May 222017

Arizona State announced Monday that it and UAH have swapped the home-and-home series for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

The Chargers were to play the Sun Devils at the Von Braun Center on Dec. 2-3. That series will now be played at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 3-4.

ASU will now visit Huntsville early in the 2018-19 season, on Oct. 19-20, 2018.

Arizona State was the only non-WCHA home series this coming season. UAH will have no non-conference games at home for the second straight year.

May 122017

The 2017 UAH Hockey Frenchy Open will tee off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 24 at Hampton Cove Golf Course.

The golf tournament is the program’s biggest summer fundraising event. The tournament layout will be a four-player scramble with prizes going to the top three teams and individual winners. Raffle and door prizes will be available.

Register online to reserve your spot. Registration per player is $150, which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart, a UAH Hockey souvenir, refreshments, and dinner. Full four-player teams can register for $600.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact assistant coach Matty Thomas at 256-824-2989 or

In addition, there will be an UAH alumni hockey game at the Wilcoxon Municipal Ice Complex in Huntsville on June 24 at 6 p.m.

“The Frenchy Open” is named after Charger left wing Jean-Marc Plante, who died in 2001. Also known as “Frenchy,” the Laval, Quebec, native played for UAH from 1988-92, scoring 16 goals and 19 assists in 94 games. Plante worked at the front office of the Florida Panthers and became the athletic marketing director at UAH. A memorial scholarship is awarded in his honor to the Charger hockey player who demonstrates leadership, sportsmanship, and team spirit, and who participates in community and university volunteer service.

Commitments: Bauer Neudecker of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) announced his commitment to UAH. He is expected to join the Chargers in the 2019-20 season.

Neudecker, 18, is a native of St. Louis Park, Minn. He joined the Ice Dogs after scoring 39 goals in his senior season at St. Louis Park High School. With Fairbanks, he scored five goals in 11 regular-season games and three goals in seven playoff games.

Neudecker was selected in the 12th round by Dubuque in Phase II of the USHL draft last week.

Connor Merkley, who will join the Chargers this fall, is a 20-year-old forward coming from the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL, where he played with current UAH forward Jordan Larson.

Merkley had 29 goals and 66 points in 61 games for the Canadians this season.

Cole, Luongo reunited at Michigan State: Former UAH coaches will be trying to bring the Michigan State hockey program back into prominence.

Danton Cole, who helmed the Chargers from 2007-10, was named the Spartans’ head coach on. The Chargers won the CHA Tournament title and earned an NCAA Tournament berth under Cole’s watch in 2010, after which Cole left UAH to coach in the U.S. Hockey National Team Development Program.

Chris Luongo, who was an assistant under Cole at UAH and was the head coach from 2010-12, will assist Cole again at Michigan State. Luongo also worked with Cole at the NTDP.

Both Cole and Luongo are MSU alums, playing from 1985-89. They won the 1986 national championship as freshman and made two more Frozen Four appearances in 1987 and 1989.

May 042017

UAH and the WCHA released the 2017-18 schedule on Thursday. The Chargers play 32 games this season, 16 at home, 16 on the road.

It will be UAH’s 33rd season as a varsity program and 39th overall. It will be the Chargers’ 19th season since re-joining Division I and their fifth in the WCHA.

In addition to the 28-game WCHA schedule, the Chargers will play non-conference series against Notre Dame and Arizona State.

Opening: The Chargers start the 2017-18 campaign on Oct. 6-7 at Notre Dame, which will be making its debut as a member of the Big Ten. It will be UAH’s 1,000th game as a varsity hockey program.

Long home stand: After UAH visits Michigan Tech on Oct. 20-21 for the first conference series, the Chargers spend the next 10 games at home. It’s the Chargers longest home stand since the 1998-99 season. The first four series are WCHA tilts against Northern Michigan, Alaska Anchorage, Lake Superior State, and Ferris State. The last two games are…

Burritos vs. Biscuits: Arizona State visits Huntsville for a series on Dec. 1-2 in the first battle between the NCAA’s southernmost programs. It might be the first of many with reports of ASU being in negotiations with the WCHA to join the league.

