Feb 092017
 
CATCHING THE GAMES
Friday, Feb. 10, 7:07 p.m.
First 500 get free cell phone wallets
Saturday, Feb. 11, 3:07 p.m.
First 500 get UAH hockey trading cards
Ticket information
Kids 12-under get free admission
Season stats: UAH | Bemidji State

The Chargers close out the home regular season schedule against rival Bemidji State at the Von Braun Center on Friday and Saturday.

UAH will try to pull some upsets on the Beavers in order to secure their WCHA playoff position. Bemidji State is a win away from clinching the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA regular season champion.

All-time series: The Chargers and Beavers will be meeting for the 81st and 82nd time. Bemidji State leads overall 46-29-5, while UAH leads 19-17-3 in Huntsville.

This is the only regular season meeting between the programs this season. Last season, Bemidji State won three of the four meetings (the other being a tie).

Josh Kestner

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

Charger recap: UAH (8-19-3 overall, 8-13-3 WCHA) snapped a nine-game winless streak Saturday with a 4-1 victory in Alaska, earning a split with the and staying in eighth place in the WCHA standings. Alaska won the first game, 3-0.

Josh Kestner scored his ninth goal of the season, tying him with Kurt Gosselin for the team lead. Brennan Saulnier, Matt Salhany, and Sean Rappleyea scored the other goals for UAH.

Kestner leads the Chargers with 22 points, followed by Gosselin and Max McHugh with 18. Cam Knight has 17 points, buoyed by a team-leading 14 assists.

Connor James earned his two collegiate points with a pair of assists.

Jordan Uhelski made 30 saves on 31 shots in the win over Alaska, and 61 saves for the weekend. His goals against average is now at 2.75 and his save percentage up to .907. He is 6-7-3 in 17 starts.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA games only)
Bemidji State
8-19-3 Overall record 18-11-3
8-13-3-0
(27 pts, 8th)
WCHA record 18-4-2-2
(58 pts, 1st)
2.54 (7th) Goals/game 2.62 (6th)
3.38 (10th) Goals allowed/game 1.42 (1st)
15.0 (5th) Pen. minutes/game 10.0 (10th)
14.8% (T5th) Power play 20.4% (1st)
78.3% (10th) Penalty kill 93.5% (1st)

About the Beavers: Bemidji State (18-11-3 overall, 18-4-2 WCHA) can clinch the WCHA regular season title with a win over the Chargers or a Michigan Tech loss to Ferris State. The Beavers swept Tech by scores of 4-2 and 3-0 last week.

The Beavers are not a high-powered offense, but they don’t need to be with a defense that ranks the best in all of Division I in goals per game (1.81). Anchoring the defense is junior goaltender Michael Bitzer, who leads the nation with a 1.61 goals against average, is sixth in the country with a .935 save percentage, and is tied for the D-I lead with five shutouts.

Also tough to penetrate is BSU’s penalty kill, which also ranks the best in the country at 89.5 percent. That’s for the rare time they need it, as the Beavers are one of the least penalized teams in the nation.

Senior Phillip Marinaccio leads Bemidji State with 23 points on nine goals and 14 assists. The goal-scoring leader is junior Kyle Bauman, who has 11.

Around the WCHA: Series to watch as we head to the final stretch toward the playoffs:

Ferris State at Michigan Tech: Ferris State is tied for 6th, two points ahead of UAH. Michigan Tech has a six-point lead for 2nd, but needs to win and Bemidji State to lose to stay in contention for the MacNaughton Cup.

Alaska at Northern Michigan: Alaska is in 5th, just three points ahead of UAH. Northern Michigan is 9th but only two points behind the Chargers.

Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State: Anchorge is in 10th, but the Seawolves are not out of it, only five points behind UAH for 8th. Lake Superior is tied with Ferris State for 6th, also two points ahead of the Chargers.

All times Central. Games featuring WCHA teams at home can be seen on WCHA.tv.

Friday, February 10
* Bemidji State at UAH, 7:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Michigan Tech, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State, 6:37 p.m.

Saturday, February 11
* Bemidji State at UAH, 3:07 p.m.
* Ferris State at Michigan Tech, 4:07 p.m.
* Alaska at Northern Michigan, 6:07 p.m.
* Alaska Anchorage at Lake Superior State, 6:07 p.m.
Mercyhurst at Bowling Green, 4:07 p.m.

