at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
#18 Lake Superior State at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m. (outdoor game on Lake Bemidji)
#9 Bowling Green at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 19
Alaska Anchorage at UAH, 3:07 p.m.
#18 Lake Superior State at #6 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m.
#9 Bowling Green at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Lake Superior State

Where: Taffy Abel Arena, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
When: Friday, 6:07 p.m. CST; Saturday, 7:07 p.m. CST
Watch: FloHockey.tv (subscription required)

Charger update: UAH (4-18-0 overall, 4-10-0 WCHA) had an offensive explosion in a split with Ferris State last week at the VBC. UAH scored a season-high five goals on Friday, but lost 6-5 in overtime. The Chargers rallied from two goals down late in the third to win 4-3 in overtime on Saturday.

The Chargers scored nine of their 32 goals this season, or 28 percent, in the series. Head coach Mike Corbett said his team was able to consistently focus and execute on a simple formula: getting pucks and bodies to the net.

“We have to get people willing to go to what we call around here the ‘third circle,’ right in the middle of the offensive zone,” Corbett said. “If you win that third circle on both ends, you’re probably going to win the game, or at least put yourself in position to win the game. We did a good job of getting more pucks and more bodies there, and getting second chances on their goaltender.

“I had to remind them in practice this week to remember how we got there.”

Austin Beaulieu was the star for UAH, scoring three goals and an assist in the series. He had a hand in all three goals that lifted the Chargers to victory, earning him WCHA Forward of the Week honors.

“Austin hasn’t changed a day since he’s been on campus,” Corbett said. “He works his butt off every day. It’s nice to see him get rewarded because he’s been on the cusp of breaking out a little bit. He just comes to work every day and enjoys the game of hockey.”

UAH is in eighth place in the WCHA standings, two points ahead of Ferris State and two points behind Alaska for seventh. Now the Chargers head to Lake Superior State looking to maintain focus, continue getting points, and solidifying their playoff position.

“It’s going to be a really big test for us,” Corbett said. “I like the way we’re playing and I think we’ve got some confidence. We tend to play a little looser and focused on the road. We’ve had a solid week of practice, now we’ve got to use the time on the road to dial in and be mentally prepared.”

UAH 2018-19 Statistics

About the Lakers: Lake Superior State (13-6-1 overall, 8-5-1 WCHA) is on a six-game winning streak, with road sweeps of Alaska and Alaska Anchorage sandwiching a Great Lakes Invitational championship where the Lakers beat Michigan State and Michigan Tech. The Lakers are fifth in the WCHA standings and are ranked at No. 18 in the latest USCHO.com poll.

The Lakers, who defeated UAH 4-3 and 2-1 at the VBC on Oct. 26-27, have a potent offense averaging 3.35 goals per game, third in the WCHA and 12th in Division I.

Senior forward Diego Cuglietta has been on fire, scoring six goals in his last four games and 10 in the last eight. He has a total of 15 goals on the season, which leads the WCHA and is second nationally.

Anthony Nellis also has double-digit goals with 11. Both he and Cuglietta have 21 points, tied for fifth in the conference.

“I think everybody in the league knew that their top two lines are very good with (Gage) Torrel, (Brayden) Gelsinger, Nellis, and Cuglietta,” Corbett said. “Their confidence right now is just brimming. I think that’s probably the biggest difference in them” since the Lakers visited Huntsville in October.

Defenseman Lukas Kaelble is tied for second in the WCHA with 15 assists.

Senior Nick Kossoff has been the Lakers’ primary goaltender, posting a 2.29 goals against average and .913 save percentage with a shutout in 13 starts. Sophomore Mareks Mitens (2.45 GAA, .911 SV%) also has a shutout.

Lake Superior State 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall: LSSU leads 13-7-2.
In Sault Ste. Marie: UAH leads 5-3-2.
Trend: LSSU has won 7 of the last 8 meetings.
Last meeting: Oct. 26-27, 2018 at Huntsville. LSSU won 4-3 and 2-1.

