WCHA adds Alabama-Huntsville to fold for next season

UAH logo

This is great news for those who have been worried about Alabama-Huntsville’s future and for WCHA fans. UAH should be a competitive program soon.

From the WCHA …

MADISON, Wis. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association men’s membership voted today (January 17) to admit the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as a full-time men’s conference member. The vote of approval was taken after UAH submitted an application for membership and made a formal presentation to a WCHA group of member-team Presidents and Athletic Directors at a meeting held in conjunction with the NCAA Convention in Dallas, Tex.
The addition of University of Alabama in Huntsville into college hockey’s most historic and successful conference will bring future men’s league membership to 10 teams. Their membership will be effective as soon as 2013-14.
WCHA men’s membership in 2013-14 currently consists of University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Northern Michigan University.
In issuing a joint statement on behalf of the Association, Dr. Richard Davenport, President of Minnesota State University, Mankato and Chair of the WCHA President’s Group, and Bruce McLeod, Commissioner of the WCHA, said “The WCHA is delighted to have reached in principle an agreement to officially welcome University of Alabama in Huntsville into the Association family as a full-time men’s member. This is a significant day for the Chargers, the community of Huntsville, the conference itself, and college hockey in general. Growing the game and assisting developing programs however possible has always been a charge of the WCHA and this is another positive evolution in our history.
“Each of our member institutions are 100% committed to keeping the WCHA among the premier conferences in all of collegiate athletics and our respective ice hockey programs both strong and vibrant. The University of Alabama in Huntsville is a dynamic, top-quality institution with an excellent academic and athletic reputation and without question the Chargers are going to be a great fit and a successful, contributing member. 
“Just as the entire UAH campus and the Huntsville community are exhilarated to now have a welcoming home for their men’s hockey program, the WCHA is also extremely proud and gratified to be providing that home.”
Said University of Alabama in Huntsville President Robert Altenkirch, “We’re pleased that our ice hockey team is going to have the opportunity to compete and grow in a NCAA Division 1 conference. We believe that our affiliation with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association will be a tremendous boost to our recruiting, scheduling and our ability to be competitive on the ice.
“We want to thank the WCHA and its member institutions for their confidence in allowing us to be a part of their conference. Their affirmative vote will invigorate our ability to maintain our great hockey tradition.”
UAH Director of Athletics Dr. E.J. Brophy said, “All athletic programs experience special defining moments, and our hockey program’s acceptance today into the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is certainly one of those moments. The WCHA is a preeminent hockey conference in America, and I know that our student-athletes, coaches, fans, friends, alums and the people of Huntsville are ecstatic and proud of this giant step for our ice hockey program.
“The last time we were in a conference, we won the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament, which will be our immediate and ambitious goal when we begin play in the WCHA. It is a banner day for the Chargers.”

WCHA roundup: UNO, Denver tie keeps both atop WCHA

rylan roadNo. 7 North Dakota 5, Colorado College 3

GRAND FORKS — Senior forward Danny Kristo had two goals and two assists and junior forward Mitch MacMillan added a goal and an assist to lift North Dakota to a 5-3 victory against Colorado College on Saturday night at Engelstad Arena.

CC’s Scott Winkler a nine game goalless streak with two in the first period while Rylan Schwartz scored to tie the game at 3-3 in the third period.

Here is the article on CCTigers.com.

No. 13 Nebraska-Omaha 3, No. 9 Denver 3 OT

DENVER — Junior forward Ryan Walters scored at 17:43 of the second period to lift the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks into a 3-3 tie with the Denver Pioneers on Saturday night at Magness Arena.

No. 1 Minnesota 7, Alaska-Anchorage 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore Kyle Rau recorded his first career hat trick and Nate Schmidt posted a career-high four assists as No. 1 Minnesota earned a decisive 7-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday night, picking up the Gophers’ first Western Collegiate Hockey Association sweep of the season in the process.

With Minnesota’s first hat trick since Nick Bjugstad against St. Cloud State in a 5-0 win on Nov. 19, 2011, Rau ended Bjugstad’s one-day reign as Minnesota’s leading goal scorer on Saturday night against the Seawolves. The sophomore ended the night with 13 scores this season, enough to move into a tie for second in the league this year – one off the WCHA lead.

Here is video of Rau’s third goal.

Minnesota Duluth 5, Michigan Tech 4

DULUTH — Freshman forward Tony Cameranesi posted two goals and an assist and senior forward Mike Seidel added three assists to lead Minnesota Duluth to a 5-4 victory against Michigan Tech on Saturday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Wisconsin 2, No. 11 Minnesota State 1

MANKATO — Senior defenseman John Ramage scored his second overtime goal in as many nights to lift Wisconsin to a 2-1 win against Minnesota State on Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Center.

