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View Full Version : Declaring Our Independence: UAH 2010-11, Part the First



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gfmorris
09-15-2010, 09:24 AM
As I type this message, the Chargers are completing their first official practice for the 2010-11 season. As such, it's time to start the regular season topic.

22 days, 11 until the puck drops at the VBC[1]. Renovation is still in progress (http://www.vonbrauncenter.com/construction/), so the season ticket selections had to be re-done (http://uahhockey.com/blog/2010/09/09/meet-the-chargers-season-ticket-selection-and-blue-line-club-signups/), and everyone wasn't exactly thrilled with that process.

The big changes of the summer are obvious: Danton Cole left for USA Hockey less than three months ago (http://uahhockey.com/blog/2010/06/21/cole-leaves-program-for-us-national-team-development-program/), and Chris Luongo has been the head man for just over two months (http://uahhockey.com/blog/2010/07/09/chris-luongo-named-head-coach-of-uah-hockey/). Stud goaltender Cam Talbot is now playing professionally, leaving the Chargers with three goaltenders without a minute of NCAA ice-time (http://saveuahhockey.com/2010/04/24/the-2010-11-uah-goalie-outlook/). Oh, and there are 11 freshmen on the team [12 if you count Griggs, who redshirted 2009-10] (http://www.uahchargers.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=149).

But wait, there's more: it's been a year since the CCHA kicked UAH in the teeth (http://saveuahhockey.com/2010/08/11/its-been-a-year/), and there's all this talk about Penn State going varsity (http://www.uscho.com/news/id,18726/PennStateSettoFieldVarsityProgramSourcesSay.html), perhaps as soon as Friday (http://insidecollegehockey.com/inch/2010/09/12/psu_hockey/). That said, UAH's 2010-11 schedule is a fun one (http://uahhockey.com/blog/2010/07/28/2010-11-robert-morris-series-moved-to-huntsville/):

CCHA tilts: 11 [home-and-home with Ferris State, trips to Michigan State, Ohio State, and Bowing Green, plus a potential tiebreaker against the Falcons in the RPI tournament]
WCHA tilts: 8 [road trips to Wisconsin, Colorado College, and Nebraska-Omaha, and a home series against our beloved rival, Bemidji State]
ECAC tilts: 4/5 [at the fabled Lynah to face Cornell, home against RPI, and a possible matchup against the Engineers in their tournament]
HEA tilts: 4 [at home against Providence, neutral site in Nashville against Merrimack]
MAAC[2] tilts: 4/5 [at home against former CHA foe Robert Morris, at Mercyhurst, and a potential matchup against UConn in the RPI tournament]

That, folks, is a fun schedule. This will be a tough row to hoe, but I feel like the boys get serious at-large consideration if they can go .500. Of course, going .500 will be difficult for a team that's made its hay with defense and goaltending the last few years.

If it sounds like I doubt this group of Chargers, I don't. I get the sense from my interaction with them so far is that they all take the lead of their captain, Ryan Burkholder: a quiet confidence and an understanding that they're the underdogs, that it's the Chargers against the world, that the very future of the program rests on their broad shoulders. Every one of the Chargers knows that there are lots of questions, but they also know that the answers will be found in their efforts in practice and in games: they will learn who they are through the adversity, learning as they go and truly coming together as a team. This is why I feel like the boys have more than a puncher's chance.

The 2010-11 UAH hockey season: it may not be ideal, but it's sure going to be fun.

GFM

[1] Hey, to me, it's still "Rideout Road" and not "Research Park Boulevard". I'm not going to suddenly call it Propst Arena, even though I think that it's great that Bill Propst gave a lot of money to help the VBC renovate things.
[2] I'm going back to calling them the MAAC after they wouldn't guarantee Canisius and Mercyhurst a return engagement if the CHA fell apart even after they came over to help bolster the league. Lots of folks are mad about the CCHA not accepting UAH's bid, but I'm still ticked about this, too. Maybe Bemidji still leaves for the WCHA in this situation---their argument was that the travel costs in the CHA were unsustainable---but a five-team league could still have worked, and RMU and NU certainly would have preferred not to cut scholarships to join a cost-containment league.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
09-15-2010, 10:40 AM
Good luck, Huntsville. Don't let The Man drag you down.

vizoroo
09-15-2010, 10:43 AM
Go Chargers!
Put a beat down on those CCHA snubbers.

