|Falcon hockey notebook: BG uses team effort to overcome loss of Carpenter (10-16-13)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 16 October 2013 08:44|
Bowling Green is using a team effort to help overcome the loss of Ryan Carpenter.
The junior forward is out indefinitely after breaking his finger during BG’s exhibition Oct. 5 against Wilfrid Laurier.
Carpenter centers BG’s top line and is one of the best players in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He had 18 goals and 33 points last season.
“He, obviously, makes a difference, but there are other guys who can contribute and there are other guys with skill who can pick up the slack,” BG sophomore forward Ben Murphy said. “Everyone knows if somebody like (Carpenter) is out, they have to pick up the slack and we have the leadership to do that.”
BG coach Chris Bergeron praised senior forwards Brett Mohler, Bryce Williamson and Cam Wojtala, and junior forwards Dan DeSalvo and Adam Berkle for their play and leadership in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Ohio State.
The victory came after BG opened the season last weekend with a tie and a loss at 16th-ranked Union.
“We challenged them and they stepped up,” Bergeron said. “We were led by our seniors. We’re proud of those guys. Tonight is a nice indication of where the senior class can take us if they can put the team on their shoulders.”
SCRATCHED: BG junior defenseman Mike Sullivan, who played in all 41 games last season, didn’t play against OSU.
The coaching staff was unhappy with Sullivan’s play in Saturday’s 5-2 loss at Union. Sullivan is one of BG’s best blueliners, and is used on the special teams.
“Just something we want to nip in the rear end,” Bergeron said. “We’re a better team with Michael in the lineup and we want to make sure his play gets to the level he’s capable of.”
RESPONSE: Williamson responded with a big game after being demoted to the fourth line.
“That was a reflection of his play on Saturday,” Bergeron said. “Bryce knows what the expectations are and he showed us what he’s capable of.”
Williamson — who has a history of inconsistency — had a goal and an assist and led BG with six shots on goal.
PP: The BG power play is off to a hot start, scoring four times in 13 attempts (30.8 percent).
The unit of Murphy, Williamson, DeSalvo, Brent Tate and Ralf Freibergs scored both goals against OSU,
“We’re doing things with a purpose on the power play,” Bergeron said.
The Falcon power play finished last season at 8.8 percent, but was 6-of-29 (20.7 percent) once Freibergs became eligible for the final seven games.
“Towards the end of last year, there was some flow with our group and it’s carried over to this year,” Murphy said. “There’s a confidence there, that guys are licking their chops to score when we get out there on the power play.”
PK: The Falcon penalty-killing was 7-of-8 against OSU after allowing Union six goals in 18 attempts.
“We were just better; there was more intensity,” Bergeron said. “There were times this past weekend where the intensity wasn’t there.”
The Falcons did a better job of winning loose pucks, blocking shots and clearing the puck from their own end.
“Very good,” BG goalie Tommy Burke said of the penalty-killing.
SOLID: Burke bounced back from a tough start to hold OSU scoreless over the final 29:57. He also had plenty of help from the defense and forwards in front of him.
“I wasn’t doubting myself,” Burke said after OSU scored a fluke goal and two soft goals for a 3-0 lead. “My thought there was, ‘30 minutes left, just shut the door from here. I just told myself to make the next save.”
“His play after those two goals was solid,” Bergeron said. “The second half of the game he was more than solid. It was what we needed him to be.”
MILESTONE: Murphy’s game-winning goal against OSU is believed to be the 7,000th goal in the history of the BG program.
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