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

Friday, January 11
UAH at #18 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#8 Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#10 Bowling Green at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 12
UAH at #18 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska at Bemidji State, 5:07 p.m.
#8 Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#10 Bowling Green at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: Ferris State at UAH

Where: Propst Arena at Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.
When: Friday, 7:07 p.m.; Saturday, 7:07 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 on game days. On Friday, the first 500 fans receive the fifth set of UAH hockey trading cards. On Saturday, the first 500 fans receive a UAH foam puck.

Charger update: UAH (3-17-0 overall, 3-9-0 WCHA) begins 2019 back in Propst Arena against one of the teams the Chargers must beat if they want to reach the WCHA playoffs. UAH has a two-point lead over Ferris State for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Last week, the Chargers finished non-conference play at the Catamount Cup. UAH lost to host Vermont 4-1 and 11th-ranked Northeastern 2-0.

Offense remained a struggle for the Chargers, who only got a goal from Bauer Neudecker and 28 shots on goal for the weekend.

The goaltending remained solid, with Mark Sinclair getting 29 saves against Vermont and Jake Theut stopping 41 shots against his former Northeastern teammates.Sinclair’s .925 overall save percentage this season is second among WCHA goalies (16th nationally). Theut is fifth in the league at .917.

UAH’s penalty kill is back up to eighth-best in Division I at 86.2 percent.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

About the Bulldogs: Ferris State (5-14-1 overall, 2-9-1 WCHA) defeated Minnesota last Saturday, snapping an 11-game winless streak (0-10-1).

This could be an opportunity for the Charger offense to get in gear. Defense has been problematic for the Bulldogs, who are last in the WCHA allowing 3.75 goals per game. During the winless streak, FSU allowed fewer than four goals only once (the tie against Bowling Green).

The two leading scorers for the Bulldogs are defensemen: Freshman Cooper Zech (4-13-17) and junior Nate Kallen (3-14-17), both tops in the WCHA among blueliners and in the top 10 overall. Zech was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week for getting two points at Minnesota last week.

Senior forward Corey Mackin has seven goals and junior Jason Tackett has six.

Between the pipes, freshman Roni Salmenkangas (3.69 goals against average and, .880 save percentage in 18 starts) has been seeing a lot of action with junior star Justin Kapelmaster out with an injury. All-WCHA defenseman Ryker Killins has also missed almost two months of action.

Ferris State 2018-19 statistics

Series notes:
Overall:
Ferris State leads 15-7-1, dating back to 1985.
In Huntsville: Ferris State leads 7-3-0.
Last 10 games: Ferris State leads 5-4-1.
Last meeting: Nov. 24-25, 2017 at Huntsville: FSU won 6-2, UAH won 5-3.

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

Thursday, January 3
Bemidji State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.

Friday, January 4
Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at #12 Bowling Green, 6:37 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 5
Ferris State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Michigan Tech at #3 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

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Preview: UAH at Catamount Cup

Where: Gutterson Fieldhouse, Burlington, Vt.
When: Friday vs. Vermont, 6:05 p.m. CST; Saturday vs. Northeastern, 3 p.m. CST
Watch: Friday vs. Vermont | Saturday vs. Northeastern

Charger update: The first half of the 2018-19 season has been a struggle to say the least. UAH is 3-15-0 overall and 3-9-0 in WCHA play, losing the first 10 games before finally breaking through at Alaska on Nov. 16.

The results have gotten a little better heading into the break. UAH has won two of its last three, getting splits in road WCHA matchups at Bemidji State and Michigan Tech. The Chargers nearly had a sweep in its last action at Tech on Dec. 14-15, getting a 39-save, 1-0 shutout by Mark Sinclair before falling in overtime 2-1 in the second game.

Eight of UAH’s losses have been by one goal, meaning the Chargers have been in almost every game they have played thanks to stellar goaltending and defense. Sinclair is developing into an outstanding netminder in his sophomore season, posting a 2.60 goals against average and a .927 save percentage with a shutout. Senior graduate transfer Jake Theut has had his moments too with his .910 save percentage.

UAH is averaging 16.06 blocked shots per game, fourth highest in Division I. Cam Knight leads the Chargers with 42 blocks, averaging 2.33 per game, which ranks seventh in the nation.