COHockey
09-15-2010, 11:07 AM
Not only beat the snot out of those CCHA haters, but I give permission to beat all those WCHA teams too (especially CC).

Very good summary of the current state of affairs, however I think with the lack of conference coverage, there will be a bias against UAH in any bid selection. It will take a lot more than just .500 action to boost our rankings and deserve an at-large bid.

Not that we are getting ahead of ourselves, .500 is possible and these last few years have proven that UAH can deserve and tourney bid.

It will be a good year if the freshmen pass their trial by fire. I just hope they do not burn out too early. At least give me a great game to watch when UAH beats CC this January.

Douglas
09-15-2010, 11:09 AM
Okay Geof, wheres the "smilie"??? ...and now it doesn't even start with UAH. Since I don't bookmark the individual thread (because I like to see and read others) it makes it harder to find sometimes...;)

gfmorris
09-15-2010, 11:10 AM
Very good summary of the current state of affairs, however I think with the lack of conference coverage, there will be a bias against UAH in any bid selection. It will take a lot more than just .500 action to boost our rankings and deserve an at-large bid.

Not that we are getting ahead of ourselves, .500 is possible and these last few years have proven that UAH can deserve and tourney bid.

The Pairwise Ranking process drives NCAA at-large selections. That's the only reason I can argue that a .500 record will help, as UAH is largely playing Big 4 schools.

GFM

gfmorris
09-15-2010, 11:11 AM
Okay Geof, wheres the "smilie"??? ...and now it doesn't even start with UAH. Since I don't bookmark the individual thread (because I like to see and read others) it makes it harder to find sometimes...;)

The Smilie is up Doug Ross's @%%.

GFM

wnickelson
09-15-2010, 12:18 PM
22 days. Still a ton to do. Let's get it on.

tnlong
09-15-2010, 12:44 PM
... [1] Hey, to me, it's still "Rideout Road" and not "Research Park Boulevard". I'm not going to suddenly call it Propst Arena, even though I think that it's great that Bill Propst gave a lot of money to help the VBC renovate things.
...
It is to me too, but I'm failing in my Chamber of Commerce role on researching this one. :) I thought Rideout Road (built about 1969) was named for a Captain Rideout who I thought was a Vietnam casualty. I've thought that the name change was a terrible injustice. However, I've been unable to "Google" any info. on the subject. Plus, the only similar Vietnam casualties I could find were
RIDEOUT, DAVID JAMES
SGT Army
SAN BERNARDINO, CA
and
RIDOUT, CHARLES SAMUEL
SP5 Army
WASHINGTON, DC
And, there are no Medal of Honor Recipients named Rideout/Ridout from Alabama. So, where did the name originate and why?

tnlong
09-15-2010, 01:27 PM
I thought about it for a while and created the correct search.
http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/roads/names.html

1LT Percy E. Rideout
First Gas Regiment
Killed in action on 9 October 1918 at
Verdun Sector, France. He was
posthumously awarded the Distinguished
Service Cross.

At least it's still Rideout Road on the Arsenal. Still, the name change is deplorable.
Where the Captain Rideout legend originated is now a mystery to me; I'm glad I didn't propagate it here.

tnlong
09-15-2010, 01:42 PM
Reading-on, I answered my "legend" question.

"In 1981, fifteen roads were named after soldiers from the Huntsville/Madison County area who died in Vietnam. This was done as part of a project to name 38 unnamed roads. These names include Lewter Road for SP4 Stanley R. Lewter and Hicks Road for SSG Prentice W. Hicks."

http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/roads/

Also, notice
"U.S. Army named a road not after General George S. Patton but a SGT Gerald S. Patton? SGT Gerald S. Patton died in France in 1918 with the First Gas Regiment."

OK, I'm through.:D

gfmorris
09-15-2010, 01:50 PM
So, some thoughts on the coaches:

Luongo: Lou is a known quantity, right? Well, sorta. Obviously, he's a first-time head coach, but he had a good mentor in Danton. He knows the players: obviously, the returning guys know him, and he and Johnny McCabe recruited the freshmen, so there's a good comfort level there.

What kind of coach will Lou be? I don't expect him to be tons different than Danton; his time at Wayne State was also in the Bill Wilkinson "trap and make saves" years, too. It's important to remember that Chris is a defenseman. That said, I do expect that his public persona will be different than it was as the head assistant. If you noticed, Lou did his best to keep his cool and let Danton be the butt-chewer. I expect that we'll see his fiery side come out on the bench.

