Location: BGSU Ice Arena, Bowling Green, Ohio
Game Time (Central):
Friday, November 19 – 6:07 PM
Saturday, November 20 – 6:07 PM
UAH: 3-4-1 (WCHA: 2-3-1 7th)
BGSU: 5-3-3 (WCHA: 2-2-2 6th)
Broadcast: WCHA.TV (PPV)
After a week off, UAH looks to bounce back from their sweep at the hands of Michigan Tech. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much easier as they head to Bowling Green.
UAH goes to Bowling Green after hitting a figurative wall against Michigan Tech in which the Chargers were unable to muster any sort of meaningful power play attack on the Huskies. At 3-4-1 overall and 2-3-1 in conference, the Chargers will need to start strong as they have four games over the next week, with a series against Bemidji starting on Wednesday.
It’s been a rough start to the season for the Falcons, perhaps most evidenced by the teams inability to get by Lake Superior at home two weeks ago, only managing two 1-1 ties against the WCHA’s last-place squad (LSSU was swept the week before by UAH and the week after by Arizona State). However, the two ties allowed the Falcons to maintain the nation’s second-longest home unbeaten streak (7 – Quinnipiac has 8). After getting off to a quick 3-1 start on the season, the Falcons have won just two of their last seven games. They did win their last time out, though, so the pendulum is on the upswing.
UAH is 3-14-1 against Bowling Green in a series that dates back to January 21, 2000. The Chargers have managed a 1-7-1 record at BGSU Ice Arena, with the lone win on December 7, 2013, also representing the Chargers’ last win in the series. UAH’s other two wins came in the opening weeked of the 2000-01 with a sweep of the Falcons at the Von Braun Center.
Alabama-Huntsville Key Players:
Carmine Guerriero, G, Junior
After his performance in UAH’s second loss to Michigan Tech, Guerriero proclaimed “I’m back”. The UAH goaltender stopped 28 of the Huskies’ 30 shots in the 2-1 loss, raising his save percentage to a still low .893 and lowering his GAA to a still too high 2.97. Luckily for the Chargers, Guerriero really did look as dialed in as he has been at any point this season. The junior goaltender returns this weekend to the site of his first collegiate victory (and lone freshman win). Last year versus Bowling Green, Guerriero struggled mightily, giving up 5 goals on 41 shots in his first outing and 4 goals in 23 shots during his second. With the momentum gained from the last time out and a week off, Guerriero hopes to reverse last year’s trend.
Max McHugh, F, Sophomore
Like most of UAH, McHugh was shut down during the series against Michigan Tech. For the first time all season, the sophomore forward found himself off of the scoresheet. Last year, though, McHugh put up two goals in the opener versus Bowling Green. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they lost that one by five.
Brennan Saulnier, F, Sophomore
Despite only collecting one assist in the Michigan Tech series, Saulnier is still the Chargers’ leading scorer. Through the seven games he has played, Saulnier has racked up six goals with another four assists. He’s the first Chargers player in double-digit scoring this season. Last year in the first game against Bowling Green, Saulnier earned a major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. This season, he’d like to put those sorts of games in the past.
Bowling Green Key Players:
Brandon Hawkins, F, Sophomore
Brandon Hawkins is off to a slow start this season for Bowling Green, having only a pair of assists in the Falcons’ first ten games. It’s a large drop-off for a player who was BGSU’s leading scorer last seasons with 30 points (16 – 14) and was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team. Most relevant to Hawkins this weekend – he scored eight of those 30 points against UAH last year. Twice, Hawkins put up a three-point performance on UAH last season, including five of the ten power play points he scored. If there is any team against which Hawkins can “get back on the horse”, they are rolling into his home arena this weekend.
Chris Nell, G, Sophomore
It doesn’t show in his 2-2-3 record this season, but Chris Nell has been out of this world. Nell’s 1.20 GAA and .958 save percentage not only lead the WCHA, but also rank third in the country. In his past six outings, he was allowed only six goals combined, but due to a lack of goal support has only come away with one victory. Last season, Nell picked up a shutout against the Chargers in his NCAA debut – a 20-save performance at the Von Braun Center. That’s the only time he’s ever faced UAH.