UAH to finish trip at Lake State

UAH (3-10-1, 3-5-0 WCHA) at Lake Superior State (10-4-3, 4-3-0 WCHA)
WHERE: Taffy Abel Arena, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
WHEN: Friday, 6:07 p.m.; Saturday, 4:07 p.m. (subscription)

The Chargers continue their tour of the Upper Peninsula this weekend with a return trip to Lake Superior State.

UAH is coming off an up-and-down series at Northern Michigan, grinding out a 3-1 win on Tuesday before being grounded in an 8-2 loss on Wednesday.

The Lakers, winners in their last three games, are ranked 20th in this week’s poll. They won at Michigan Tech 3-1 on Tuesday after an impressive sweep at Bowling Green last weekend.

UAH and LSSU currently sit fifth and sixth in the WCHA standings. The Lakers have 11 points in seven league games while the Chargers have eight points in eight games.

The Chargers and Lakers met in Sault Ste. Marie in a non-conferernce series back on December 5-6. The teams tied 2-2 before Lake State took the finale, 3-2.

LSSU is led by junior Ashton Calder, who has 18 points in 17 games, with an even split of nine goals and nine assists. Pete Veillette has been hot as of late, with five of his 13 points and three of his seven goals coming in his last four games.

The Lakers have two senior defensemen who have double-digit points. William Riedell has 12 points with nine assists. Lukas Kaelble had three of his team-leading 10 assists against the Chargers in December.

Mareks Mitens is the Lakers’ No. 1 between the pipes, sporting a 1.79 goals against average and .939 save percentage with a shutout. He stopped 23 of 25 UAH shots in the tie in the first meeting.

Next week, UAH has a home-and-home series with Bowling Green. The Chargers visit Ohio on Wednesday and host the Falcons next Sunday.

WCHA postseason format unveiled: All eight participating WCHA teams will play in the conference’s final postseason.

The top four teams will host a best-of-3 quarterfinal series on March 12-14. The highest remaining seed will host single-game semifinals on March 19 and the championship game on March 20.

The winner of the tournament will get the WCHA’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

This week in the WCHA: All time Central.

Friday, February 19
UAH at #20 Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.*

Saturday, February 20
UAH at #20 Lake Superior State, 4:07 p.m.
Bowling Green at Northern Michigan, 5:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Michigan Tech, 5:07 p.m.
Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.

Sunday, February 21
Bowling Green at Norhtern Michigan, 3:07 p.m.

Tuesday, February 23
Lake Superior State at Michigan Tech, 1:07 p.m.

*Non-conference game.

More schedule changes announced for February

Multiple updates to the Chargers’ schedule were announced Monday as the pandemic-affected season continues.

First, this Saturday’s game at the Von Braun Center against Michigan Tech has been moved up to 5:07 p.m. Friday’s match is still a 7:07 p.m. opening face-off. This weekend’s series is non-conference.

The WCHA announced that UAH’s series with Northern Michigan, originally scheduled for January 22-23 in Huntsville, has been rescheduled to February 16-17 in Marquette, Michigan. The Chargers will now play four games in five days in the Upper Peninsula, heading to Lake Superior State on February 19-20.

The Chargers’ home finale against Bowling Green has been pushed from Saturday, February 27 to Sunday, February 28 at 3:07 p.m. The series was originally set as a home-and-home with the first game at Bowling Green on February 24, but that game may be pushed back and moved to Huntsville.

UAH hasn’t played in the last three weekends due to pandemic-related issues and a 10-day pause to program activities. One non-conference series, Jan. 28-29 at Minnesota State, has yet to be rescheduled.

Here is UAH’s remaining schedule, continually subject to further change. All times are Central Time.

Friday, Feb. 5 vs. Michigan Tech, 7:07 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6 vs. Michigan Tech, 5:07 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 11 vs. Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12 vs. Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 16 at Northern Michigan, 3:37 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 19 at Lake Superior State, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 at Lake Superior State, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 24 or Saturday, Feb. 27 vs. Bowling Green, time/location TBA
Sunday, Feb. 28 vs. Bowling Green, 3:07 p.m.
Friday, March 5 at Bemidji State, time TBA
Saturday, March 6 at Bemidji State, time TBA

Finnson, Bronte earn WCHA weekly awards

Each scoring three points in UAH’s sweep of Ferris State over the weekend, Dayne Finnson and Tyrone Bronte each earned WCHA player of the week honors for the second time this season.

Finnson was named WCHA Defenseman of the Week after scoring a goal and two assists. The goal was the overtime game-winner in Friday night’s 5-4 victory. He assited in UAH’s first goal Friday and second goal Saturday. He blocked five shots in the series, four of them in the first game.

