Chargers’ 2015-16 schedule released with 18 home games

It's good to be home. (Photo by Chris Brightwell)

It’s good to be home, where UAH will play 18 times in the 2015-16 season. (Photo by Chris Brightwell)

For the first time in 15 years, UAH is scheduled to play more home games than not.

The WCHA released its 2015-16 composite schedule on Monday, and UAH followed with the official revealing of the Chargers’ slate.

The Chargers will have 18 home games for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when UAH hosted the College Hockey America conference tournament. In terms of regular season, it’s the most home games in UAH’s modern Division I era, and the most home games against Division I teams ever. This is an exciting development given the difficulty UAH has securing home non-conference games (see UAH’s recent independent years).

In addition to the 28-game WCHA schedule, UAH will have three non-conference series, two at home, representing Hockey East and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

UAH opens the season at home for the first time since 2012 with the first of three non-conference series, Oct. 9-10 against Connecticut. UConn last came to Huntsville as a member of Atlantic Hockey to open the Chargers’ 2003-04 season, but now the Huskies represent Hockey East. UConn was expected to struggle transitioning to the East’s premier conference in its first season in 2014-15, but finished in a tie for ninth and look to be a program on the rise.

Homecoming at hockey is back as the Chargers open league play at home against Alaska-Anchorage on Oct. 23-24. UAH won both games against UAA in Huntsville last season as the Seawolves struggled to last place in the WCHA.

The Chargers hit the road for the first time at Lake Superior State, where they earned three critical points last season on the way to a WCHA playoff spot. UAH then hosts their playoff opponent from last season, Michigan Tech, on Nov. 6-7. Tech, one of three opponents who reached the NCAA tournament last season, swept the Chargers in Houghton in two games, the first being the 1-0 triple overtime marathon that saw Carmine Guerriero make 76 saves.

Bemidji State returns to Huntsville for rounds 77 of 78 of the Chargers-Beavers rivalry on Thanksgiving weekend. Rounds 79 and 80 will be in Bemidji on Feb. 26-27.

On Dec. 18-19, Colorado College comes to Huntsville after the Chargers visited Colorado Springs to open the 2014-15 campaign. The Tigers finished last in the powerful NCHC, but managed two one-goal wins over UAH, both on third-period goals.

The Chargers ring in 2016 at one of the storied programs in college hockey. UAH visits North Dakota for the first time since 1989, when the Chargers lost 12-6 and 11-5. UND, owners of seven national championships, won the NCHC regular season title and reached the Frozen Four last month.

All but six of the Chargers’ home games come before the New Year, meaning UAH will see a lot of travel down the stretch. UAH has only one series in January, February, and March. The Charges host Alaska on Jan. 8-9, defending WCHA champion and NCAA tournament participant Minnesota State on Feb. 12-13, and Bowling Green on March 4-5 to finish the regular season.

The Chargers go to the state of Alaska once, a late-January set in Anchorage.

Season ticket and Blue Line Club information will be released over the summer. For more information, call 256-UAH-PUCK.

Here is the 2015-16 UAH Charger hockey schedule. Home games are in bold, all starting at 7:07 p.m.

Oct. 9-10 – Connecticut
Oct. 23-24 – Alaska Anchorage*
Oct. 30-31 – Lake Superior State*
Nov. 6-7 – Michigan Tech*
Nov. 20-21 – Bowling Green*
Nov. 27-28 – Bemidji State*
Dec. 4-5 – Northern Michigan*
Dec. 11-12 – Minnesota State*
Dec. 18-19 – Colorado College
Jan. 1-2 – North Dakota
Jan. 8-9 – Alaska*
Jan. 15-16 – Ferris State*
Jan. 29-30 – Alaska Anchorage*
Feb. 12-13 – Minnesota State*
Feb. 19-20 – Northern Michigan*
Feb. 26-27 – Bemidji State*
March 4-5 – Bowling Green*

March 11-13 – WCHA Quarterfinals (at top four seeds)
March 18-19 – WCHA Final Five (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
March 25-27 – NCAA Tournament Regionals
April 7-9 – NCAA Frozen Four (Tampa, Fla.)

* WCHA game.


Series Preview: vs. Northern Michigan, Jan. 16-17

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.: UAH pucks to first 500
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Live stats:
Twitter: @weloveuahhockey, @uahhockey, @NMUHockey
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The Chargers are back home, searching for some momentum and some goals as they face off with the Northern Michigan Wildcats this weekend.