Meanwhile, the offense could not keep up in the first half. Six of those eight one-goal losses were a 2-1 score, and the Chargers have only scored multiple goals four times in 18 games.

Freshman Jack Jeffers has shown some promise, currently leading UAH with five goals on the season. He, sophomore Christian Rajic, and senior graduate transfer Jesper Öhrvall each have six points.

Special teams have been a split, and very indicative of the Chargers’ defensive strength and offensive woes. The penalty kill has been in the top 15 in the country all year round, now at 85 percent efficiency, but the power play is only at 7.2 percent (59th of 60 teams in Division I).

The Chargers return home to resume WCHA play against Ferris State on Jan. 4-5. Puck drop at the VBC Propst Arena is 7:07 p.m. each night.

UAH 2018-19 statistics

The Catamount Cup: The 22nd edition of the University of Vermont’s holiday tournament features the host Catamounts, UAH, Northeastern, and Rensselaer. UAH plays Vermont and Northeastern plays RPI on Friday, then UAH plays Northeastern and Vermont plays RPI on Saturday.

UAH participated in the 2010 Catamount Cup, losing to Vermont 4-3 and defeating Mercyhurst 4-1 to take third place.

About the Catamounts: Vermont (5-8-1 overall, 1-6-1 Hockey East) will be in action for the first time in three weeks since splitting a non-conference road series at Colorado College. The Catamounts sit in last place in the 11-team Hockey East.

Like the Chargers, defense and goaltending has kept the Catamounts in a lot of games, but offense has been hard to come by, scoring just over two goals a game. Vermont’s power play is only slightly better than UAH’s at 8.7 percent (58th).

Stefanos Lekkas has started all 14 games between the pipes, posting a .936 save percentage, which leads Hockey East and is third nationally. Vermont’s penalty kill efficiency of 89.4 percent leads Hockey East and is fourth nationally.

UAH’s lone meeting with Vermont was in the 2010 Catamount Cup, with the Catamounts winning 4-3 in the opener,

Vermont 2018-19 statistics

About the Huskies: Northeastern (10-3-1 overall, 6-1-1 Hockey East) comes into Burlington riding a six-game winning streak. NU’s last game was a 7-2 win at Merrimack on Dec. 8. The 11th-ranked Huskies are tied for third in the Hockey East standings.

The Huskies offense has been hot, scoring 16 goals in their last two contests. They are averaging 4.00 goals per game, which is third in Division I.

Junior Grant Jozefek leads NU with 10 goals and 16 points in 14 games. Zack Solow has nine goals, seven of which have come during an ongoing six-game point-scoring streak. Canucks prospect Tyler Madden has six goals and 15 points on the season, but he is currently playing with Team USA at the World Junior Championships.

Cayden Primeau has started all 14 games in goal, garnering a 2.40 goals against and .918 save percentage with two shutouts, but the Canadiens prospect is also with Team USA at the World Juniors. Senior Ryan Ruck, who has 78 starts at NU, would go for the Huskies.

Northeastern has won all four previous meetings with UAH, sweeping two series in Boston in 2012 and 2013.

Northeastern 2018-19 statistics

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

Friday, December 28
UAH at Vermont (Catamount Cup), 6:05 p.m.
#3 Minnesota State vs. #4 Minnesota Duluth (Desert Hockey Classic, Glendale, Ariz.), 5:30 p.m.
Ferris State at Minnesota, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 29
UAH vs. #11 Northeastern (Catamount Cup at Vermont), 3 p.m.
#3 Minnesota State vs. #19 Clarkson/#15 Arizona State (Desert Hockey Classic, Glendale, Ariz.), 5:30/8:30 p.m.
Ferris State at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Alaska Anchorage at Omaha, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Air Force, 8:05 p.m.

Sunday, December 30
Michigan Tech vs. Michigan (Great Lakes Invitational, Detroit), noon
Lake Superior State vs. Michigan State (Great Lakes Invitational, Detroit), 3 p.m.
Bemidji State at Air Force, 6:05 p.m.
Windsor at Bowling Green (exhibition), 11 a.m.