Play the right way-behind UAH 3-1 win, and more

Photo Credit-Kelsey Lee Violet Turtle Photography

This afternoon, the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville went on the road to play the Wildcats of Northern Michigan. Coming into this one, UAH was facing a team that scored at least three goals in its past six games. Today, they faced a team that peppered David Fessenden with 36 shots. He stopped 35 of them, and often times made plays look easy due to using his big size, and his positioning, which was perfect for most of the game. Derek Krall made the last save, but Fessenden looks to be ok, and could be in the net starting tomorrow night. Head Coach Lance West wanted his team to play the right way and focus on the game, and they did both of those things pretty well.

Let’s go to the Chargers, and what they did well. First off, Tyrone Bronte’s line is a problem to defend. Fessenden said that Bauer Neudecker has the most deceptive shot on the team and he used it today to put home what would be an important insurance goal. He took a perfect pass from Connor Wood, and went far side and in to make it 3-0. As for Bronte, well, he opened up the scoring going down three-fourths of the ice and roofing a backhand before anyone could catch hm. Tyrone Bronte’s acceleration today was something to watch and behold, and it makes us question even more how he did not have any Division One offer until June. Oh, and his line also has an incredibly fast Quinn Green on it who has grown into a prominent top-end winger for this team as well.

The game today came down to who played the right way most often. While Northern Michigan won the shots on net by a large margin, they also allowed a higher percentage of attempts conceded on net unblocked. That is the Chargers put 16 shots on net, and put 10 wide, only having six attempts blocked. The Wildcats put 76 attempts towards the net, having 27 blocked with 10 wide, and two posts.

When it came to overall ability to compete for lose pucks tonight, the Chargers did a better job in the corners, winning puck battles and moving things towards offense in a much more efficient manner. Their transition game produced results on two of their goals, and the third from Josh Martin was a result of a battle in front of the net, and the shot finding a lane (it may have been deflected by Adrian Danchenko, but given that Martin went over 300 days without playing hockey, for now, it is Martin’s goal).

For the finale tomorrow night, the biggest thing UAH may want to adress is working to win a few more faceoffs, especially against the Joseph Nardi line. That group for the Wildcats can score quickly, and in bunches. Winning some more faceoffs can mute that to some degree. Tonight, the Chargers lost that battle 47-23. That has to improve tomorrow night. Look for there to be a few more tie-ups off the draw where the wings can step in and help win possession. Northern Michigan is plenty good enough without letting them win more faceoffs.

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UAH wins an overtime thriller 5-4: Now What?

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography)

Tonight, the Von Braun Center was rocking from start to finsh, as the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville were able to come back to tie the game with 2.4 seconds left on a Ben Allen put back on a rebound from a Quinn Green shot to send the game into overtime. In the extra stanza, Dayne Finnson rocketed home a top corner snipe to send the socially distanced crowd home happy, and put a stamp on one of the most intense games of this pandemic-altered season.

After all of that, there is plenty to consider, and while UAH did win, we think the staff will have some things they would like to chat with the team about before the finale. Remember that, tonight, in terms of time of possesion and shot attempts from dangerous areas, the Chargers not only did better, but found a way to answer adversity. This fact will serve them well as the season marches forward.

The Good

Well, the speed of the Chargers was on full display tonight. Tyrone Bronte was an absolute rocket on the ice, and he was not the only Charger that was able to get in behind a very physical Ferris State team that capitalized on chances they had. Bronte himself picked up a power play goal on a nice setup from Lucas Bahn. Bronte was able to get in between a big Ferris State penalty kill and tip the puck past Logan Stein, who showed why he was a goalie for Team USA at the World Junior Championship this year. Stein finished with 40 saves on the evening, including many grade-a looks. In terms of how hard the Chargers made a goalie work, this was their best outing of the year.

In addition, we were heartened to see Drew Lennon get his first goal as a junior for this team. He, like many in his class, could have gone elsewhere but he choose to come back and buy in to this new staff’s program, and had a key goal and two assists. Along with scoring his first goal as a Charger, he exceeded both of his previous individual seasons’ point totals in one game tonight with three.

