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

Bowling Green cruises past Chargers, 7-2

UAH still got its spot in the WCHA playoffs with help later in the night, but there is no reason to celebrate after the Chargers’ performance against Bowling Green.

UAH (8-23-4 overall, 7-19-1 WCHA) was blown out 7-2 by the 13th-ranked Falcons in Ohio for its fifth straight loss. The Chargers allowed the second-most goals in a game this season and was outshot 37-19.

Matt Larose, who came into the game in relief, makes a stop on Bowling Green's Mitchell McLain. (Photo by Todd Pavlack/BGSUHockey.com)

Matt Larose, who came into the game in relief, makes a stop on Bowling Green’s Mitchell McLain. (Photo by Todd Pavlack/BGSUHockey.com)

Max McHugh scored two goals for the second straight game for the Chargers, both coming on a third-period power play well after the game was at hand. He now has 12 on the season.

The Chargers clinched a playoff spot when Alaska-Anchorage lost to Alaska 1-0 late Friday night. Tied with Lake Superior State with 15 points, UAH is still the No. 7 seed, which they can retain with a win over Bowling Green, a LSSU loss to Ferris State, or if both UAH and LSSU tie their games in the regular season’s final day Saturday. Otherwise, UAH will be the No. 8 seed.

Bowling Green (20-10-5 overall, 16-8-3 WCHA), which is locked into the third seed for the WCHA playoffs, needed the victory to stay on the NCAA Tournament bubble, and they had the game under control from start to finish.

The Chargers were on their heels right from the opening face-off. The Falcons flurried around the net, and Mark Cooper fired a rebound shot through traffic from the right circle to score just 55 seconds into the game.

It took a few minutes for UAH to compose themselves offensively, and the Chargers were able to get in a few scoring chances. Josh Kestner was denied on a breakaway by Bowling Green goaltender Tommy Burke, who followed up and covered on Matt Salhany’s rebound shot.

The Falcons extended the lead to 2-0 on the power play. Kestner was called on a questionable trip, and Bowling Green fired away. The puck trickled trough Carmine Guerriero’s pads off the stick of Cooper, who notched his second goal of the game with 7:46 left in the first.

UAH had a power play chance continue into the start of the second, but right after it expired, Dan DeSalvo got the puck right out of the penalty box, breaking away and beating Guerriero as Bowling Green took a 3-0 lead at 1:09.

Over three minutes later, the Falcons crashed the net shorthanded, and Brandon Carlson covered the puck in the crease. That led to a Bowling Green penalty shot, which Brandon Hawkins coverted to make it 4-0.

Brent Fletcher has the puck while pursued by BG's Mark Friedman. (Photo by Todd Pavlack, BGSUHockey.com)

Brent Fletcher has the puck while pursued by BG’s Mark Friedman. (Photo by Todd Pavlack/BGSUHockey.com)

That ended the night for Guerriero, who was replaced by Matt Larose after making 19 saves and allowed four goals.

Sean Walker scored Bowling Green’s fifth goal on a rush down the left side, getting around Frank Misuraca and beating Matt Larose at 2:25 of the third.

Hawkins scored his second goal of the game, and Pierre-Luc Mercier added another in a span of 49 seconds, and it was 7-0 within the first five minutes of the final frame.

Bowling Green’s Adam Berkle hip-checked Brennan Saulnier, who fell into the boards with 7:09 remaining. Saulnier was slow to get up, but was able to skate off the ice on his own power.

Berkle got a five-minute interference penalty, and the bench got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, giving UAH a major power play with two minutes of two-man advantage. McHugh got a goal on each power play as UAH avoided the shutout. Chad Brears got assists on both goals, and Brandon Parker got his 14th helper on McHugh’s second goal.

Burke stopped 17 of 19 shots. Larose finished with 11 saves on 14 shots in the final 35-plus minutes.

The Falcons have outscored the Chargers 16-3 in three meetings this season.

Editor’s note: Recap updated with UAH clinching a playoff spot following Alaska-Anchorage’s loss. 

Series Preview: at Bowling Green, March 6-7

CATCHING THE GAMES
Times: 6:07 p.m. CT Friday
6:07 p.m. CT Saturday
Watch it: WCHA.tv (subscription)
Hear it: BGRSO
Stats: BGSUFalcons.com
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @BGSUHockeySite@BGFalconHockey,

The Chargers finish the regular season at No. 13 Bowling Green looking to lock down their first WCHA playoff berth. Puck drop in Ohio is Friday and Saturday at 6:07 p.m. Central Time.

