Showing posts with label University of Alabama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label University of Alabama. Show all posts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clarke Saunders has his teammates back

Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The University of North Dakota lost two veteran goalies after the 2011-12 season. Senior goaltender Brad Eidsness graduated and junior goalie Aaron Dell decided to forego his senior year of eligibility to start his professional hockey career.
Insert junior goalie Clarke Saunders who’s a transfer from the University of Alabama Huntsville.
Saunders came to UND after the Chargers hockey team announced that it was shutting down operations after the 2011-12 season.
Coming into the season, UND has some questions at the goaltending position. Freshman goaltender Zane Gothberg had no college hockey experience and Clarke Saunders was a veteran goaltender that had played two seasons with a very bad University of Alabama Huntsville team.
Since UAH was shutting down their hockey program, Sanders could transfer to another university and be eligible to play immediately. Saunders decided to transfer to the University of North Dakota.
Coming into this season, it was common knowledge that Saunders had faced a lot of shots playing for the UAH Chargers. During the 2011-12 season; Saunders faced 1013 shots stopping 918 of them for a .906 save percentage and a .372 goals against average.  Saunders was one of the bright spots on a team that went 2-28-1.
Playing on a team that is historically known for its tough defensive systems, UND has been a little loose on defense so far this season and Saunders is still facing a lot of shots. In the eight game that Saunders has played for UND this season, the junior goalie has faced 30 or more shots in 5/8 games. In the last two games that Saunders has played in, he has stopped 72/75 shots and recorded two wins.
Saunders has compiling a record of 4-2-2, a goals against average of 2.09 and a save percentage of .934 that is good for first overall in the WCHA.
During the Wednesday press conference Saunders was asked, ‘if would rather face a lot of shots or fewer shots; during the course of a game.’
“It all depends on the game and the type of scoring chances as well, Saunders said. “Sometimes getting a few more shots might kind of ease you into the game a little bit and keep you warm.  If you go on droughts without some shots I guess it’s pretty easy to get cold but you just have to stay mentally tough and battle through that. It is what it is, I am a goalie and I kind of have to go with the flow no matter what that might be.”
From watching the game that Saunders has played in this season, it’s no mystery that Saunders gives the UND forwards and defenseman some confidence with his play.  The junior goaltender is also a good teammate – that assumes nothing – when he’s not playing; Saunders is cheering on the other goaltenders from the player’s box.
When asked about his about the efforts of his battle tested goalie, senior forward Corban Knight had this to say.
“Yeah Clarkie [Saunders] he’s been a rock this year for us back there right from the beginning,” Knight said. “Its nice having a guy come in that has already that has played a couple of years in college hockey. Where he came from he got a lot of experience. Obviously with a lot of shots and stuff – I think all of the guys have a lot of faith in him and what he can do back there. Just the kind of person he is to – he puts a lot of confidence in you because he holds himself so well – he really works hard on his game trying to get better so that puts a lot of confidence in the defenseman and the forwards all the way through.”
While hockey is a team game, it’s no mystery that UND junior goalie Clarke Saunders has his teammate’s “six” and they’re happy to have him as a teammate.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UAH Fundraiser Webpage

The University of Alabama Huntsville is running a campaign to raise funds for the UAH Chargers and if you want to donate money to their program you can go to this webpage and click on this link.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Not so fast, UAH isn't done yet...

University of Alabama in HuntsvilleImage via WikipediaThey aren't going away just yet... This is the latest from the UAH story.
Paul Gattis, The Huntsville Times--- Members of The University of Alabama in Huntsville administration met this evening with hockey supporters, following discussions with Chancellor Malcolm Portera, and came to a consensus to work closely together to pursue institutional and community support to continue UAH hockey at the Division I level.
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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

UAH Hockey has donors willing to support team.

 (The Huntsville Times file photo)
Developing.... Looks like the Save UAH crowd isn't going to let their team go down without a fight. It also appears that they have a AL congressional leader that supports their cause. Here is a link to a video that talks about this issue as well. [click to view]
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Money will no longer be an issue to save the hockey program at the University of Alabama in Huntsville because of additional last-minute donors, a state legislator says he has been told.

In fact, Rep. Phil Williams, R-Monrovia, said today he has separate meetings scheduled with Gov. Robert Bentley and new UAH President Dr. Robert Altenkirch to discuss salvaging the program.

UAH announced last month that its NCAA Division I hockey program would be scrapped after this season and that the school would instead field a club team. Dr. Malcolm Portera, chancellor of the University of Alabama System who was serving as interim president at UAH when the decision was announced, said the $1.5 million annual expense was too rich for the school to support.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

UAH to end College Hockey

University of Alabama in HuntsvilleImage via WikipediaCross Posted at Inside Hockey.
The University of Alabama Huntsville’s Interim President Malcolm Portera announced today that following the 2011-12 hockey season, the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers will cease to exist as a Division I college hockey program.

