DeSalvo rewarded for consistency (01-10-14)
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Friday, 10 January 2014 08:21
Dan DeSalvo is being rewarded for playing consistently well this season.
|File photo. BGSU's Dan DeSalvo. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Bowling Green junior center is tied for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring lead entering this weekend's series against the University of Alaska.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pounder has 22 points to tie Alaska's Cody Kunyk and Ferris State's Garrett Thompson.
DeSalvo has played in all 24 games, totaling six goals and a league-best 16 assists. He also has an on-ice rating if plus-8, third best on the team.
"I'm going out there with confidence," DeSalvo said. "Improving my consistency is something the coaches and I have talked about, and that's been a focus for me.
"I try to play my best every time I'm out there."
DeSalvo's success has helped BG survive the season-long injury absence of Ryan Carpenter, the team's No. 1 center and of the league's best players. DeSalvo's ice time has increased significantly in Carpenter's absence.
The Falcons are 11-9-4 overall and 8-6-2 in the WCHA.
"A guy like 'Carp' goes down and everyone has to try to do a little bit more," said DeSalvo, who has a 3.3 grade-point average in accounting.
DeSalvo, who has the ability to both score and set up goals, plays on the power-play and penalty-killing units. He has 25 goals and 47 assists in 100 career games.
"He's done a darn good job of being consistent," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "He's getting the points because he deserves it. He's been pretty consistent with his effort. He's been pretty consistent with his execution. When you do those things, it's going to pay off. He's played good hockey."
SNOW DAYS: The Falcons didn't practice Monday and Tuesday because of the snow storm that closed the university and resulted in a Level 3 snow emergency. BG is off for Christmas break through the the weekend.
"I don't think not practicing is a big deal," DeSalvo said. "It was hard sitting at home with nothing to do. We've had two good skates and we'll be ready to go Friday."
SERIES: BG is 22-25-6 against UA, but won and tied in Fairbanks last season.
STAR: BG will have its hands full with Kunyk, who has 12 goals and 10 assists in 20 games. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior has 50 goals and 62 assists in 131 career games.
"Kunyk is as good a player as there is in the league," Bergeron said. "His skill level is really good. He makes other players around him better."
UA: Although the Nanooks are 8-9-3 overall and 5-8-1 for ninth place in the WCHA, they're 3-1-1 in their last five games and are coming off a split against Minnesota State, which is second in the league.
The Nanooks have lost five one-goal games, split with No. 19 Lake Superior and beaten No. 17 Denver. They're second in the league in scoring (3.15 goals per game).
"They're a quality, quality team," Bergeron said "They've got a bunch of skill up and down that lineup. Those guys are going to challenge anybody and we're going to have to defend well this weekend."
SUPPORT: In addition to Kunyk, the Nanooks' best players include sophomore center Tyler Morley (nine goals, 11 assists), senior left wing seven goals, 11 assists) and sophomore defenseman Colton Parayko (two goals, 11 assists).
Parayko was third-round NHL draft pick of St. Louis in 2012.
The Nanooks have used three goalies this season, including Davis Jones, who has started the last three games. The freshman has a 3.07 goals-against average and an .898 save percentage in nine games.
STATS: The Nanooks are eighth in the league in goals allowed (3.10 per game), sixth in power-play conversions (16 percent, 15-of-94) and seventh in penalty-killing (82.7 percent, 86-of-104).
UA is the second-most penalized team in the league (16.8 minutes per game), while BG is fifth (14.6 percent).
PK: BG has killed off 12 of their last 13 short-situations. It's fifth in the WCHA at 84.1 percent (95-of-133).
PP: The Falcon power play is fifth in the WCHA at 18.2 percent (20-of-110).
BG has scored a power-play goal in eight of its last 12 games, going 10-of-47 (21.2 percent) in that span.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 08:46