UAH needs just one more point to clinch a spot in the WCHA playoffs, which begin next week. Otherwise, the Chargers will need either Alaska-Anchorage to not win or Lake Superior State to lose twice.

All-time series: The Falcons command the all-time series at 12-3-1, including a 5-1-1 record against UAH in Bowling Green. BG has won 10 of the last 11 meetings, with UAH’s lone win coming last season.

Back in October, Bowling Green won both games in Huntsville by scores of 5-0 and 4-1.

Josh Kestner

Josh Kestner has four goals in his freshman campaign. (Photo by Chris Brightwell)

Charger recap: UAH (8-22-4 overall, 7-18-1 WCHA) lost its last two home games of the season against Alaska.

On Friday, Josh Kestner scored twice to give UAH a 2-0 lead, but the Nanooks tallied four unanswered goals — three in the third period — and won 4-2. Carmine Guerriero made 37 saves as UAH was outshot 41-15.

On Saturday’s Senior Night, UAH would get on the board first again just 20 seconds in as captain Doug Reid scored. Alaska scored twice to take the lead before Max McHugh put the Chargers back in front at 3-2 with a pair of goals. The Nanooks then stole the game, tying it with 6.3 seconds left in regulation and winning it just 15 seconds into overtime, 4-3. Guerriero stopped another 37 shots.

Guerriero’s save percentage is now at .926, fourth in the WCHA and 18th in NCAA Division I. His goals against average is 2.58.

McHugh’s goal total stands at 10, becoming the first Charger with double-digit goals since Matt Sweazey scored 12 goals in the 2008-09 season. The freshman leads UAH with 21 points.

Other top scorers for UAH are Jack Prince (5-9-14), Chad Brears (3-10-13), Jeff Vanderlugt (6-7-13), and Brandon Parker, who has a team-leading 12 assists. Frank Misuraca is tied with Vanderlugt for second on the team in goals with six.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
BGSU
8-22-4
7-18-1 WCHA (8th)
Record 19-10-5
15-8-3 WCHA (3rd)
1.74 (9th) Goals/game 2.97 (3rd)
3.18 (8th) Goals allowed/game 2.41 (5th)
15.9 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 12.8 (6th)
15.9% (5th) Power play 15.2% (7th)
82.3% (8th) Penalty kill 90.1% (1st)

About the Falcons: Bowling Green (19-10-5 overall, 15-8-3 WCHA) is the only team in the WCHA that has locked up its seeding. The 13th-ranked Falcons will be hosting a first-round series next week as the No. 3 seed, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to play for against the Chargers.

Bowling Green has lost four of its last five games, including 6-1 loss on Saturday at Alaska-Anchorage that dropped the Falcons to 14th in the Pairwise rankings, which are the primary tool for determining the teams for the NCAA Tournament. This puts BG on the bubble, and they can’t lose points to an eight-win UAH squad and expect to get an at-large berth.

The Falcons have many offensive threats, with 10 players with double-digit assists this season. Freshman Brandon Hawkins is the point leader with 24, with 12 goals and 12 assists. Sophomore Kevin Dufour has 13 goals on the season — including three against UAH back in October — followed by Ben Murphy’s 11. Dufour’s linemates, sophomores Matt Pohlkamp and Pierre-Luc Mercier, along with freshman defenseman and Philadephia Flyers prospect Mark Friedman, top the Falcons with 15 assists each.

Junior goaltender Tommy Burke has had the most playing time this season, playing in 51 percent of the Falcons’ minutes, posting a 2.27 goals against average and a .919 save percentage in 17 starts. Freshman Chris Nell has been solid as well, with a 2.32 goals against and .917 save percentage.

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State** 20-3-3 43
Michigan Tech** 19-5-2 40
Bowling Green** 15-8-3 33
Bemidji State* 11-10-5 27
Alaska^ 12-12-2 26
Northern Michigan* 11-11-4 26
Ferris State* 11-14-1 23
Alabama-Huntsville 7-18-1 15
Lake Superior State 7-18-1 15
Alaska-Anchorage 5-19-2 12
** Clinched home ice in first round
* Clinched playoff berth
^ Ineligible for postseason play

Around the WCHA: Minnesota State looks to win the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA regular season champion for the first time. The 2nd-ranked Mavericks need only one point at Bemidji State to do it.

