|Berkle, Carpenter remain sidelined (12-11-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:15|
Bowling Green's hockey team remains short-handed.
Adam Berkle and Ryan Carpenter won't play this weekend at Michigan Tech, Falcon coach Chris Bergeron said Tuesday.
Berkle has missed the last three games with a hip pointer. Carpenter hasn't played this season because of a broken finger and a broken foot.
They're two of BG's best forwards.
Berkle is skating in practice, but is "not showing signs of improvement to where he's an option for the weekend," Bergeron said, adding Berkle is "not even north of 80 percent" healthy.
After facing Tech, BG is idle until Dec. 27-28 until it plays in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh.
Bergeron is optimistic Berkle will be ready for those games.
No timetable has been set for Carpenter's return. The Pittsburgh games haven't been ruled out, but it might be BG's Jan. 3-4 series at Alabama-Huntsville for his return.
LINEUP: Dajon Mingo will remain on defense until BG is healthy, Bergeron said.
He was moved from forward to defense for last weekend's series against UAH to add speed and offense on the blueline, and to create more competition for playing time at the position.
"He's doing a nice job," Bergeron said. "The mistakes he's making are ones you'd expect from someone who hasn't played defense regularly. He's picking it up and he seems to like it.
"I'd like to give him as much opportunity as possible back there and get some confidence and see what he does with that."
Once the Falcons are healthy, the coaches will evaluate whether Mingo stays on defense or goes back to forward. The BG coaches haven't been happy of late with their defense corps, a veteran group.
"This past weekend and up until now (moving Mingo to defense) hasn't changed the games of other people. It hasn't brought out more in other people, that competition," Bergeron said. "But it's been a short period of time, a few days. That's another reason we like him back there - there's competition and that has to start bringing out better in people."
NEXT: Tech, third in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association coaches poll, is 6-8-4 overall and 4-3-3 in the league. The Huskies are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games.
"They're a really good team," Bergeron said. "They really like forwards, their goaltending is solid, and their defense is evolving."
Tech is first in the league and 10th nationally in goals allowed (2.28 per game), and third in the league in penalty-killing (84.8 percent, 78-of-92, four short-handed goals).
The Huskies have struggled to score as they've produced just 37 goals in 18 games and converted on just 8-of-93 power plays (8.6 percent).
"They're as deep a group of forwards we've played this year," Bergeron said. "We have to defend better than we've been defending."
BG has allowed three or more goals in seven of its last eight games.
SERIES: The Falcons are 4-7-1 against Tech, but the teams haven't played since the 1983-84 season.
BG and Tech were Central Collegiate Hockey Association member during the 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.
TECH FACTS: Tech has an enrollment of about 7,000, and it's an NCAA Division II member in all sports but hockey.
The school is located in Houghton on the western end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Houghton's population is about 7,000 and it is almost a 10-hour drive from BG.
INTERESTING: BG is 4-1-3 on Friday, but just 3-7 on Saturday.
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