Feb 082017
 

The 2017 seniors: Cody Marooney, Regan Soquila, Carmine Guerriero, Brent Fletcher, Matt Larose, Brandon Carlson (who played his final game on Nov. 19), Matt Salhany. Photo by UAH Athletics/Doug Eagan

Six will be playing their final games at the Von Braun Center as UAH Chargers this weekend. They will be honored before Saturday afternoon’s game against Bemidji State.

Captain Brent Fletcher (New Westminster, British Columbia) has ten goals and 24 points in his UAH career. He is a two-time WCHA Scholar Athlete and member of the WCHA All-Academic Team.

Carmine Guerriero (Montreal, Quebec) is second in UAH’s modern Division I era and fourth all-time with a .911 career save percentage entering this weekend. His career goals against average of 3.16 is fourth in UAH’s modern D-I era and seventh all-time. Guerriero set the single-game WCHA record for saves with 76 against Michigan Tech in the 2015 WCHA quarterfinals.

Matt Larose (Nanaimo, British Columbia) has a career .896 save percentage and 3.93 goals against average in 55 games played. He was the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week twice (including this season back in October). He has been named to the WCHA All-Academic Team three times.

Cody Marooney (Chaska, Minn.) has 10 goals and 19 points in 126 games at UAH. He is a two-time WCHA Player of the Week.

Matt Salhany (Warwick, R.I.) is currently tied for fourth in career games played as a Charger with 133. The speedy left wing has 16 goals and 41 points in his college career.

Regan Soquila (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) has six goals and 14 points in 98 games as a Charger. The left wing is a three-time member of the WCHA All-Academic Team.

A seventh senior, Brandon Carlson, finished his eligibility early and was honored in his final game on Nov. 19.

Fletcher nears games played record: Fletcher is close to playing more games in a Charger uniform than anyone in UAH history.

Fletcher has played 135 games at UAH, two shy of the record set by Joel Bresciani, who played 137 from 1999-2003. Fletcher is tied with Jason Hawes for second all-time.

Salhany has played 133 games, tied with Jared Ross, Karlis Zirnis, and Craig Bushey for fourth all-time.

Beavers could clinch: Bemidji State could win the MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champions in Huntsville this weekend.

With a 10-point lead over second-place Michigan Tech with four games remaining, the Beavers need only one win over UAH to win the title.

If UAH sweeps BSU, the Beavers can still clinch if Michigan Tech loses either game at home to Ferris State this weekend.

The Chargers currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot, two points behind Ferris State and Lake Superior State for sixth place and two points ahead of Northern Michigan in ninth.

Weekend promotions: The first 500 fans at Friday’s 7 p.m. game against Bemidji State will receive a free cell phone wallet courtesy of Martinson & Beason, P.C. Saturday’s 3 p.m. game will be the final UAH hockey trading card giveaway courtesy of Colonial Printing.

All kids 12 and under get free general admission courtesy of Huntsville International Airport.

Blue Line Club lunch: The final Blue Line Club lunch of the season will be Friday at noon in the Varsity Room at Spragins Hall. Terranova’s will be catering and the special guest speaker will be Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore. UAH head coach Mike Corbett will follow and also speak to the group about this weekend’s series.

Feb 052017
 

Jordan Uhelski made 30 saves and the Chargers ended two months of frustration with a 4-1 win over Alaska in Fairbanks on Saturday night.

UAH (8-19-3 overall, 8-13-3 WCHA) won for the first time since Dec. 10, ending a seven-game WCHA winless streak and nine-game winless streak overall.

BOX SCORE

With four games to go, the Chargers stay in eighth place, the last playoff spot, in the WCHA standings. UAH is two points up on Northern Michigan and two behind idle Ferris State and Lake Superior State for sixth. Alaska (9-16-3 overall, 8-11-3 WCHA) is in fifth place.

UAH won in Fairbanks for the first time since Dec. 1991. The Chargers were 0-5 against the Nanooks in Fairbanks since joining the WCHA in 2013.

After being stymied all game Friday, the Chargers didn’t take long to get on the board. Just 1:12 in, off a rebound from a Connor James shot, Brennan Saulnier beat Alaska goaltender Davis Jones from the slot to give UAH a 1-0 lead.

Saulnier notched his fourth goal of the season and second in his last three games. For James, it was his first collegiate assist and point.