To us, multiple people stood out, but Bronte, Lennon, and Dayne Finnson all stood out tonight. His winner was one of the most effective shots on net the Chargers have had all year on a tough angle against a superb goalie. He deserves all the credit in the world for his effort. Also, on the heels of a good weekend against Michigan Tech we will highlight the effort and speed of Quinn Green, on the equalizer by Ben Allen, it was Green’s speed and pass that sprung Allen for the look that provided the equalizer.

What to watch for

While the Chargers had the better time on attack, possession, and shots on net, we still want to point out a few areas we feel confident in saying that after the euphoria of today abates, that the coaches may adress with this group. First off, two penalties happened away from the play or not during its run that gave Ferris State more time on the extra man, and some five-on-three time. We are pretty positive neither Connor Witherspoon or Connor Wood meant to end up in the box for their faceoff delay, and roughing penalties, but it happened. Luckily the penalty kill of Karlis Zirnis killed off both looks there, but the point will probably be driven home some more in some way tomorrow.

Finally, for how important the system is to this team, it got away from it at points. Other than the first look which was a seeing-eye marker from Antonio Venuto, nearly every other goal from Ferris State came on a defensive zone breakdown that gave the Bulldogs more time and space in front of the net.

With all of this said, the page turns to tomorrow night, and the Chargers must be ready for a determined opponent that wants its first win. Ferris State, especially Stein will be ready, how will these Chargers react to playing after a win? Tomorrow will be the first chance they have to answer that question.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the college sports landscape like unique untold stories across college hockey. Please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded  journalism that can truly be free for all at this link: paypal.me/Seamorepsorts

Your donation will help expand what content we can offer and how many stories we can tell.

UND Soars to 3-2 OT Exhibition Win Over Manitoba:Recap and Three Thoughts

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violent Turtle Photography)

In front of 11,634 fans at a sold out Ralph Engelstad Arena, North Dakota came off a season with some disappointment. UND had a lot of chances to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament last season but were unable to do so. Tonight we got our first glimpse at the first squad tasked with the goal of bringing UND back to the NCAA tournament in this decade.

UND has a lot to build on this season. While they did not make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 16 seasons last year they did develop a freshman class that showed promise and looks to take the next step this season.  The Fighting Hawks came away with a 3-2 win in overtime. Rhett Gardner was able to convert on the power play to give UND the final margin. Manitoba Goalie Byron Sprigs got the loss and first star honors for the game with 52 saves on 55 shots.

Grant Mismash took the first step forward in the opening frame converting a superb on a superb pass from Colin Adams. Mismash opened the echibition scoring ledger for UND 17:53 into the first period. The Fighting Hawks peppered Manitoba in the first frame with 18. This theme of consistent peppering of Manitoba went on through the rest of the evening. In the second UND put 14 shots on net and in the final frame they put ___ shots on goal. The Fighting Hawks finished with 30 shot attempts in the first compared to a mere 6 for the Bisons of Manitoba.

In the second period, the Fighting Hawks kept pace and did a lot of work to generate numerous chances. They only converted once as Dixon Bowen buried a strong feed from freshman and Flyers prospect, Gavin Hain 3:10 into the first period. Peter Thome split time with Adam Scheel in the second. Thome finished the night with a mere three saves on three Bisons shots. UND kept up the pressure throughout the evening. Scheel did not see any shots fired in his direction during 19:56 of work.

In the third, Thomas Lenchyshyn made it a 2-1 game on a rebound with under 6 minutes left in the game. UND did still generate more chances but did not convert them. A few minutes later, on the next shot, Jonah Wasylak capitalized on a clean feed to set up a mini breakaway in to fire one past Ryan Anderson, who had taken over with about 8 min mins left in the third period. All of this was pretext for overtime where Rhett Gardner sealed the win. Now UND has six days before their home-and-home to open up against Bemidji State. Ryan Anderson was credited with the win for UND tonight.

