Weekend Preview: Alabama-Huntsville

By December 5, 2013Notebooks

The Falcons are desperate to get back to their winning ways. They’ll welcome a very hungry Chargers team looking for their first win of the season this weekend.

Ticket Information

Click here for ticket information from Bowling Green.

The Injuries Keep Piling Up

While the Falcons got good news in the return of Brett Mohler they lost one of their best forwards in Adam Berkle last weekend. Berkle received a hip pointer during the first shift of Friday’s game and will be out this weekend. He joins Ryan Carpenter who is still healing from a broken foot.

Getting to Know the Chargers

Huntsville is led in scoring by Regan Soquila and Steven Koshey who have four points a piece (1-3-4). In net they’ve received starts from two goalies. Carmine Guerriero and Matt Larose have split time. Guerriero has a 3.52 GAA and .897 SV %. Larose is sitting at a 5.30 GAA and .867 SV %.

Questions and Answers with Geof and Michael of UAHHockey.com

Geof Morris and Michael Napier run UAHHockey.com. Their site was one of the inspirations for what you read today here at BGSUHockey.com. Geof and Michael were accommodating enough to answer some questions about their Charger team this week:

1) Your program almost faced the chopping the block but was saved with a pledge from the alumni. How is the campaign for that going? What specifically is the money being used for?

We don’t have any visibility into the giving, really.  It’s true that I know the pledges that non-alumni gave, as I was the one that collected them, but those three-year pledges ran out for this year.  When I’ve asked about giving, I’ve been told that it’s “up”, and I have seen the results of that.

The community has chipped in, and player alumni have certainly stepped up.  The University has been very forthright and persistent about the pledge dollars.

As for the results: a lot of it goes to defraying operating expenses, and we’ve also been pouring money into our locker room, which needs a lot of work because of its location inside the Von Braun Center.  I think that what we have right now is as good as we can make it without some structural changes.  — Geof Morris

2) The Chargers play at an off-site semi-pro arena. What are the advantages/disadvantages of that?

There are a number of issues.  The first is that it’s off-campus, which is faulty for any college facility in general.  It’s really too big for our purposes.  We would do very well with a 4000-seat building; the VBC is about 6700 for hockey.  We’ve busted through that 4000 seat only a handful of times in the last decade.  Playing to a building that’s 1/3 full is hard for the players, because it’s really hard to get a lot of energy going.  I know that an on-campus facility that hosts basketball and hockey is the long-term goal, as those are the two big winter sports at the University.  Hockey needs a more intimate facility that they fully control; basketball needs room to grow and something better suited to their needs.

UAH has done a lot of building in the last few years, to the point that some parts of campus are unrecognizable, which I’m sure that Michael would agree with given that he’s not in Huntsville these days.  I’m not really sure where the money would come from in a budget that’s been pretty level for faculty and staff salaries — the new money from higher tuition is largely going to new buildings and a north-south greenway through the heart of campus.  But if anyone will find money for it, it’s Bob Altenkirch. He’s the reason that the program still exists.  — Geof Morris

3) Despite your record every opposing coach has complimented your team’s intensity. Do you see improvement from week to week with the rebuilding program?

Michael and I trade a lot of email about the progress of the team over the course of the season, given that he watches every game that’s available and I’m usually watching all of the road games.  I think that the record reflects the improvement.  This last game v. Western Michigan was a great example of that: a 1-0 result where we were just turned aside by Frank Slubowski.  We are really struggling to score even two goals a game; our average is 0.93 G/GM right now.

But the boys just refuse to give up.  I don’t see diminished effort late in the periods or sluggish responses at the beginning of the second if we’ve been shelled in the first.  We may not be a good team, but I’m proud of every one of those kids for busting their ass in a uniform of a school I proudly attended.  — Geof Morris

 4) Bemidji seems to be a curious rival in terms of geography. How did the Beavers become your chief rival?

It started in 1994, when Bemidji State visited Huntsville for the NCAA Division II national championship. The Beavers won that title in overtime, but it was the first of four championship matchups in five years, with each club winning twice. The last one, in 1998 when the Chargers swept the two-game series, got rather heated and ended with lots of pushing and shoving. Both ascended to Division I that summer, and continued to battle as members of College Hockey America. It was contentious at times as they battled for CHA titles, but those national title matches started it all. Unfortunately, it’s been dominated by the Beavers in recent years, and since the CHA folded, it’s a rivalry carried on by longtime fans of both schools than anything. Perhaps it will heat up again should both clubs reach a point where they’re contending for WCHA titles. — Michael Napier

Michael also wrote a great piece on the rivalry here: http://uahhockey.com/blog/2013/10/22/uah-vs-bemidji-at-20-the-ultimate-north-south-rivalry/

5) Who are a couple Chargers that we should keep an eye on this weekend?

