|BG hockey can't overlook Huntsville|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON, Assistant Sports Editor|
|Friday, 06 December 2013 08:58|
Bowling Green's hockey team faces a difficult mental challenge this weekend.
The Falcons host winless Alabama-Huntsville in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series tonight and Saturday.
The Chargers are 0-14 overall and 0-8 in the league. They've scored just 13 goals and allowed 63 in those 14 games, and have been out-shot by an average margin of 37-19.
"Our focus is us," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "We've got to find a way this week to prepare properly mentally.
"We're hoping Huntsville is going to get a very angry (BG) team, a team that is coming off getting off swept for the first time this year in a series where we had leads in both games again."
The Falcons can't afford to look past UAH.
BG is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the 10-team league with records of 6-7-3, 4-5-1, The Falcons are 1-5-1 overall in their last seven games.
Even though the Chargers are winless, they've lost five one-goal games - to No. 6 Ferris State and Bemidji State, in the WCHA, and No. 2 St. Cloud, No. 19 Northeastern and Western Michigan in nonleague contests.
"Huntsville is going to get results. It's just a matter of when," Bergeron said. "They're fighting as hard as anybody. This is a team that's close. They're looking for some momentum. They're looking for some confidence. They're looking for a bounce here or there. They're a dangerous team."
HISTORY: The UAH program was reinstated after being targeted for elimination after the 2011-12 season.
University officials announced the decision in October 2011 to end the program for budget reasons.
But former UAH players and program supporters were able to save the program.
The Chargers then were on life support again the last two seasons because they didn't have a league to play in until joining the WCHA this season.
UAH played as an independent schedule the last three seasons, but was having a hard time finding games to fill their schedule.
"I have absolute appreciate for what they're been through," Bergeron said.
Bergeron is in his fourth season at BG after taking over a program that was targeted for elimination by university officials in the two seasons before he was hired.
PENALTIES: Although BG is third overall in the WCHA in penalty minutes per game (17.1), it had only four minor penalties at Lake Superior last weekend
BG leads the WCHA in league-game penalty minutes (16.6).
The Falcons entered the Laker series coming off a 10-penalty game against Minnesota State Nov. 23, and had taken a major penalty in three straight games.
UAH is the second-least penalized team in the league at 13 minutes per game.
PP: The Falcon power play continued to show signs of breaking out if its slump, going 2-of-7 at Lake Superior.
BG is 4-of-17 in its last four games after going 23 straight attempts without a goal.
"We moved the puck around well," Bergeron said. "I'm going to take positives, baby steps from the power play. Both groups moved the puck around well."
The Falcons are sixth in the league at 17.5 percent (14-of-80). UAH's penalty-killing is last in the league at 60 percent (36-of-60).
PK: Although BG didn't allow a power-play goal in Game 2 at Lake Superior, Bergeron wasn't happy with his team's penalty-killing.
Goalie Tomas Sholl was BG's best penalty-killer, stopping 11 shots against the Lakers' four power plays.
The BG penalty-killing is fourth in the WCHA in league games only at 86.4 percent (38-of-44).
Overall, the UAH power play has scored just five power-plays in 61 attempts (8.2 percent, last in the WCHA).
SHOTS: BG leads the WCHA in the most shots per game (31.75) and the fewest shots allowed per game (26.19).
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