BG recruits add offense (05-22-12)
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:00
Additional offensive help is on the way for Bowling Green's hockey team.
|File photo. Falcon hockey coach Chris Bergeron.
The Falcons - fourth-to-last nationally in scoring this season - believe next season's freshmen class will provide even more scoring punch.
The five consist of three forwards and two defenseman.
The forwards are Ben Murphy of Carleton Place in the Central (Ontario) Junior Hockey League, Mark Cooper of St. Michael's in the Ontario Junior Hockey League and Brent Tate of Lincoln in the United States (Junior) Hockey League.
The defensemen are Raifs Freibergs, also of Lincoln; and Jose Degadillo of Sioux City in the USHL.
"We haven't sacrificed size, the recruiting model or the type of kid we want to recruit. They all have an element of offense to their game," Falcon coach Chris Bergeron said.
The Falcons were last in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in scoring this season, averaging 1.93 goals per game overall and scoring at 8.9 percent on the power play (17-of-192).
BG scored just 40 goals and was only 8-of-117 on the power play in its 28 league games.
"The challenge they have is are they going to be willing, on a daily basis, to be a part of this brand and to believe in it and to live it," Bergeron said "We don't see any reason why they won't be.
"The culture is taking on a life of its own all the time, every day, and that's obviously a pat on the back to our internal people, the guys who have been here and are returning. They're the ones who are holding each other accountable to that. They're the type of kids we want to have in this program."
BG already started to rebuild its offense this season.
Freshmen Ryan Carpenter, Dan DeSalvo and Adam Berkle combined for 32 goals and 44 assists; and sophomores Cam Wojtala, Bryce Williamson and Brett Mohler totaled 19 goals and 25 assists.
The incoming freshmen also will have a chance to contribute on the power play.
"I'm not saying the onus is going to be placed on these freshmen to create offense, but they're going to help with our depth and we expect them to contribute," Bergeron said.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Murphy had 31 goals and 32 assists in 44 games, including 12 power-play goals.
"He's a late bloomer, a goal scorer," Bergeron said. "He's a kid who is really going to add an element an offense to our team."
Cooper (6-1, 180) had 26 goals and 33 assists in 45 games.
"He has as much potential as we probably have," Bergeron said. "He skates well. He's got offense to his game. He's big, tall physically, but he's going to have to fill out and get stronger, like anybody. He is a guy, if he is willing to do the things that we think he will, he has a chance to be a really good player.
Tate produced 11 goals and 26 assists in 45 games. In addition to his offense, The 6-2, 175-pounder will provide a physical presence. He had 205 penalty minutes.
"He's a real competitor, a real fiery guy," Bergeron said of Tate, who also was Lincoln's captain. "He makes hockey plays all over the ice. He's a guy you're usually aware of when you're playing against him. When people are playing against him, people usually say they wish he was on their team. He is a guy that plays the game relentless."
Freibergs (5-11, 182) had eight goals and 35 assists in 60 games this season. The Latvia native led all USHL defensemen in scoring this season and did the same in the North American (Junior) Hockey League in the 2010-11 season.
"He's done nothing but put up numbers at a really high level and we're expecting him to come in and help our power play immediately," Bergeron said. "We believe he can make an impact immediate on our team next year. We haven't had that absolute quarterback back there on the power play and that's what he can be."
Delgadillo (6-2, 182) is a good two-way defender. He had four goals and 10 assists in 58 games for Indiana and Sioux City.
"He's a big defender," Bergeron said. "His first pass is good. He has good puck skills. He shoots the puck well. His feet are good which can help in defending. He's not overly physical, but he's physical.
"He's a steady, solid defender with size and he's a great kid. His best hockey is ahead of him. As he continues to grow and put muscle on the frame he has right now with some of the tools he already has, he could be a really good defenseman. We expect him to be a really functional part of our (defense) corps for four years."
Forward Matt Pohlkamp (6-0, 186) also could join BG this fall. If he doesn't join the Falcons, he's expected to play in the USHL. The decision will be made this summer. He played high school hockey in Brainerd (Minn.) this season.
"We know a year or two of juniors would be a nice way for him to go to bring polish to his game and allow him to grow emotionally and physically," Bergeron said.
"He's put up some really good numbers at the high school level. Because he hasn't played junior hockey yet, I don't know how those numbers will be at our level. We do expect some offense from him. But he competes extremely well. He skates well, he's a physical presence every time he's on the ice and those things translate no matter what level you're at to this level as long as you're willing to do it every day and he's proven he is."
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:34