2012-2013 WCHA STANDINGS
WCHA Games
Overall
GP
W
L
T
Pts
GF
GA
W
L
T
GF
GA
1
Denver
16
8
4
4
20
54
44
13
6
4
82
57
Nebraska Omaha
16
9
5
2
20
59
49
13
9
2
88
67
3
Minnesota
14
8
3
3
19
47
34
16
3
3
84
40
North Dakota
14
8
3
3
19
52
37
13
6
3
76
55
5
St. Cloud State
14
9
5
0
18
45
33
12
10
0
70
58
6
Minnesota Duluth
16
7
6
3
17
46
44
9
10
3
60
61
Wisconsin
16
6
5
5
17
35
36
8
7
5
47
43
8
Minnesota State
16
8
8
0
16
48
43
14
8
2
75
57
9
Colorado College
16
6
9
1
13
53
62
9
13
2
81
90
10
Bemidji State
14
4
7
3
11
34
43
5
11
4
46
60
11
Michigan Tech
16
3
10
3
9
38
59
6
12
3
57
69
12
Alaska Anchorage
16
1
12
3
5
28
55
3
13
4
39
6

WCHA roundup: CC snaps winless skid; Denver downs UNO

Howe road saveFrom CC sports information and the WCHA …

Colorado College 4, No. 7 North Dakota 3
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Streaks, good or bad, often don’t mean that much.

That certainly played out tonight as Colorado College snapped a 7-game winless streak (0-6-1) and ended North Dakota’s 7-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) with a 4-3 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) victory.

“Our shoulders aren’t as slumped as you think they’d be,” Tigers coach Scott Owens said.  “Despite our six or seven weeks, because we have played decent, we come to work every day with a smile on our face and work hard. It’s just nice for the kids to get rewarded a little bit. We’ve been bad some games and pretty good some games that we haven’t won either. So we will take it as a positive, enjoy it for an hour and square ourselves away.”

The loss, just North Dakota’s second in 11 games at Ralph Engelstad Arena this season. deprived North Dakota of a chance to move into a tie for first place in the WCHA, with league-leading Nebraska Omaha losing to Denver tonight.

Instead, Colorado College won it on a goal-mouth deflection by junior wing Jeff Collett at 12:56 of the third period, snapping a 3-3 tie. It was just his second goal of the season. North Dakota had tied it at 2:44 of the final period on a dazzling dash down the right wing by sophomore center Mark MacMillan.

MacMillan used his great speed to go around CC defensemen Aaron Harstad and Eamonn McDermott, then cut across the crease and slid his shot past the stick of sprawling CC goalie Joe Howe. Here is video of that score:


I will post a CC video when available.

No. 9 Denver 7, No. 13 Nebraska Omaha 4
DENVER — With the game tied 4-4, sophomore forward Zac Larraza scored twice in a 1:56 span of the third period to give Denver a lead it would not relinquish as the Pioneers defeated Nebraska Omaha, 7-4, on Friday at Magness Arena.
Wisconsin 4, No. 11 Minnesota State 3 OT
MANKATO — Senior defenseman John Ramage scored at 4:28 of overtime to lift Wisconsin to Friday night’s 4-3 win against Minnesota State in a back-and-forth battle at Verizon Wireless Center.
No. 1 Minnesota 4, Alaska-Anchorage 3
MINNEAPOLIS — Sophomore defenseman Ben Marshall scored Minnesota’s third power-play goal of the game at 19:09 of the third period to propel the Gophers to a 4-3 win against Alaska Anchorage on Friday night at Mariucci Arena.
Minnesota Duluth 1, Michigan Tech 0
DULUTH — Junior forward Joe Basaraba scored the only goal of the game and freshman Matt McNeely earned his first career shutout with 28 saves as Minnesota Duluth topped Michigan Tech, 1-0, on Friday night at AMSOIL Arena.

Friday reading: CC, UND video, J. Schwartz, Rothstein, AFA, WCHA

jaden schwartzGazette columnist David Ramsey opines on the state of the CC team this season. Here are preview notes on the Tigers and on North Dakota.

Here is the Grand Forks Herald video preview concerning this weekend’s home series against CC.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz is back in the Blues training camp.

CC commit Sam Rothstein is a big reason (4g, 6a) the Sioux Falls Stampede have won nine of its last 10 in the USHL.

An Air Force player is out for the season with a concussion.

Sophomore goalie Ryan Massa is back for Nebraska Omaha. Western Michigan picked up a commit as did UNO.

Here is a look at the Anchorage at Minnesota series. Minnesota Duluth will be shorthanded for this weekend’s home series against Michigan Tech.

Boston College coach Jerry York will miss the New Hampshire series this weekend to recover from eye surgery.

A little-used Michigan freshman heads to the OHL.

