NIAGARA, NY — Wayne State (11-24-2) will advance to the College Hockey America semifinals for the first time since 2004 following a 4-0 victory over Alabama-Huntsville on Friday night at Niagara’s Dwyer Arena.
The Warriors snapped a four-game postseason losing streak and achieved their first ever shutout victory in CHA tournament play.
Stavros Paskaris scored a power-play goal and extended his point streak to nine games, eclipsing Dustin Kingston’s previous school record of eight set in 2003, and surpassed Tyler Kindle for third all-time with 99 career points.
Additionally, Jeff Caister Notched an assist on Paskaris’ marker and moved ahead of Kindle to establish a new WSU record for points in a single season by a defenseman (30).
Shortly after killing a 5-on-3 UAH power-play, the Warriors struck first while briefly playing with an extra skater on a delayed penalty call. Brock Meadows lit the lamp at 11:40 to give the Warriors, who entered the game with a 6-1-0 record when they score first, a 1-0 lead. Senior captain Mike Forgie was credited with an assist on the play, his first helper since Jan. 11 at
Wayne State scored twice in the second period and outshot Alabama-Huntsville, 15-4. On a power play, Caister and Ryan Bernardi cycled the puck to the front of the net where Paskaris was waiting to score his 14th goal of the season and put the Warriors ahead by a pair at
the 8:47 mark.
With just over five minutes remaining in the middle stanza, Forgie collected a rebound between the faceoff circles off a shot by Meadows and scored his ninth goal of the season. Jared Katz also picked up an assist on the goal.
Wayne State made it a 4-0 game when Chris Kushneriuk poked the puck ahead to a surging Dylan Exton who capitalized on a breakaway in the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot in the top corner over the right shoulder of UAH netminder Blake MacNicol.
Brett Bothwell made saves and held UAH at bay on its five power play chances to achieve his second shutout of the year. MacNicol turned aside 25 of WSU’s 29 shots
Wayne State will face top-seeded Bemidji State in a semifinal game Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Warriors and Beavers have not met in the CHA Tournament since the 2003 championship game, which resulted in a 3-2 WSU win.