Then UAH finally got something going on a power play. With 4:09 left in the first, Josh Kestner one-timed a Cam Knight blast from the left circle and the Chargers led 2-0.

It was Kestner’s ninth goal of the season, tying him for the club lead with Kurt Gosselin, who did not play after suffering a concussion and a sore neck on Friday. Knight got his team-leading 14th assist, and James got his second helper of the game.

Alaska fought right back with a power play goal of their own after Cody Marooney’s trip of Zach Frye. Chad Staley, who had a goal and an assist in Friday’s game, cut UAH’s lead to 2-1 with 3:18 left in the first.

UAH got a shorthanded goal with 5:22 left in the second period to extend its lead to 3-1. During a rare penalty on Max McHugh, Matt Salhany broke away and beat Jones for his sixth goal of the season.

On the other hand, Charger goalie Uhelski was making strong saves with his glove and body — and getting a little help from the crossbar when he went one-on-one with the Nanooks’ Josh Erickson.

Alaska had opportunities to get back into it after back-to-back penalties by Saulnier and James in the middle of the third period, but UAH played solid defense to kill those penalties. Then the Nanooks relied on Jones to make big saves on breakaway chances by Hans Gorowsky and Max McHugh to keep it a two-goal game.

Jones was pulled for an extra attacker with 3:08 remaining. Sean Rappleyea then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with 2:09 to go, his first collegiate goal.

Alaska outshot UAH 31-24 in the contest. UAH was 1-for-4 on the power play, and Alaska was 1-for-5.

Next up for the Chargers is their final home series of the season. UAH hosts WCHA leader and rival Bemidji State on Feb. 10 and 11 at the Von Braun Center.

Feb 042017
 

The Chargers went to Fairbanks looking to solidify its playoff position, and nothing went UAH’s way Friday in the first game of the series with Alaska.

UAH lost 3-0, getting shut out for the fourth time this season. The Chargers (7-19-3 overall, 7-13-3 WCHA) haven’t won since Dec. 10, winless in their last seven WCHA contests and nine overall.

BOX SCORE

The Chargers’ hold of the eighth and final WCHA playoff spot became all the more tenuous. Northern Michigan and Alaska Anchorage both won Friday, cutting the gap to UAH to just two points with the Chargers only having five games left. Both NMU and UAA have two games in hand.

Complicating matters for UAH is the loss of defenseman Kurt Gosselin, who left the game in the first period after a contact to the head by Alaska’s Zach Frye.

The Chargers were stymied, mostly in the third period, by Nanooks goaltender Davis Jones, who made 31 saves (18 in the third period) for the shutout.

Alaska improved to 9-15-3 overall and 8-10-3 in the WCHA, moving into sole possession of fifth place.

The Nanooks got the first goal at 4:31 from John Mullally, who was on the doorstep for a wide open net. UAH goaltender Jordan Uhelski could not pick up a rebound from a Zach Frye shot.

Alaska went up 2-0 at 12:35 when Chad Staley drove to the net alone and coaxed the puck around Uhelski’s left.

The Chargers had their chances in the first period, but had nothing to show for it. UAH had the benefit of over three minutes of power play time after Frye’s hit on Gosselin got him a major contact to the head penalty and a game misconduct.

Gosselin was escorted to the locker room by the UAH training staff and did not return.

Meanwhile, Jones made the saves on a 3-on-1 Charger break and a Max McHugh point-blank shot.

The second period saw no scoring, but Alaska maintained most of the puck possession and offensive chances to prevent the Chargers from rallying. The Nanooks outshot the Chargers 13-6 for the period.

Alaska had some golden opportunities to extend its lead, however, thanks to a couple of UAH turnovers. Kylar Hope had a steal behind the net and tried a wraparound, and the shot rebounded to Troy Van Tetering, who missed a wide open net.

Van Tetering had another chance late in the frame, as he took a loose puck in the UAH zone. Uhelski would deflect his shot out of play to keep the Chargers within two.

That didn’t stay long to start the third. Nikolas Koberstein put Alaska up 3-0 just 29 seconds in with a writer from the high slot.

The Nanooks nearly made it 4-0, but Staley was called for a major charging the goalie penalty. For the second time, UAH hindered itself by committing a penalty, this time by Cam Knight, shaving two minutes off its man advantage.

