|BG’s Perrier playing well again (10-29-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 29 October 2013 09:33|
Marcus Perrier is playing well again.
And Bowling Green’s hockey team couldn’t be happier.
The junior defenseman has played well in the team’s last three games following a tough start at Union and a disappointing sophomore season.
“I’m just trying to keep it simple and take what the game gives me,” Perrier said. “I try not to complicate things. I feel good about my game and my confidence is really good right now.’’
The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is providing BG with solid defense and a physical presence, something they’ll need again tonight when they visit Ohio State in a non-league game.
Perrier played well as a freshman, but struggled as a sophomore and finished the season with an on-ice rating of minus-10. He then wasn’t sharp in this season’s opening series at Union Oct. 11-12.
BG coach Chris Bergeron said he had a “stern” talk with Perrier after the Union series. Since then Perrier has re-emerged as a player who can be trusted in every situation.
“It’s been a nice response,” Bergeron said. “The expectations are the same. He set the bar. We know how good he can be. He knows how good he can be. It’s nice to see him back where he belongs. Now, it’s about adding the consistency piece of it.”
Perrier was tentative in the Union series, but has been more confident in his decision-making during the last three games.
His play also has improved because he lost 20 pounds during the offseason, putting him in great shape.
BG, 2-1-2 overall, has allowed just five even-strength goals this season.
“There’s just a presence to him when he’s right,” Bergeron said. “He’s a quiet guy, but there’s a presence to him. The last three games, he’s played with presence. I’m not talking about not making mistakes. I’m talking about playing the game on the edge, playing hard, making sure the presence is there. If he makes mistakes because of it, so be it.”
REMATCH: Tonight’s game ends a home-and-home series that began Oct. 15 with a 4-3 Falcon win at BG.
OSU: The Buckeyes swept Robert Morris in a nonleague series last weekend. OSU opened the season with two losses to sixth-ranked Miami.
Forwards Alex Szczechura and Max McCormick share the team scoring lead with five points. Matt Tompkins and Collin Olson have split time in goal, posting a 3.31 goals-against average and an .861 save percentage.
OSU is 7-of-31 (22.6 percent) on the power play and has killed off 13 of its 22 (59.1 percent) short-handed situations.
RARE: Tonight’s game at OSU marks BG’s first trip to Value City Arena since the 2009-10 season.
DISCIPLINE: After taking 32 penalties and facing 26 power plays in its first three games, BG had just eight penalties and faced just six power plays against Colgate Oct. 18-19. One of the penalties was for too many men on the ice.
“We’ve settled in nicely to a level where it’s that medium,” Bergeron said. “We played hard against Colgate. We’re pushing it to that line (physically), but not over it where we’re out of control an taking a bunch of penalties.”
Bergeron also attributed some of the penalties at Union to the referees trying to set the tone for the season in terms of what will and won’t be called.
FACEOFFS: Although the Falcons have been improved on faceoffs in two of the last three games, they’ve won just 49.2 percent of their draws this season. BG’s goal is 55 percent.
“It’s not just the centers. It’s all five guys on the ice,” Bergeron said. “Collectively, we need to be a better job. Our guys know how big a piece of the process the faceoffs are.”
TOO MANY MEN: BG already has four penalties for too many men on the ice, the result of poor line changes.
“Ultimately, 100 percent, it falls on me, but the players have to stay focused in those situations,” Bergeron said.
PP/PK: The Falcon power play is first in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and 15th nationally at 23.1 percent (6-of-26).
The BG penalty-killing has allowed just one goal in its last 14 chances.
VOTES: BG had two points in this week’s U.S. College Hockey Online poll.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 18:28|
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