If we’re going to pot goals, it’ll be Alex Allan, Chad Brears, and Jeff Vanderlugt doing that.  Brent Fletcher has gone from being a fourth-line guy to a top-six forward merely by being tireless on every shift.  I always know when is line is out there, because I’ll see 33 all over the ice.  Mike Corbett told me after the first game that I would be proud of Fletch, and he was 100% right.

On defense, my favorite guy is Ben Reinhardt.  He’s a high IQ guy, uses the body that he has to absorb hits and make plays, has a good outlet pass, and is beloved.  He played juniors for the Pembroke Lumber Kings for five seasons, and they retired his jersey.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sbdDsfYhTk  He’s another one of those guys that you’re just happy that he chose to play for your school.

In net, watch whoever starts on Saturday night.  For whatever reason, we’re terrible on Friday nights.  Both Matt Larose and Carmine Guerriero have started for us on both nights, and they’ve both had success … on Saturday night.  Matt is a big (6’5”), positional goaltender who is solid in his net.  Carmine exudes confidence, he’s smaller (5’11”) than his counterpart, but he’s pretty nimble and seems to stay calm in net.  They’ve both allowed some goals that they’d like back, but they’re also true freshmen adjusting to NCAA play on the fly.

We just have to find some offense somewhere.  I know that the coaching staff is trying, and I know that the players are trying.  We knew that this was going to be a problem for us coming into the season, but I don’t think that anyone expected to run under a goal a game.  However, this is the team that had St. Cloud tied at 3 in the third period on our ice.

This is a bad year for us, but I think that everyone knew going in that it would be.  Mike Corbett is the future of this program, and we are both 100% confident that he’s going to make our program into something special.  I think that we could trade emails in three years and have a much different story to tell you.  — Geof Morris

Thanks again to Geof and Michael and make sure you check out my responses to their questions over at UAHHockey.com.

Weekly Press Conference

Game Coverage

Game 1

12/6/13 @ 7:07pm EST

BGSU Ice Arena (5,000) – Bowling Green, OH

Radio: 88.1 WBGU-FM (BGRSO)

Play-by-Play: Kevin Meyers

Color Commentary: Adam Ramos

Tune in thirty minutes before puck drop and after the game to listen to the BGSUHockey.com Pre and Post Game shows.

BGSUHockey.com is the home of premier game day coverage of Falcon hockey. Check out our game day page here for our #falconfirstgoal Twitter feed, live audio webcast of the game action, and an interactive live blog.

Video: WCHA-TV (America One – Subscription)

Game 2

12/7/13 @ 7:07pm EST

BGSU Ice Arena (5,000) – Bowling Green, OH

Radio: 88.1 WBGU-FM (BGRSO)

Play-by-Play: Kevin Meyers

Color Commentary: Geoff Roberts

Tune in thirty minutes before puck drop and after the game to listen to the BGSUHockey.com Pre and Post Game shows.

BGSUHockey.com is the home of premier game day coverage of Falcon hockey. Check out our game day page here for our #falconfirstgoal Twitter feed, live audio webcast of the game action, and an interactive live blog.

Video: WCHA-TV (America One – Subscription)

Media Notes

BGSU Athletic Department: Falcons Continue WCHA Play Against Alabama-Huntsville At Home This Weekend

UAH Athletic Department: Coming Soon

WCHA: December Launches with Second of Four All-WCHA Series Weekends in 2013-14; Five Conference Match Ups for Friday-Saturday Feature UAH at BGSU, BSU at MTU, FSU at LSSU, NMU at MSU, UAF at UAA

Conference Standings

Courtesy of WCHA.com

standings12-1

 

National Rankings

Courtesy of USCHO.com

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll - 12/2/13 USCHO.com Poll - 12/2

Drew Evans

About Drew Evans

Drew is a co-founder and the editor for BGSUHockey.com. When he's not in the press box he makes (legal) drugs at a northwest Ohio compounding pharmacy. Drew is entering his eighth season covering Falcon hockey and has been a fan of the program since his time as a student beginning in 2003. He can be reached on Twitter @BGSUHockeySite and by e-mail at Drew@bgsuhockey.com.

error: Please contact Todd@BGSUHockey.com for photo rights.