Photo Credit-LSSU Athletics
This week, the Chargers take on Bowling Green in a home and home series on Wednesday and Sunday. The Falcons are a team on the edge of NCAA tournament consideration that plays with as much speed as Minnesota State, but does not control possession as much as the Mavericks. This week presents two opportunities for the Chargers, a chance to grow and show what they’ve learned, and a chance to maybe spoil at-large considerations for the Falcons.
Easier said than done, as the Falcons have five times the amount of players with double digit points than the Chargers do. Brendon Kruse leads this team, and has an impressive group of forwards with him, and two starting goaltenders behind him. In addition, the Falcons have the capability to score goals in bunches and make you defend for long stretches of time.
Here are three things to watch for from the Chargers tomorrow
Scoring first is only part of it
Multiple times over the past few series, UAH has gotten on the board first. Should that happen tomorrow, they have to figure out how to manage the waves of pressure the Falcons will send upon them. If not, well, this team will have to face 50 shots or more on net a night against David Fessenden. Despite the recent history of this program, all involved in it do not want that shot counter to get anywhere near 50.
Bronte the beauty
Tyrone Bronte is the best forward on this team right now in terms of chance generation, and speed. His line, which has featured Bauer Neudecker through most of the year will have to lead things for this team to have a chance. Bronte’s pace and Neudecker’s shot are the two best offensive traits this team has, and how they leverage them will go a long way to determining the final score tomorrow night. In addition to all of this, it is rather astonishing that Bronte had no Division One offers before UAH Head Coach Lance West reached out to him in June. He has become an instant leader for this team, and should earn a spot in an NHL Development Camp this summer if he wants to attend one (if they are held).
Protect big save Dave
The biggest factor in this series, above all else is how this team protects David Fessenden, their starting goaltender. If they keep the Falcons to the outside and force a lot of blocks and low velocity muffins, as they did for the first 45 or so minutes against Lake Superior State on Friday night, then a lot of options can open up. The other part of this equation is in transition. Can this team win some more puck battles to chip pucks out. What has happened the past few weeks shows that there are still elements for growth from Lance West’s group, and no matter what happens in these next two games, know that it is all part of a much longer journey. This is a team that firmly believes that luck is made through winning the process and repetition. Their systems have improved from last year to this year, as has their record. What needs to come next is replication. Can you earn your chances when the other team has momentum. If they can earn a few more clears on one or no shot attempts, more good things will come their way.
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