|Carpenter won't play this weekend (11-06-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:05|
Bowling Green's Ryan Carpenter will miss at least one more week with a broken finger, Falcon hockey coach Chris Bergeron said Tuesday.
The junior center is expected to have the pins removed from his finger early next week and could be back on the ice for practice Nov. 12, Bergeron said.
Carpenter, one of the top players in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, hasn't played since being injured Oct. 5 in BG's exhibition contest.
It was hoped Carpenter would be available for this weekend's series at 18th-ranked Minnesota State, the WCHA coaches pick to win the league.
Carpenter tried to practice Tuesday, but couldn't wrap his finger around the stick and left the ice.
"He can't shoot and he can't stickhandle," Bergeron said.
INJURIES: BG, however, received good news on injuries to defenseman Connor Kucera and forward Brett Mohler.
Kucera suffered what Bergeron called a "very minor concussion" against Alaska-Anchorage last Saturday, but is expected to play this weekend after practicing Monday and Tuesday.
"He hasn't had any concussion-type symptoms since Saturday night," Bergeron said. "Our intention, unless he takes a step backwards which we think would have happened by now, is for him to play this weekend."
Mohler, who has missed three games with a foot injury, is expected to be eligible to return to the lineup next week.
He'll skate in BG Thursday and Friday.
"If those days go OK, then he goes back in the mix on Monday," Bergeron said.
ROAD HOCKEY; BG hasn't played well overall on the road this season, going 0-2-1.
"Our process hasn't been great on the road. Our details haven't been great on the road," Bergeron said. "The effort is there, but we all know when you're on the road, the process and the details had better be good or you don't get the results."
The lack of success on the road is surprising because BG has won four road playoff series during the last three seasons, and many of the key players from those games remain on the team.
HONORED: BG junior forward Dan DeSalvo is the WCHA offensive player of the week and sophomore defenseman Ralfs Freibergs is the defensive player of the week.
DeSalvo had a goal and three assists in three games.
Freibergs had three assists and an on-ice rating of plus-2, while helping BG kill off 14 of its 15 short-handed situations.
HOT START: DeSalvo's play has helped BG, 4-2-2 overall, overcome Carpenter's loss.
DeSalvo has two goals and eight assists, and an on-ice rating of plus 4. He also skates on the power-play and penalty-killing units, and his ice time has increased with Carpenter hurt.
"He came in very fit. He looked great," Bergeron said. "His fitness was good. His strength was good. He looked like someone who took this summer very seriously. He's embraced the role of playing more minutes and being that consistent contributor."
FORCEFUL: BG junior forward Adam Berkle is off to a solid start. The 6-foot-3, 193-pounder has been a physical force and has three assists in eight games. He leads the team with a plus-6 and also plays on the special teams.
"When he's at his best, he's a big power forward," Bergeron said. "He was hungry around the puck this weekend and he dogged the puck all weekend long. He was physical. We expect him to be consistent and we expect him to do it every shift."
The line of Berkle, Cam Wojtala and Matt Pohlkamp was matched against Anchorage's top line in both games. The Anchorage trio didn't score an even-strength goal as BG swept the series.
MORE INJURIES: Minnesota State played without two of its best players because of injuries last weekend - forward Matt Leitner (upper body) and defenseman Josh Nelson (lower body).
Leitner was named the WCHA's preseason player of the year.
SERIES: The Falcons are 0-3-1 against MSU, but the teams haven't played since the 2009-10 season.
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