|BG hockey improving defensively (01-23-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:31|
Bowling Green is becoming a good defensive team.
The Falcon hockey team has allowed two or fewer goals in seven straight games and is seventh in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in goals allowed (2.54).
BG is 5-1-1 in those seven games.
In its first 17 games, BG gave up two or fewer goals just seven times.
"There seems to be some organization there," Falcon coach Chris Bergeron said. "There seems to be, for the most part, a purpose. When we're doing things properly 5-on-5, the details are right.¬† We're giving (our opponents) what we want and then we can collapse and close on that. But ultimately, I like the way we're competing on defense."
BG will be tested defensively Friday and Saturday when it visits sixth-ranked Miami.
Miami is averaging 2.38 goals per game and scoring at 14.8 percent on the power play.
Sophomore forward Austin Czarnik leads Miami with 26 points on nine goals and 17 assists, while freshman forward Riley Barber has nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points.
The RedHawks also receive ample offense from their defensemen, including freshman Matthew Caito, who has three goals and seven assists.
Miami has a good mix of speed and skill, and size and strength. As a result, it can play any style.
"They're on you all the time. You have no time to do anything," Bergeron said. "We have to find a way to limit the amount of time we spend in our own zone. Miami will expose you just because they wear you down. For a high level, high skill team, they compete really hard."
SERIES: The Falcons are 0-13-1 in their last 14 games against Miami and 0-14-1 in their last 15 games at Miami.
The tie came in a 4-4 draw at Miami last season. The Falcons' last victory against Miami came 4-2 in BG Jan. 4, 2008.
RETURN: Bergeron is in his third season at BG after serving 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Miami. He also played there from 1989-93.
"It'll always be the most difficult place for me to go as a visitor," Bergeron said. "It's nice to see people. It's a part of my life and it'll always be a part of my life, and I'm proud of that.
"It's a difficult place for me to go because I cheer for them when we're not playing them and when we are, I don't want them to do well. That will never change because of how deep my feelings go for the place."
BG TIES: Barber, a freshman forward, is the son of former BG star Don Barber. Riley Barber was a sixth-round NHL draft pick of the Washington Capitals last year.
Don Barber had 83 goals and 115 assists in 155 games at BG from 1984-88. He went onto play six seasons in the NHL with six different teams.
TV: Both BG-Miami games will be shown live by Time-Warner Sports Channel (311, 1311 in HD).
INJURIES: Defenseman Jake Sloat (leg) is the only injured Falcon. BG is back to having a full complement of forwards with the return of Brett Mohler to practice this week.
"(Sloat's) closing in on playing," Bergeron said. "But it comes back to his mobility was part of his strength. He hasn't got it (his mobility) back yet. When it's your feet and you're a guy who can skate, it makes it difficult. It's going to be a little bit yet."
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:34|
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