Wayne State and Alabama-Huntsville took advantage
of non-conference play over the holiday weekend with the
Warriors earning a win and tie at St. Lawrence and the Chargers
taking the consolation game of the 57th annual Rensselaer
Holiday Tournament against American International.
Hockey America Notebook
Kevin Morrison scored his first goal of the season
for the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers in a win over
AIC at the Rensselaer Holiday Tournament.
Wayne State extended their unbeaten streak
to three games—its longest since a seven game run
leading into last season's conference playoffs.
Outshot over the two games 83-38, goaltenders
Brett Bothwell and Kyle Funkenhauser helped keep the Saints
off the board over 11 power play opportunities in two games.
"We started playing well three weeks
ago up Ferris State, but we couldn't score," said Warriors
head coach Bill Wilkinson. "We finally started scoring
and we're defending even better.
"Sometimes you get the bounces and sometimes
you don't, but I sense our confidence is stronger than it's
Sophomore defenseman Jeff Caister had a four-point
weekend—all assists—including all three helpers
in the Friday win.
"He took a shot off his foot Tuesday
and was in a soft cast and on crutches Thursday. He skated
Friday morning and felt pretty good, but he basically played
the weekend on one leg," said Wilkinson.
Wayne State plays a home-and-home series with
Bowling Green this weekend. The last time the two teams
met was November 2004 when each team won the roadie for
For just the second time over the first nine
games of this season, the Chargers scored four or more goals
in a game with a 5-3 win to snap an eight-game winless streak.
Tom Train scored the first and last goals of the game with
Scott Kalinchuk and Kevin Morrison each lighting the lamp
for the first time this season. Matt Sweazey also tied for
the team lead with his third of the season.
"We're doing some things better and we're
starting to understand how we have to play," said first
year head coach Danton Cole at the Houston Field House after
the game. "We also understand that we are young so
goals are going to be hard to come by so we need to just
grind it out and really value the puck. We're getting there,
we're young and we have some energy and I think tonight
our youth probably got us over some mistakes.
"There is a way I want guys to play and
if we do that, we'll win hockey games. We don't have too
many older guys and our sophomores didn't really play a
big role on the team last year, so really 19 of our 26 players
are pretty fresh."
The Chargers are idle this week before their
only trip of the season to Bemidji next weekend.
SEEN AND HEARD IN THE CHA
Chargers Prefer Bus Trips:
Alabama-Huntsville chose to bus to Troy, N.Y. for the RPI
Tourney instead of flying. "We have the sleeper bus
and the guys really enjoy that," said Cole. "We
talked about flying and the guys decided they wanted to
go on bus for this trip, get back a little earlier and not
mess around with Thanksgiving Sunday travel. It's a little
more personal with the guys and I get to spend some time
with them and I've enjoyed that. We fly to about half the
games, but I kind of like the bus rides better."
Halfway Home In Wayne State Finale:
With Wayne State's final season nearing the halfway mark,
one begins to think about the next destination for the players
on the Warriors roster. "I've talked to a lot more
college guys, but I haven't seen many at our games unless
we're playing them," said Wilkinson.
Players are permitted to make verbal commitments
anytime, but they would not become official until after
this season ends. As to any reported progress on that front,
Wilkinson said, "nothing has come through that I know
of, but there's a lot of talk."
Purps and Beavers Meet Again:
Niagara hosts Bemidji State this weekend as the two meet
for the final time in this regular season. The two split
their series four weeks ago in Minnesota with Beavers goaltender
Matt Climie earning a shutout in the second game.
That means the Purps high-powered offense
hasn't scored against Bemidji in over 70 minutes of play.
Expect a little more emotion and chippiness
in this second meeting…in other words back to normal.
The two combined for just 11 power plays and 15 penalties
over two games in the first series. Last season at Dwyer,
the two combined for 39 power plays over two games. Plus
Bemidji wants to be the one to end Niagara's now 22-game
unbeaten streak on home ice.
Great Weekend Getaway
State at Niagara
First place Bemidji State travels to
third place Niagara for the second meeting between
the two over four weeks and last meeting of the regular
season. They split two games in early November in
While You're There: Make it a hockey
doubleheader as Niagara's women's team hosts No. 7
Mercyhurst at 2 p.m. Saturday at Dwyer.
To UAH freshman
goaltender Cameron Talbot and freshman forward Andrew
Coburn. Talbot picked up his first victory and Coburn
first goal in the UAH consolation game win over AIC.
Chip McDonald for calling a delay of game penalty
at the RPI Tourney on UAH goaltender Cameron Talbot
for covering the puck despite a AIC forward moving
in quickly from the blueline. Of course, AIC tied
the game with a power-play goal before UAH recovered.
FRIES AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE BAG
• Wayne State sophomore forward Mike
Forgie suffered another serious injury last weekend and
will miss the next 2-4 weeks minimum. He dislocated his
kneecap while winding up for a slapshot.
• Chargers forward Kevin Morrison scored
his first goal of the season against fellow former Milton
Ice Hawk Tom Fenton of AIC.
• After next season, according to head
coach Danton Cole UAH has scheduled several CCHA teams for
home games at the Von Braun Center over the following three
• Freshman Neil Ruffini was 6-2 on faceoffs
Saturday and picked up his first collegiate point for UAH
in just his third game of the season.
• The last time Bemidji State swept
Niagara in a series was November 2004 at Dwyer.
• The CHA is 7-0-0 in head-to-head games
against Atlantic Hockey this season. There are four games
remaining in the series—two for Niagara (Canisius,
RIT) and two for Robert Morris (AIC).
A variety of sources were utilized in
the compilation of this report. Warren Kozireski can be
reached at email@example.com.