|Falcon hockey has busy start (10-09-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:34|
Bowling Green's hockey team jumps right into its season.
The Falcons play five games in nine days, starting with their season-opening series Friday and Saturday at No. 16 Union.
BG has three home games next week, Tuesday against Ohio State, and Oct. 18-19 against Colgate.
"It gives us a chance to get the details and the purpose to our game through the process," BG coach Chris Bergeron said of the busy start. "Guys are excited about it. They're ready to play games and we'll learn through the games."
The Falcons have been conditioning and skating since returning to school in late August. BG posted a 7-1 exhibition victory over Wilfrid Laurier Saturday.
"Six weeks is a long time (without a game)," Bergeron said. "(The players) want to play games."
NONLEAGUE: BG plays six nonleague games in all before starting Western Collegiate Hockey Association play Nov. 1-2 against Alaska-Anchorage. The Falcons visit Ohio State Oct. 29.
"They're all opportunities and we like playing the nonconference games before the league games, but they all count towards our overall record," Bergeron said.
BG is hoping to challenge for the WCHA championship and that would make the nonleague games even more important. A team's nonleague games is part of the selection criteria for the NCAA playoffs.
"When it gets to be January and February, we hope part of the discussion is that those games mattered because we did well," Bergeron said. "Those are the discussions we want to have where the nonconference games start to have national tournament implications."
TRAVEL: The Falcons will travel via sleeper bus to Union, located in Schenectady, N.Y.
BG is scheduled to leave tonight at 11:30 and arrive around 8:30 a.m. Thursday
The Falcons will have breakfast when they arrive and then practice mid-day at Union.
BG is using a sleeper bus this season because of the extensive travel in the WCHA and the long trip to Union.
"That's what the travel in the new league is going to look like ... going through the night and arriving first thing in the morning," Bergeron said.
FINISH: This weekend's series completes a home-and-home contract between BG and Union.
Union posted a 5-3, 4-1 sweep in BG last season.
HURT: BG forward Brent Tate is questionable for the weekend after a collision against Wilfrid Laurier.
Tate's chest area is sore, although the shoulder and collarbone were not damaged, Bergeron said. Tate hasn't practiced since the injury and was doubtful for today's practice.
Tate, who had four goals and nine assists in 24 games last season, gives BG a scoring touch and a physical presence.
OUT: BG forward Dajon Mingo won't play this weekend, the result of academic issues, Bergeron said.
He also missed the exhibition because of the issues, but Bergeron said he'll be eligible to play against Colgate.
He was BG's third-leading scorer last season, totaling eight goals and 14 assists in 41 games.
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