Long road swing: After the home stand, the Chargers have their longest road trip since 2012-13. UAH will go to Bowling Green and Minnesota State before the holiday break, then visit Bemidji State for the first series of 2018. The Chargers then spend a week in Alaska for the first time since joining the WCHA, going to Fairbanks on Jan. 5-6 and Anchorage on Jan. 12-13.

Stretch run: The Chargers finish the regular season with six of the last eight games at home. Bemidji State comes to Huntsville on Jan. 26-27, Minnesota State visits Feb. 9-10, and the final series of the season is against Bowling Green on Feb. 23-24. The only road series is at Northern Michigan on Feb. 2-3.

UAH Hockey 2017-18 Schedule
* WCHA game
Home games in bold.

Oct. 6 at Notre Dame
Oct. 7 at Notre Dame
Oct. 20 at Michigan Tech*
Oct. 21 at Michigan Tech*
Oct. 27 vs. Northern Michigan*
Oct. 28 vs. Northern Michigan*
Nov. 10 vs. Alaska Anchorage*
Nov. 11 vs. Alaska Anchorage*
Nov. 17 vs. Lake Superior State*
Nov. 18 vs. Lake Superior State*
Nov. 24 vs. Ferris State*
Nov. 25 vs. Ferris State*
Dec. 2 vs. Arizona State
Dec. 3 vs. Arizona State
Dec. 8 at Bowling Green*
Dec. 9 at Bowling Green*
Dec. 15 at Minnesota State*
Dec. 16 at Minnesota State*
Dec. 29 at Bemidji State*
Dec. 30 at Bemidji State*
Jan. 5 at Alaska*
Jan. 6 at Alaska*
Jan. 12 at Alaska Anchorage*
Jan. 13 at Alaska Anchorage*
Jan. 26 vs. Bemidji State*
Jan. 27 vs. Bemidji State*
Feb. 2 at Northern Michigan*
Feb. 3 at Northern Michigan*
Feb. 9 vs. Minnesota State*
Feb. 10 vs. Minnesota State*
Feb. 23 vs. Bowling Green*
Feb. 24 vs. Bowling Green*

Mar 132017

What to make of this season?

The Chargers increased their win total (both overall and in the WCHA), but barely, and they failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year. UAH led in more games this season but left many points on the table. One step forward, one step back (or vice versa).

Here’s a look inside some of the numbers.

2014-15: 8-26-4 (.263) overall, 7-20-1 (.268) WCHA
2015-16: 7-21-6 (.294) overall, 5-17-6 (.286) WCHA
2016-17: 9-22-3 (.309) overall, 9-16-3 (.375) WCHA
Change from 2015-16:+.015 overall, +.089 WCHA

A very slight improvement in the overall record, and a bigger improvement in the WCHA record. Easily the best record UAH has had in its four years in the league, but the 0-6 non-conference slate brought the overall record down (a problem across the WCHA). Odd how the worst of the past three seasons (2014-15) was the one time the Chargers qualified for the playoffs.

Scoring margin:
2014-15: -1.55
2015-16: -0.97
2016-17: -1.35
Change from 2015-16: -0.38

When the Chargers won, it wasn’t a blowout, and half the time it rained, it poured. UAH won by three goals four times, and never by four or more. Meanwhile, UAH lost by three or more 13 times (and six by four or more).

Josh Kestner

Josh Kestner has 9 goals and 22 points on the season. (UAH Athletics/Doug Eagan)

2014-15: 1.63 goals per game
2015-16: 2.15
2016-17: 2.18
Change from 2015-16: +0.08

Not much change here. The Chargers did get a little boost in scoring in conference games (from 2.18 goals per game to 2.43), but they were still near the bottom of the league.

If anything, there was more distribution of points this season. Nine players had 10 or more points, compared to six in 2015-16.

Huntsville native Josh Kestner rose to the top of UAH’s scoring chart this season with 22 points in his junior season compared to just eight the year prior. He was tied for the lead in goals with nine.