Despite being shut out in both games at Bemidji State, UAH is still in sole possession of eighth place in the WCHA standings. Northern Michigan is heating up, taking three points from No. 8 Michigan Tech last weekend to move into a tie for fourth.

Puck drop is 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The first 500 fans to Friday’s game get a free set of UAH hockey trading cards, and the first 500 on Saturday get a free UAH hockey puck. All kids 12 and under get free admission.

Max McHugh

Max McHugh leads UAH with 15 points. (Photo by Doug Eagan)

All-time series: Northern Michigan is unbeaten (8-0-2) in 10 meetings with UAH. One of the two ties came earlier this season in Marquette, when the Chargers and Wildcats battled to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 31. The next night, NMU won the second game of the non-conference series 4-1, finishing a contract signed before both programs joined the WCHA. This will be the third series all-time in Huntsville, where NMU is 3-0-1.

Chargers recap: UAH (5-16-3 overall, 4-12-0 WCHA) lost both games at Bemidji State last weekend by 4-0 scores. That’s all there is to say, really.

Goaltender Carmine Guerriero allowed four goals in Friday night’s game and made 29 saves. His .931 save percentage is third in the WCHA and his 2.42 goals against average is eighth. Matt Larose also let in four goals and made 29 saves on Saturday.

Max McHugh leads the Chargers with 15 points. Jeff Vanderlugt, Jack Prince, and Chad Brears each have 10 points. Brandon Parker has nine assists to lead UAH.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA rank)
4-12-0 WCHA (8th)
Record 9-6-5
6-6-4 WCHA (T-4th)
1.71 (9th) Goals/game 2.20 (7th)
3.08 (9th) Goals allowed/game 2.10 (T-4th)
15.6 (2nd) Pen. minutes/game 11.7 (7th)
16.9% (4th) Power play 22.4% (2nd)
83.6% (6th) Penalty kill 85.5% (4th)

About the Wildcats: Northern Michigan (9-6-5 overall, 6-6-4 WCHA) is unbeaten in four of its last five. Last weekend, they took three points from their rivals, Michigan Tech, drawing 3-3 at home in Marquette before winning on the road in overtime at Houghton, 5-4. The Wildcats are tied with Ferris State for fourth place in the WCHA.

Talk about NMU starts with goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom. The junior had an incredible start to the season, posting four shutouts. He allowed only two goals to the Chargers in the two games in Marquette. Dahlstrom missed a month due to injury before returning last weekend against Michigan Tech, allowing three and four goals in the two games against the 8th-ranked Huskies.

Brock Maschmeyer, a defenseman, leads NMU this season in goal scoring with seven. Two of those goals game against the Chargers in the 4-1 win on November 1. Forwards Dominik Shine lead all point scorers with 15 points, followed by Darren Nowick’s 14 (both have five goals).

WCHA Standings Record Pts.
Minnesota State 13-2-1 27
Michigan Tech 10-3-1 21
Bowling Green 9-1-2 20
Ferris State 8-6-0 16
Northern Michigan 6-6-4 16
Alaska* 7-8-1 15
Bemidji State 5-6-3 13
Alabama-Huntsville 4-12-0 8
Lake Superior State 3-13-0 6
Alaska-Anchorage 2-10-2 6
* Ineligible for postseason play

Around the WCHA: Another full league schedule this week with some very intriguing matchups.

Bowling Green is surging, unbeaten in its last nine and moving up to No. 7 in this week’s poll. They’ll be in Houghton to face 11th-ranked Michigan Tech.

Minnesota State is No. 1 in all the land for the first time, and the Mavericks look to pad their six-point lead in the WCHA standings against C.J. Motte and Ferris State in Big Rapids, Mich. Last season, the series between the two teams got contentious as they battled for the MacNaughton Cup.

Bemidji State visits Lake Superior State, and Alaska-Anchorage goes to Fairbanks to battle their hated rivals, the Alaska Nanooks.

Here’s the schedule for league teams the next two weeks. All times are Central. Games involving WCHA teams at home can be seen online on WCHA TV.

Friday, January 16

Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
#1 Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
#7 Bowling Green at #11 Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 6:37 p.m.
Alaska-Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, January 17

Northern Michigan at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
#7 Bowling Green at #11 Michigan Tech, 4:07 p.m.
#1 Minnesota State at Ferris State, 6:07 p.m.
Bemidji State at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Alaska-Anchorage at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.

NMU dominates third to pull away from Chargers, 4-1

For the first two periods, it seemed UAH was determined to build on Friday’s 1-1 tie at Northern Michigan and steal more points — even if it wasn’t a conference series against another WCHA team.