Wednesday reading: Duluth suspensions, league news, Hobey voting

rylan roadAccording to the Duluth News Tribune, Minnesota-Duluth will have three top players out of the lineup for Friday’s home game against Michigan Tech to serve a one-game suspensions for violating team rules.

Senior forward and captain Cody Danberg, senior defenseman Wade Bergman and freshman forward Austin Farley will sit for the unspecified violations. The Bulldogs had a bye last weekend.

Here is a look at recent developments in the WCHA and an update from North Dakota.

Colorado Springs native Josh Holmstrom, a junior forward at UMass-Lowell, and Colorado College seniors Mike Boivin and Rylan Schwartz made the first phase of fan balloting for the 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. The three are among the 77 student-athletes under consideration.

Fan voting opened earlier this week at hobeybakeraward.com and will remain open until March 10.

Friday reading: WJC, SCSU, Serratores, UConn, WCHA

Russia downed Team USA 2-1 in the Americans’ second game which is detailed here. Here is video of the lone USA goal by Michigan defenseman Jacob Trouba.

An injury to Michigan Tech’s Blake Piettila (no details available yet) on a late checking from behind penalty  bears watching by WCHA fans.

Here are four keys for Team USA at the world junior championships.

RPI 4, No. 14 St. Cloud State 3

ST. CLOUD — Mark McGowan snapped a 3-3 tie with 2:12 remaining to lift RPI to a 4-3 non-conference road victory over St. Cloud State.

The Engineers (5-6-4) trailed 2-0 before scoring three times — the first by Ryan Haggerty, the other two by Milos Bubela — in the first half of the second period to take the lead.

The Huskies (9-8-0), of the WCHA, tied the game with 7:27 to play on Cory Thorson’s goal. RPI is 4-1-2 in its past seven games.

In other news, the Serratore family rivalry will pick up this weekend at the Mariucci Classic.

Here is a UConn-centric preview for the Huskies’ holiday tournament,which includes Minnesota State.

This weekend’s schedule follows:

Fri
12/28/12
Minnesota Duluth
vs Maine
7:30 p.m. ET
Fri
12/28/12
Rensselaer
at St. Cloud State
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
12/29/12
Nebraska Omaha
at Quinnipiac
12:00 p.m. ET
Sat
12/29/12
FerrisSt/Cornell
vs Minnesota Duluth
4:00/7:30 p.m. ET
Sat
12/29/12
Minnesota State
vs Brown
4:05 p.m. ET
Sat
12/29/12
Michigan
vs Michigan Tech
7:05 p.m. ET
Sat
12/29/12
Air Force
at Minnesota
7:07 p.m. CT
Sat
12/29/12
Boston University
at Denver
7:07 p.m. MT
Sun
12/30/12
Nebraska Omaha
at Quinnipiac
12:00 p.m. ET
Sun
12/30/12
WestrnMI/Mich St.
vs Michigan Tech
3:35/7:05 p.m. ET
Sun
12/30/12
Bemidji State
vs Massachusetts
4:00 p.m. ET
Sun
12/30/12
Amer Int/Connectt
vs Minnesota State
4:05/7:15 p.m. ET
Sun
12/30/12
Boston College
at Minnesota
7:07 p.m. CT
Mon
12/31/12
New Hamp/Dartmoth
vs Bemidji State
4:00/7:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday reading: Testwuide, NCHC, 3 Things, polls

Testwuide adirondackIt is a quiet week news-wise with most teams inactive until Dec. 24 or later depending on their schedules. CC returns to practice on Dec. 28 since the players take block finals on Wednesday and then leave for home.

Here are a few offerings.

Former Tiger Mike Testwuide, pictured, took advantage of his first pro game as a center after being a healthy scratch for six of seven games with the Adirondack Phantoms. He may get more ice time after friend Ben Holmstrom of Colorado Springs went down with a knee injury requiring surgery.

Here is an NCHC-oriented weekend review and a polls update.

Here are the USCHO weekly poll and the USA Hockey rankings and Tyler’s take on last weekend.

The WCHA media blog poll will return after the holiday tournaments and games (Dec. 27-30):

Team Pts Previous Record High Low
1) North Dakota (8) 140 2 8-5-3 1 2
2) Minnesota (4) 130 1 11-3-3 1 4
3) St. Cloud State 125 5 9-7-0 2 3
4) Nebraska Omaha 102 4 10-5-1 3 6
5) Minnesota State 96 6 9-5-2 4 6
6) Denver 90 3 9-5-2 4 7
7) Colorado College 67 7 8-8-2 6 9
8) Minnesota Duluth 62 8 5-8-3 7 9
9) Wisconsin 45 10 2-7-5 7 11
10) Bemidji State 40 11 4-8-2 8 11
11) Michigan Tech 26 9 4-8-3 9 12
12) Alaska Anchorage 13 12 3-7-4 11 12