|Carpenter may play at Ferris (11-13-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 13 November 2013 09:37|
Bowling Green standout Ryan Carpenter is on track to return to the lineup this weekend, Falcon hockey coach Chris Bergeron said Tuesday.
The junior center hasn't played since breaking a finger during BG's exhibition Oct. 5.
Carpenter, one of the top players in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, led BG with 18 goals and 33 points last season.
BG, 5-3-2 overall and 3-1 in the WCHA, visit No. 14 Ferris State (7-2, 4-0) this weekend.
Carpenter was cleared for full practice Monday and is able to wrap his finger around the stick. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is in great shape because he was able to keep skating while he was hurt, Bergeron said.
"He seemed fine," Bergeron said, adding Carpenter is in the discussion to play Friday at Ferris, barring any setbacks in practice.
Carpenter also skates on BG's power-play and penalty-killing units.
It hasn't been decided on which line Carpenter would play or how much he plays.
If his ice time is limited, it probably would be on the penalty-kill, Bergeron said.
Carpenter's return also would help BG return to a four-line rotation, something it has gotten away from "a little bit" of late, Bergeron said.
"His puck skills probably won't be where they need to be," Bergeron said. "Should that limit his minutes? Probably not."
MOHLER: BG senior forward Brett Mohler also returned to full practice Monday after missing the last five games with a foot injury Oct. 19 against Colgate.
He was one of BG's top nine forwards entering the season, but has no assists in his five games this season.
PP: The return of Carpenter also would strengthen the Falcon power play. BG is 0-of-15 in its last three games and has fallen to fifth in the WCHA at 18.4 percent (9-of-49).
"Our work ethic, our intensity on the power play hasn't been great," Bergeron said. "We've got some depth and it might be time we use it just to keep guys fresh, just to keep them sharp."
BG has two power-play units and Carpenter is a huge presence in front of the net.
"Being on the power play is not something you can take for granted," Bergeron said. "You have to earn that and we've gotten a little flat."
REVIEW: The Falcons played well overall in last weekend's split at No. 18 Minnesota State, but they're still stressing daily improvement.
For instance, the Falcons believe they didn't have enough traffic around the net to make it hard on MSU goalie Cole Huggins in a 1-0 loss in Game 2 of the series. BG had 33 shots in the game.
SERIES: Ferris won three of the four meetings against BG last season, but the Falcons split at Ferris in February.
This weekend's series marks the only meetings of the season between the teams.
BG and Ferris had played 15 times the previous three seasons.
NATIONAL STATS: BG's Tomas Sholl is one of eight goalies with a national-leading two shutouts.
BG's Bryce Williamson and Ben Murphy are in an eight-way tie for third nationally in power-play goals with four each.
WCHA STATS: Williamson and Dan DeSalvo are tied for second in the league in scoring with 11 points.
Williamson is tied for third in goals with six, while DeSalvo is tied for the lead in assists with eight.
BG's Ralf Freibergs is tied for fifth in defense scoring with eight points.
In goals-against average, Sholl is fourth (2.00) and Tommy Burke is fifth (2.13).
In save percentage, BG's Sholl is sixth (.915) and Tommy Burke is seventh (.914).
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