No. 4 Michigan Tech will need to sweep rival Northern Michigan in a home-and-home and hopes Minnesota State loses twice to snatch the Cup for themselves.

As stated before, Charger fans will pay attention to two other series.

In the Governor’s Cup, Alaska-Anchorage hosts Alaska needing two wins and a bit of help to get into the WCHA playoffs. UAH clinches a playoff berth if Alaska-Anchorage loses or ties either game.

Lake Superior State hosts Ferris State also needing a single point to clinch a playoff spot. If UAH gets swept and Alaska-Anchorage sweeps Alaska, the Chargers will need the Lakers to lose both games to still make the playoffs.

Here’s the schedule for league teams this week. All times are Central. All games can be seen online on WCHA TV.

Friday, March 6

UAH at #13 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
Northern Michigan at #4 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Lake Superior State, 6:37 p.m.
#2 Minnesota State at Bemidji State, 7:37 p.m.
Alaska at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, March 7

UAH at #13 Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
#4 Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
Ferris State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
#2 Minnesota State at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
Alaska at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Series Preview: vs. Alaska, Feb. 27-28

CATCHING THE GAMES
Times: 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Tickets: Ticketmaster: Friday | Saturday
Complete ticket information
Promotions: Kids 12 & under get free admission
Fri.: UAH trading cards to first 500
Sat.: Mini shuttles to first 500
Online video: WCHA.tv (subscription)
Live stats: UAHChargers.com
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @Alaska_Hockey

Three points. That’s the magic number for the Chargers as they host Alaska this weekend as a WCHA playoff berth is in sight. Puck drop is at 7:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights in the Chargers’ final home games of the season.

A minimum of a win and a tie puts UAH in the WCHA playoffs for the first time. Consequently, a loss and a tie for Alaska-Anchorage against Bowling Green also does the trick, or any combination of points for UAH and points against UAA totaling three.

Friday night, the first 500 fans receive a set of UAH hockey trading cards. Saturday night is Senior Night, and the first 500 fans receive a free mini space shuttle courtesy of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Kids 12 and under get in free to both games, courtesy Huntsville International Airport.

All-time series: The Chargers are 6-16-1 all-time against the Nanooks, and 3-4-1 in Huntsville. Alaska has won the last eight meetings, with UAH’s last victory coming on Jan. 11, 1992 — when Alaska forfeited a 8-3 win for using an ineligible player. The Chargers last “true” win came the day before, 6-1, at the Von Braun Center.

The two teams met in Fairbanks earlier this season, with the Nanooks taking both games: 2-1 in overtime and 4-0.

Jeff Vanderlugt

Jeff Vanderlugt scored his sixth goal of the season against Ferris State. (Photo by Chris Brightwell)

Charger recap: UAH (8-20-4 overall, 7-16-1 WCHA) lost a pair of one-goal games at home to Ferris State.

On Friday, Ferris State dominated the first period with two goals. Code Champagne’s goal early in the third period gave UAH life, but the Chargers ultimately fell 2-1 in front of a sparse crowd thanks to snow and ice in Huntsville.

The attendance was better Saturday as the snow melted, and so was UAH’s start, as Jeff Vanderlugt put the Chargers on the board first. But the Bulldogs answered with three straight goals and held on for a 3-2 win. Alex Carpenter had the other goal for UAH.

UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero had 32 saves on Friday night and 26 on Saturday. His season save percentage of .928 is second in the WCHA, and he has a 2.46 goals against average this season.

Max McHugh continues to lead the Chargers in scoring with 19 points, which is tied for third among freshmen in the WCHA, and in goals with eight.

Other top scorers for UAH are Jack Prince (5-9-14), Chad Brears (3-10-13), Jeff Vanderlugt (6-6-12), and Brandon Parker. Frank Misuraca is tied with Vanderlugt for second on the team in goals with six.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
UAF
8-20-4
7-16-1 WCHA (8th)
Record 15-13-2
10-12-2 WCHA (7th)
1.69 (9th) Goals/game 2.67 (5th)
3.12 (8th) Goals allowed/game 2.47 (6th)
15.8 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 14.5 (3rd)
16.3% (5th) Power play 16.4% (4th)
83.0% (8th) Penalty kill 83.6% (7th)

About the Nanooks: Alaska (15-13-2 overall, 10-12-2 WCHA) are ineligible for the WCHA playoffs because of an NCAA postseason ban announced earlier this season, but the Nanooks are enjoying the spoiler role.