The guy Kestner was tied with is Kurt Gosselin, a defenseman. Three of his goals came in one game, at home against Ferris State on December 3, the first hat trick for a UAH player since Cale Tanaka in 2008. He and fellow junior defenseman Brandon Parker (six goals) showed they could be a threat from the blue line.

Sophomore defenseman Cam Knight had 16 assists, the most by a Charger in 10 years.

Jordan Uhelski moved to the top of UAH’s goalie depth chart. (Photo by UAH Athletics)

2014-15: 3.18 goals allowed per game
2015-16: 3.12
2016-17: 3.53 
Change: +0.41

The Chargers regressed on defense. UAH allowed five or more goals 10 times out of 34 games this season, double the number in 2015-16.

Junior goaltender Jordan Uhelski, who had saw no action until this season, took the reigns as the Chargers’ No. 1 as the two seniors couldn’t regain their form. Matt Larose was solid in the opening series as UAH swept at Ferris State, but struggled shortly afterward, opening the door for Uhelski. Carmine Guerriero was ineligible for the first 12 games of the season, but when he returned he couldn’t find the consistency that had made him tough to beat.

UAH reduced the number of shots on goal allowed per game further, from 33.18 last year to 31.17 this year.

The Chargers didn’t block as many shots per game as last year at 12.41 per game. Cam Knight and Brandon Parker both lead the Chargers in blocked shots with 56.

Power play efficiency:
2014-15: 19-124 (15.3%)
2015-16: 15-140 (10.7%)
2016-17: 18-167 (10.8%)
Change: +0.1%

Virtually no change here. UAH was again one of the least inefficient power play units in the country (only Alaska Anchorage was worse in the WCHA). A third of the power play goals came from defensemen Gosselin and Parker (each with three). Max McHugh also had three power play goals.

UAH had four games with multiple power play goals, but the season had long stretches where it just wasn’t clicking. The Chargers did not convert on their final 23 opportunities, and had another stretch from Dec. 30 to Jan. 27 where they went 1-for-31.

Penalty killing efficiency:
2014-15: 164-201 (81.6%)
2015-16: 119-145 (82.1%)
2016-17: 128-163 (78.5%)
Change: -3.6%

Coinciding with the regression in defense was the regression in penalty killing, which fell to the bottom of the WCHA. Unlike the 2015-16 season, where the PK unites put together some impressive streaks, this was consistently an issue: Opponents scored on their power play at least once in 22 of 34 games, with only one three-game stretch where the Chargers shut out the opponents’ power play in consecutive games. UAH allowed three or more power play goals in a game four times.

Mar 092017

Kurt Gosselin (Photo by UAH Athletics)

UAH sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin was named third-team All-WCHA on Thursday, as the league announced its postseason awards. He becomes the first Charger to earn a spot on the All-WCHA first, second, or third teams.

Gosselin scored nine goals this season, tied for the team lead and tops among all WCHA defensemen. He and teammate Cam Knight were tied for fourth among WCHA defensemen with 18 league points.

Gosselin becomes the first Charger to earn all-WCHA honors since Max McHugh made the all-rookie team in 2015.

In addition, 19 Chargers were named to the WCHA All-Academic Team: Hunter Anderson, Richard Buri, Cody Champagne, Madison Dunn, Brent Fletcher, Hans Gorowsky, Kurt Gosselin, Jetlan Houcher, Josh Kestner, Cam Knight, Matt Larose, Max McHugh, Brandon Parker, Brandon Salerno, Matt Salhany, Regan Soquila, John Teets, Jordan Uhelski and Adam Wilcox.

The WCHA All-Academic Team includes student-athletes who earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher over the last two semesters.

Salhany signs with Reading: Forward Matt Salhany has signed a standard player contract with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, who announced the deal Thursday.

Salhany finished his UAH career with 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 points in 137 games. The Warwick, R.I. native had seven goals and 13 points as he played all 34 games in his recently-completed senior season.