This announcement means that there will no longer be a Division I college hockey program south of the Mason Dixon line.

This announcement officially ends 33 years of NCAA college hockey history for UAH. No other program that’s ever won an NCAA title has ever disbanded.

According to USCHO, UAH Chargers head coach Chris Luongo informed his team of the president’s decision on Sunday night.

There are many factors that have led to this decision; one the major factor is that UAH doesn’t have a conference to call home. After the 2008-09 season, the College Hockey American Conference disbanded and the UAH Chargers were left without a conference.

The Chargers applied for membership in the CCHA during 2009. On August 11th, 2009 the Chargers were informed that their bid for membership to the CCHA was denied.   Without a conference to call home, the Chargers have had to play as an Division I independent, which put their program in further jeopardy. It’s very hard to get teams to travel to Huntsville to play hockey if they are not in a conference.

The Chargers also have don’t have a building of their own, they share the Von Braun Center with the Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL and are not the primary tenet, meaning the Chargers have had to play their games  at odd times, which further complicates things for the Chargers.

Here is the official announcement from of the UAH interim president Malcolm Portera.
I want to share with you a decision that has been made following months of careful study. As a result of a financial analysis of our athletic program, and numerous conversations I have had with athletic directors, university presidents and commissioners of Division I ice hockey programs, it has become obvious that, for the best interest of this university, our athletic department and the ice hockey program, we move the team from the Division I level back to its original classification as a club sport at the end of the 2011-2012 season.
In conclusion, this is a sad day for college hockey and for the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers hockey team and their fans. This story makes me physically sick to my stomach that in one swoop of a pen, a college administrator can kill a college hockey program with a rich hockey history.

Finally, I have been told by a source close to the UAH program that there is a businessman from Nashville Tennesee that has stepped forward to bankroll the operating expenses for the Chargers. All we know is that he is a top executive of a large corporation.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

EDIT - UAH to kill hockey

Holy Cow, after reading this newspaper article it doesn't look good for the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers hockey team. One doesn't really have to look very far into these comments to see where this is going, you have a non hockey friendly college administrator, who probably doesn't know what a hockey puck is, that is hell bent on axing a college hockey program to save money and make a political point... It would be an absolute shame if UAH killed their Division I college Hockey program. 
John Turner, The Huntsville Times ---- Nathan Bowen, a 2000 UAH hockey alum and leader in private fundraising efforts to support the program, said in an email to The Times that $546,875 has been pledged over three years since that point. Bowen and a handful of supporters had hoped to meet with Portera on Tuesday to discuss the decision, but, according to Bowen, that sit-down will be preempted by the announcement.

"It's just been amazing that one person has this much power to end 33 years of tradition," Bowen said. "And it really is coming down to just him. It makes no sense to me.

"He is completely disregarding the mayor, the people of Huntsville, the student council at UAH and 23 athletes that gave up opportunities to play at other places," he continued. "He's completely disregarding those people and going back to his home in Tuscaloosa. To me, it's astounding." Portera Altenkirch UA System chancellor Malcolm Portera, right, will deciding on the future of the UAH hockey program before removing his interim title and appointing Robert Altenkirch as university president on Oct. 31. (The Huntsville Times/Robin Conn)

Portera has maintained that he plans to announce a decision on the program's future before handing over the presidency to Robert Altenkirchen on Oct. 31. In the meantime, Portera has met with various groups associated with UAH or college hockey to discuss the team's status.
EDIT - I just got some very bad news; just a few minutes ago, I got  word from a source that the UA Systems chancellor and interim UAH president Malcolm Portera is going to kill UAH Hockey, the announcement is coming tomorrow. 
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

UAH students vote to keep hockey at Division I level

University of Alabama in HuntsvilleImage via WikipediaHere is the latest information regarding the UAH hockey program. Nice to see the student getting behind their hockey program which is in dire straights and needs a conference to play in. It's time for the WCHA to step up and accept the Chargers. 
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- The student government association at the University of Alabama in Huntsville voiced its support of the school's beleaguered hockey program.

The SGA announced in a press release today that it voted to keep the Chargers hockey program at the NCAA Division I level rather than scale back to club level or abolish the program altogether.

The UAH hockey program is under close scrutiny from Dr. Malcolm Portera, chancellor of the University of Alabama System. Portera is considering scaling back the hockey program to a club team to save on expenses. Portera said maintaining hockey at the Division I level would cost the school about $1.5 million annually.
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