When they did get the power play back, the Chargers had at least six shots on goal. Jones made the saves to preserve the shutout.

In fact, the third period is when UAH finally put the pressure on. The Chargers had 18 shots on goal in the final frame, and Jones seemed to be everywhere with the glove and the pads.

In the end, Alaska still outshot UAH 34-31. Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.

Game two of the series is Saturday night at 10:07 p.m.

Feb 022017
 
CATCHING THE GAMES
Friday, Feb. 3, 10:07 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:07 p.m.
Season stats: UAH | Alaska

The Chargers look to improve their playoff position all the way in Fairbanks, Alaska, where they’ll face Alaska. Puck drop against the Nanooks is at 10:07 p.m. Central (7:07 Alaska) Friday and Saturday nights.

UAH is in eighth place in the WCHA standings, the last playoff spot. Alaska is in seventh, just three points ahead of the Chargers.

All-time series: UAH is 7-20-2 against Alaska, with a 3-11-0 record in Fairbanks. The Chargers have not been in Fairbanks since December 12-13, 2014, losing twice.

The teams met in Huntsville back in November. In the first game, UAH scored twice in the first 2:24 and mounted a 3-0 lead, but Alaska rallied for a 3-3 tie and the second WCHA point in the 3-on-3 overtime. The Nanooks won the second game 3-1 to take five of six points in the series.

Kurt Gosselin had 3 points in UAH’s 4-4 tie against Michigan Tech last Saturday. (UAH Athletics)

Charger recap: UAH (7-18-3 overall, 7-12-3 WCHA) finally ended its losing streak at seven games with a 4-4 tie Saturday against Michigan Tech, which took the second WCHA point in a 9-round shootout. But the Chargers still haven’t won since Dec. 10. Tech won the first game of the series 5-2 last Friday.

Sophomore defenseman Kurt Gosselin took the team lead in goals on Saturday with his ninth of the season, and he added two assists to give him 18 points on the season. He only trails Josh Kestner, who has 21 points after notching his 13th assist last Friday. Kestner is 10th in the WCHA in points and assists.

Max McHugh has 17 points on eight goals and nine assists. He and fellow junior Brandon Parker, who had three assists against the Huskies last weekend, are expected to play their 100th career games as Chargers in Fairbanks.

Jordan Uhelski made 31 saves in the 4-4 tie on Saturday in his 15th start and 18th game of the season. Matt Larose played last Friday for his first action since October, and he and fellow senior Carmine Guerriero have each played in seven games this season.

UAH Tale of the tape
(WCHA games only)
Alaska
7-18-3 Overall record 8-15-3
7-12-3-0
(24 pts, 8th)
WCHA record 7-10-3-3
(27 pts, 7th)
2.59 (6th) Goals/game 2.50 (8th)
3.50 (10th) Goals allowed/game 3.30 (9th)
15.1 (6th) Pen. minutes/game 17.9 (2nd)
15.0% (5th) Power play 15.8% (4th)
77.3% (10th) Penalty kill 82.9% (8th)

About the Nanooks: Alaska (8-15-3 overall, 7-10-3 WCHA) is just ahead of UAH in the WCHA standings, separated by just three points. The Nanooks were off last week after splitting a series at Bowling Green. They are 2-1-1 in their last four, all on the road.

Senior right wing Marcus Basara has eight goals and 18 points to lead the Nanooks in both categories. He had a goal and an assist in the 3-3 tie in Huntsville.

Sophomore Chad Staley had the game-winning goal against the Chargers in Alaska’s win, and is second with 15 points.  Junior defenseman Zach Frye also has 15 points, with 11 assists — two of them against UAH from earlier this season — to lead the club.

Goaltending duties have been split with sophomore Jesse Jenks (3.35 goals against average, .890 save percentage) and senior David Jones (3.17, .904). Jones has started UAF’s last four games, stopping 138 of 146 shots.

Around the WCHA: All times Central. Games featuring WCHA teams at home can be seen on WCHA.tv.

Friday, February 3
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* #20 Michigan Tech at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.

Saturday, February 4
* UAH at Alaska, 10:07 p.m.
* Northern Michigan at Bowling Green, 6:07 p.m.
* #20 Michigan Tech at Bemidji State, 7:07 p.m.
* Minnesota State at Alaska Anchorage, 10:07 p.m.