BGSU plays No. 12 Notre Dame in CCHA playoffs
Written by KEVIN GORDON/Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:16
Bowling Green faces a familiar opponent this weekend in the quarterfinals of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
|BG’s Dan DeSalvo (right) controls the puck against Lake Superior’s Eric Drapluk during Game 3 of their first-round series (Photo: Todd Pavlack/BGSUHockey.com)
The Falcons visit 12th-ranked Notre Dame, a team that has won three of the four meetings between the teams this season.
BG finished the regular season with 4-3, 4-1 losses at ND in a series it only played sporadically well.
The Falcons, however, played well from start to finish Jan. 15 when they posted a 4-2 win over the Irish at BG. ND also won 4-1 at BG Dec. 15.
“It gives us confidence that we can beat them,” BG senior goalie Andrew Hammond said of the January win. “We didn’t play our best hockey against them (the last time).”
The Falcons are coming off impressive performances in Games 2 and 3 of their first-round series victory at Lake Superior. They posted 6-3 and 7-0 wins by controlling the puck in the offensive zone for large parts of the game.
That also was the key to BG’s win over ND. But when BG lost twice to the Irish in February, it had too many turnovers and defensive lapses.
“If we’re doing things right and play a certain style of hockey, we can be very successful,” Hammond said. “The key is staying the course for what we did this weekend.”
IRISH: ND was off last weekend as it earned one of the five first-round byes for finishing second in the CCHA.
The Irish are 21-12-3 overall and were 17-8-3-2 in the league, including a 5-1-3 record in their last nine games overall.
ND is eighth nationally in goals allowed (2.25 per game). In the CCHA, it is second in scoring (2.97 goals per game), third in power-play conversions (18.2 percent) and ninth in penalty-killing (82.4 percent).
MR. MARCH: BG forward Dan DeSalvo, who had a CCHA record 10 playoff goals last season, had two goals and one assist at Lake Superior.
SPARK: BG forwards Marc Rodriguez and Ted Pletsch, and defenseman Ryan Peltoma played well during the final two games at Lake Superior after sitting out Game 1. Rodriguez and Peltoma are seniors, and Pletsch is a sophomore.
“It was an opportunity and what kids do with their opportunity is up to them,” Bergeron said. “We were looking for a spark from the three of them and we got just that. To see what those three guys did with the opportunity after being out Friday, I’m very proud of them and I’m very happy for them.”
MISSING: BG junior forward Andrew Wallace didn’t play in Games 2 and 3 at Lake Superior, the first two games he’s missed all season.
Wallace didn’t play for what Bergeron termed a “coaches decision.”
He’s one of BG’s best at faceoffs and is a regular on the penalty-killing unit.
PK: The BG penalty-killing, last in the CCHA at 76.2 percent, was solid at Lake Superior. BG killed off 11 of the Lakers’ 13 chances with the extra man.
BG also needs to stay out of the penalty box and give ND no more than three or four power-play attempts per game.
“We have to play on the edge, play hard, compete and not take penalties,” Bergeron said. “We’ve proven we can do that.”
PP: The BG power play was 1-of-12 at Lake Superior and is last in the CCHA at 13 percent.
KUCERA: BG defenseman Connor Kucera, who missed the Lake Superior series with a knee injury, won’t play at ND.
Bergeron said Kucera might return for a CCHA semifinal game, if BG wins at ND.
SCHOLAR: Sophomore forward Ryan Carpenter is BG’s nominee for the CCHA’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
He has a 3.9 grade-point average in accounting.
The winner will be announced March 22.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2013 08:53