Finnson leads all UAH defensemen with five points and is tied for the team lead in blocked shots with 14.

Bronte was named WCHA Rookie of the Week with two goals and an assist. He scored UAH’s first goal Friday and second goal Saturday, both on the power play, and assisted Finnson’s OT winner.

Bronte leads the Chargers in points with seven and is tied with Tyr Thompson with three goals this season.

Finnson and Bronte won the same awards on Nov. 23.

The Chargers head to Bemidji State for games this Friday and Saturday.

Three Chargers get POTW honors

For the first time, three Chargers earned WCHA Player of the Week awards in the same week. The honors were announced by the conference on Monday.

UAH had some notable individual contributions despite two losses at Robert Morris over the weekend.

Tyr Thompson (Sherwood Park, Alberta) won the WCHA Forward of the Week award with two goals and an assist. The junior scored a goal in each game, and assisted in UAH’s first goal on Sunday. Thompson’s second-period goal on Sunday had put the Chargers up 3-2.

Dayne Finnson (Arborg, Manitoba) won the WCHA Defenseman of the Week award. The junior scored on the power play on Sunday, putting the Chargers up 2-1, and assisted on UAH’s first goal on Saturday. He also blocked three shots.

Tyrone Bronte (Melbourne, Australia) won the WCHA Rookie of the Week award. The freshman had three assists, one on Saturday and two on Sunday in his first two college games.

It was the first conference player of the week award for all three. Last season, UAH garnered only one player of the week award.

Mareks Mitens of Lake Superior State was the WCHA Goaltender of the Week.

The Chargers’ next action includes three games in four days on the road in non-conference games against WCHA foes. They play at Ferris State on Friday, December 4, and at Lake Superior State on Saturday and Sunday, December 6 and 7.


Revamped 2020-21 schedule released

UAH and the WCHA released a new 2020-21 schedule on Wednesday, setting a course for a shortened college hockey season while coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chargers will play 23 games, with 18 conference games and five non-conference games. UAH will play nine home games (all WCHA contests) at the Von Braun Center.

“In addition to state and local health and safety guidelines in force at each WCHA campus, the 2020-21 schedule will play out under the WCHA’s Return to Competition protocols,” the WCHA said in its press release. “Those protocols will include COVID-19 testing for student-athletes, coaches, staff and game officials as well as social-distancing requirements at all WCHA arenas.”

Every team in the WCHA will play 18 conference games, two against each of the other nine. Because of the restrictions on non-conference games for other conferences, most WCHA teams will play non-conference games against WCHA foes. UAH and Bowling Green are the only two that have any non-conference games against teams outside the WCHA.

The WCHA has set aside the weekend of March 5-6 for any games that may be postponed because of the pandemic. The conference tournament format has yet to be revealed, but it is scheduled for the weekends of March 12-13 and March 19-20.

The Chargers open the season in the Pittsburgh area on Nov. 20 and 21 at Robert Morris. It would be the first time since 2010 that UAH has played RMU, which hired former UAH head coach Mike Corbett over the summer. RMU, now with Atlantic Hockey. and UAH were both members of College Hockey America through 2010.

That will be the only non-conference series against a true non-conference opponent. UAH will visit Ferris State (Dec. 4) and Lake Superior State (Dec. 6-7) for three games that will not count in the WCHA standings.

The true start to the Chargers’ WCHA season is Jan. 2-3 at Michigan Tech. UAH’s first home series at the Von Braun Center will be Jan. 8-9 against Ferris State.

UAH hosts Northern Michigan (Jan. 22-23), Alaska Anchorage (Feb. 5-6) and Minnesota State (Feb. 11-12). The Chargers and travel partner Bowling Green will finish the regular season with a home-and-home series in Ohio (Wednesday, Feb. 24) and Huntsville (Saturday, Feb. 27).

This is expected to be the last season of the WCHA. Seven schools will be forming the new CCHA next season, with UAH still looking for a new conference home.

2020-21 UAH Hockey Schedule
Nov. 20-21 at Robert Morris
Dec. 4 at Ferris State
Dec. 6-7 at Lake Superior State
Jan. 1-2 at Michigan Tech*
Jan. 8-9 vs. Ferris State*
Jan. 15-16 at Bemidji State*
Jan. 22-23 vs. Northern Michigan*
Jan. 29-30 at Alaska*
Feb. 5-6 vs. Alaska Anchorage*
Feb. 11-12 vs. Minnesota State*
Feb. 19-20 at Lake Superior State*
Feb. 24 at Bowling Green*
Feb. 27 vs. Bowling Green*
Home games in bold. Game time is 7 p.m. for all home games except for Feb. 27 (2 p.m.).
*WCHA contest