Last weekend, UAF hosted top ranked and WCHA leader Minnesota State and earned a 1-1 tie and a 3-1 victory. The Nanooks are undefeated in their last four games.

However, those four games were in Fairbanks, where they are 10-5-1 this season. The Nanooks are 3-8-1 on the road, although one of those wins — their last road win on Dec. 5 — was at Minnesota State.

Junior center Tyler Morley is the engine behind the Nanooks’ offense. He leads the team in goals (13), assists (19), and points (32), and he had three goals against the Mavericks last weekend. Sophomore right wing Marcus Basara is Alaska’s other double-digit goal scorer with 10, and junior defenseman and St. Louis Blues prospect Colton Parayko has 16 assists.

Senior goaltender Sean Cahill has been back in action after missing 13 games due to injury. He has allowed only one goal in each of his last four starts, and he has a 2.06 goals against average and a .923 save percentage for the season. Sophomore Davis Jones, who shut out the Chargers in the second game in Fairbanks while Cahill was out, is the backup.

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State** 19-3-2 40
Michigan Tech** 19-4-1 39
Bowling Green* 14-7-3 31
Bemidji State* 10-10-4 24
Northern Michigan* 10-10-4 24
Ferris State* 11-13-0 22
Alaska^ 10-12-2 22
Alabama-Huntsville 7-16-1 15
Lake Superior State 6-17-1 13
Alaska-Anchorage 4-18-2 10
** Clinched home ice in first round
* Clinched playoff berth
^ Ineligible for postseason play

Around the WCHA: Alaska’s three-point weekend against Minnesota State tightened the race for the MacNaughton Cup, which could be decided this weekend in a huge showdown in Mankato.

No. 2 Minnesota State leads No. 3 Michigan Tech by one point as the two top teams in the WCHA square off. Two wins by the Mavericks will clinch them their first regular-season league title.

No. 11 Bowling Green needs one win to clinch home ice in the first round as they head to Alaska-Anchorge. Bemidji State and Ferris State tussle in Big Rapids looking to host in the first round, while Northern Michigan has the same aspirations while hosting Lake Superior State.

Here’s the schedule for league teams this week. All times are Central. All games can be seen online on WCHA TV.

Friday, February 27

Alaska at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#3 Michigan Tech at #2 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#11 Bowling Green at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 28

Alaska at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Lake Superior State at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
#3 Michigan Tech at #2 Minnesota State, 7:07 p.m.
#11 Bowling Green at Alaska-Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Ferris State 3, UAH 2

The Chargers scored the first goal of the game, but Ferris State netted three unanswered goals and held on for a 3-2 win over UAH at the Von Braun Center on Saturday.

UAH (8-20-4 overall, 7-16-1 WCHA) lost both games of the series to Ferris State (14-18-1 overall, 11-13-0 WCHA), both by one goal. The Bulldogs beat the Chargers 2-1 on Friday.

The Chargers remain in eighth place and in WCHA playoff position with 15 points, two up over idle Lake Superior State and five up over Alaska-Anchorage, which was swept by Bemidji State over the weekend. With Alaska ineligible, the Chargers currently hold the seventh seed, Lake Superior has eighth, and Anchorage would be out. Ferris State, meanwhile, is now tied with Alaska for sixth, seven points ahead of UAH.

Jeff Vanderlugt put UAH up 1-0 at 12:19 of the first period with his sixth goal of the season, backhanding a rebound past CJ Motte. He was assisted by Chad Brears, who picked up his 10th helper of the year.

Dom Panetta, who also tallied a goal in Friday’s game, tied the game at 1-1 with 3:01 left in the first. Kyle Schempp gave Ferris State the lead in the second period, and Sean O’Rourke made it 3-1 Bulldogs early in the third.

UAH’s Alex Carpenter’s third goal of the season — a tap-in after a Matt Salhany shot went through Ferris State goaltender C.J. Motte’s pads and rested in the middle of the crease — made it 3-2. The Chargers could not find the equalizer in the final rushes of regulation.

Motte made 25 saves, while UAH goaltender Carmine Guerriero stopped 26 of 29 shots.

UAH has its final home series of the season next weekend, Feb. 27-28, against Alaska. Puck drop is 7:07 p.m. both nights.