Three Thoughts

102-18 

Despite the final score being close, this game was one-sided in terms of possession. Multiple Fighting Hawks had superb looks throughout the night. UND finished with 102 shot attempts and played offense most of the night. Forward Nick Jones noted the value of playing a game like this as an exhibition game. UND obviously wanted to convert more chances, but now they can see some things that worked on film and replicate them. That, combined with every skater that dressed besides Josh Rieger and Colin Adams getting a shot on net provide some good things going forward.

Weatherby on the Power Play

Sharks prospect Jasper Weatherby has big shoes to fill. He is wearing number 14, the same number as departed captain Austin Poganski. Like Poganski, Weatherby provides a big, physical, and strong net front presence as needed. On the power play tonight he did that repeatedly, earning an assist on the Gardner goal. Look for Weatherby to have plenty of more time on the power play in his net-front presence. He was hard to miss out there tonight as he was  the biggest skater on the ice

The Vision of JBD 

Like Weatherby, Jacob Bernard Docker has big shoes to fill taking over the number 24 for Christian Wolanin. Like his fellow Senators’ prospect, Bernard-Docker displays superb puck sense and skill in setting up plays. His vision is superb, quite impressive to observe and is already an asset for this 2018-2019 team. Look for more from him as the year goes on.

 

 

UND Sweeps Idaho Keyed by a Trio of Double-Digit Kill Evenings

(Photo credit to Joel Helbling for UNDSports.com)

In front of a crowd of 1,333 fans anxious to see the first home match at the Betty Englestad Sioux Center in almost three weeks, the Fighting Hawks (18-2 2-1) swept (25-22, 25-18, 25-21) the Idaho Vandals (7-7, 2-1) in their Big Sky home opener. This win gave the Fighting Hawks their 16th straight home win at the Betty.

The Fighting Hawks persevered through an eight error first set with 20 kills to put the Vandals on their heels early. As the match went on, the Fighting Hawks were able to slowly control their attack errors and the game.

In the second set, the Fighting Hawks hit .500 as they were able to put the Vandals down 25-18 going into halftime. This allowed the team the chance to avoid going to four sets. Given that UND has played 20 matches, maintaining their stamina is becoming increasingly important. Coach Pryor noted the issues with fatigue, and the importance of closing Idaho out in three sets.

Seniors Faith Dooley, Tamera Merseli, and sophomore Ashley Brueggeman each (13,12,and 10) notched double digit kills on the evening.

The Wheatland, ND native was the most efficient Hawk on the offensive side of the ball  on the evening. She notched her 12 kills on 19 swings with zero attack errors. She hit .632 on the night and was a constant force for Head Coach Mark Pryor’s team throughout the match. Pryor noted how much Faith has improved over her time at UND, as she has put herself just outside the top five of UND’s career kills list.

Tamera Merseli had her ninth double-double of the season this evening with 14 kills and 10 digs. The Belgrade,Serbia native had a keen eye for placing the ball as she caught Idaho’s defenders off guard with well placed kills.

The Fighting Hawks are back in action this Saturday at the Betty against Eastern Washington. The match is scheduled for 11 AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pride, Passion, Belief,and a Strong Offensive Outing Gives UND a 2-0 Win over Western Illinois University

On Sunday August 20, 2017, UND flew past the Leathernecks of Western Illinois University to stake themselves to their first ever 2-0 start in the Division one era.

The Fighting Hawks raced out to a quick 3-0 first half lead thanks to strong offensive play. Katie Moller got the scoring underway with the first of her two markers on the day. Next, Olivia Geiwitz made it 2-0 with strong play inside the box. Finally, Erin Svensson had the nicest goal of the day to make it 3-0 to close the half. The defender’s shot was a high arching shot that beat everyone and everything to squeak in the top right corner. She would contribute an assist on Moller’s second tally.

In net, Olivia Swenson picked up the win for the Fighting Hawks with an eight-save shutout. Ines Palmiero made four saves on eight shots in 73:42 of play. Goalie Jennifer Currie finished the game with a scoreless relief effort.

Coach Logan noted that UND played with a lot of pride, passion and belief. The Hawks look to take those emotions to Brookings, South Dakota , and Auburn next weekend to continue this strong string of early season play. Look for UND’s speed down the wings, strong goaltending from multiple goalies, and ability to cross to make a difference for them this weekend.