The Wildcats quashed that feeling emphatically in the third period, scoring twice and outshooting the Chargers 20-1, to turn a one-goal game into a 4-1 win over UAH on Saturday in Marquette, Mich.

UAH fell to 0-7-1 on the season, while Northern Michigan remained undefeated at 5-0-1. It was the fifth straight game where the Chargers scored one and only one goal.

In an interesting twist, the Chargers came out with the bulk of offensive chances in the first period. UAH made NMU goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom, who faced only 19 shots all game on Friday, stop 14 shots on goal while only allowing eight.

UAH could not get the lead, though, and the Wildcats ended up with the first score of the contest like they did on Friday: crashing the net. Reed Seckel’s initial shot hit Matt Larose’s left pad, and Seckel put in the rebound for a 1-0 Northern Michigan lead at 8:05.

NMU made it 2-0 at 2:59 of the second period, as Brock Maschmeyer’s shot from the right circle beat Larose. Even though the Chargers were exceeding their shot on goal total from yesterday halfway through this game, they found themselves in another hole.

The game started to turn with 5:40 left of the second. During a Northern Michigan power play, Matt Salhany, who scored UAH’s lone goal in Friday’s game, stole the puck and took it down ice. He lost the puck after crossing into the NMU zone, where he was hit in the head by NMU’s John Siemer. Salhany was slow to get up, but did make his way to the Charger bench and would continue to play.

Siemer received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the hit. On the ensuing major power play, Brennan Saulnier, all alone in the right circle, beat Dahlstrom high to cut NMU’s lead to 2-1 with 3:51 left in the second. Saulnier’s first goal at UAH was assisted by Josh Kestner and Brandon Carlson.

The power play was cut short after UAH committed a too many men on the ice penalty. It would remain a one-goal game heading into the final frame.

But the final frame was all Wildcats. They fired away at Larose, notching the first 15 shots on goal en route to 20 for the period. UAH simply could not mount much of an offensive threat.

Meanwhile, NMU built their lead. Maschmeyer scored his second goal of the game at 5:18 on another rebound, and Gerard Hanson made it the final 4-1 score on a tally four minutes later.

The Wildcats finished the game with a 41-23 shots advantage. Larose made 37 saves in another busy night for UAH goaltending. Dahlstrom had 22 saves for NMU.

The Chargers go on the road for the third straight series next weekend when they visit Air Force on Friday and Saturday. UAH returns home Nov. 14 and 15 to face Lake Superior State.

Guerriero stars, Salhany scores in UAH’s 1-1 tie at NMU

A point is a point, even if it technically doesn’t count in the WCHA standings. The Chargers certainly won’t any for granted.

Carmine Guerriero had another stellar night between the pipes, stopping 34 of 35 shots, and Matt Salhany’s shorthanded goal in the second period gave UAH a 1-1 tie with Northern Michigan in Marquette on Friday.

UAH is now 0-6-1 with the draw. It was the first blemish on Northern Michigan’s record, now 4-0-1.

The two-game series, which continues Saturday at 6 p.m. Huntsville time, was scheduled before UAH joined the WCHA, and is thus a non-conference series despite being against a conference foe.

The first period was brisk at about 25 minutes. No goals, no penalties, hardly any stoppage of play.

The second period was not so quick, with two goals (one reviewed) and four penalties.

NMU struck first. The Wildcats crashed the net, and after about 10 seconds of pounding away, Shane Seckel finally snuck the puck past Guerriero at 1:04 of the period. The goal withstood video review.

The Chargers committed three penalties, which lead to the Wildcats piling some shots on goal — 15 for the period — with their power plays.

But UAH held them off each time, and even netted its first shorthanded goal of the season. Brent Fletcher fed Matt Salhany near the Northern Michigan blue line, and Salhany turned on the jets for a breakaway. Salhany beat NMU goaltender Mathias Dahlstrom high to tie the game at 1-1 with 3:09 to go in the second. It was the sophomore’s first goal of the season and sixth of his UAH career.

The Chargers were outshot 11-3 in the third period, but didn’t allow the late third-period game-winning goals that haunted UAH in the opening series at Colorado College.

Guerriero, named the No. 1 star of the game, was spectacular, making big glove and body saves. NMU’s Dominik Shine knows first hand, as he was stymied multiple times in the period. Guerriero’s save on Shine’s toe-drag shot with 20 seconds remaining kept UAH’s hopes alive.

The Chargers got all three shots on goal in overtime, but Dahlstrom held firm, making a save on Cody Champagne in the final minute.

UAH finished with a total of 19 shots on goal to NMU’s 35.