Warde: I've talked to Mike a bit, and I think that he's loving the fact that he can recruit kids to come to a non-service-academy. Mike was at Iona during their brief D-I under Frank Bretti, and recruited them from a 4-20-1 squad in the D-III ECAC South to an 18-3-4 season in 2000-01, the Gaels' best in their five year D-I period. After that, Mike went to Army, and you can see a steady rise in their records while he was there.

Morgan: Gavin is well-regarded by the DU faithful, and came recommended by Gwoz, which is good enough for me. His stats in college and the pros (http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=27827) show him to be a gritty, tough-nosed guy, and I expect that he'll instill that into the forwards. He's not a big guy, but Gwoz got him to be a defensive forward for the Pioneers. I've come away impressed by him in the handful of conversations that I've had.

These guys are not only working hard on the ice with the players, but also off-ice with the booster community and the students. Every day or two, Will and I get emails about some crazy idea they've had in the office that they need our help with [more Will than me, because he can actually design something]. These guys came in with very little time together to build on last year's foundation, but they're throwing that house up just as fast as they can.

GFM

ChargerBlue
09-15-2010, 01:55 PM
Okay Geof, wheres the "smilie"??? ...and now it doesn't even start with UAH. Since I don't bookmark the individual thread (because I like to see and read others) it makes it harder to find sometimes...;)

No more mister nice guy from now on!!! We're out for blood. Beaver blood!

Douglas
09-17-2010, 10:47 AM
Well I guess Penn State will now be grabbing the headlines for awhile...:rolleyes:

And "Rideout Rd" will always be around to this generation of Huntsvillians...
Although it has irked me to actually use the new name when giving directions to newbies to the area.

Back check
09-17-2010, 10:58 AM
Looks like a tough first series - Ferris St. returns 20 players

gfmorris
09-17-2010, 01:30 PM
Well I guess Penn State will now be grabbing the headlines for awhile...:rolleyes:

I'm okay with the boys being under the radar and then getting headlines with a couple upsets. ;)

GFM

GeoffissiffoeG
09-17-2010, 02:00 PM
Read this over in the PSU thread at HFBoards:

Or, the possible nightmare of Penn St. forming the Big 10 hockey conference and then a merger between WCHA and CCHA which could be problematic with 16 non Big ten schools.

The fact that you have a viable program in UAH not in a conference is a joke.

So true. Written by a Predators fan (proximity forming opinion?) in New York (nope).

gfmorris
09-18-2010, 10:31 AM
I encourage Charger fans and associates to email the folks who made the 2010-11 schedule possible (http://saveuahhockey.com/2010/09/18/be-thankful-contact-the-schools-who-schedule-us/).

GFM

jyoung
09-18-2010, 06:35 PM
I wish this Penn State thing wasn't going to be such gloom and doom. I would love not to be the sidebar in all this mess as the team left out in the cold. I'd really rather we celebrate the first expansion in a while. I'm just upset at the practicalities of the whole thing. I'm just as upset that we lost Wayne State, and many other programs to get to this point, and now we're discussing losing more because money matters more than the programs do.

But enough of that, on to something positive:

Our UAH Chargers season tickets arrived today!

tnlong
09-20-2010, 12:40 AM
I wish this Penn State thing wasn't going to be such gloom and doom. I would love not to be the sidebar in all this mess as the team left out in the cold. I'd really rather we celebrate the first expansion in a while. I'm just upset at the practicalities of the whole thing. I'm just as upset that we lost Wayne State, and many other programs to get to this point, and now we're discussing losing more because money matters more than the programs do.

But enough of that, on to something positive:

Our UAH Chargers season tickets arrived today!
Yes, we got ours too!
Thank goodness that we weren't traveling on the given seat-selection day, that we knew how to work a "group" airline boarding line (never first in your group, that's uncool, but always second), and that the push-pins got handled correctly. :D

Regarding Penn State, that's a positive in my opinion. Major change is the only way that I see UAH ever finding a conference home. A Big Ten/Twelve/Six/Seven/Eight :) Hockey Conference could create that change. As Jerry Clower would quote John Eubanks up in the tree, "Just shoot up here amongst us, one of us has got to have some relief!"