|Falcon hockey signs 2 recruits (05-03-13)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Friday, 03 May 2013 09:42|
Bowling Green's hockey team believes it has improved its offense and depth on defense next season with the addition of two recruits.
Left wing Kevin Dufour of the Central Ontario (Junior) Hockey League and defenseman Sean Walker of Newmarket in the Ontario Junior Hockey League have signed national letters of intent to play for the Falcons in the fall.
The addition of Walker and Dufour gives BG at least five freshmen next season.
They'll join goalie Tomas Sholl, defenseman Mark Friedman and right wing Matt Pohlkamp, who previously signed their letters of intent.
Dufour, who is 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, had 26 goals and 32 goals in 57 regular-season games this season.
"We think his best hockey is absolutely ahead of him because of how willing he is and how badly he wants to be a hockey player," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "He wants to be the best player on the team. He wants to play hockey beyond college. His willingness to work really caught our attention. The sky is the limit with him."
Although the Falcons are expecting Dufour to play on one of the top three lines at some point next season, he's not being expected to be an impact player as a freshman similar to the way Cam Wojtala, Ryan Carpenter, Dan DeSalvo and Adam Berkle have had to do the last two seasons.
The Falcons averaged just 2.44 goals per game last season and scored at only 13.7 percent on the power play.
"It'll be nice for him to just progress and contribute and we think he should contribute next year," Bergeron said.
Dufour turns 21 in July and is from Beauport, Quebec.
Walker (5-10, 185) is expected to contend for regular ice time with the Falcons.
He had four goals and 20 assists in 53 regular-season games this season. He also had two power-play goals and 61 penalty minutes.
"He's a guy who has nothing but potential," Bergeron said. "He's a guy who plays big and he loves to play physical. He moves the puck well, skates well and we feel putting him in our environment where the expectations are high and the competition is high every day, this is a kid who is going to take off. He's a winner. He's been a winner."
"He has a willingness as a person to be great and that's what he wants to be. He wants to be great."
Walker turns 19 in November and is from Keswick, Ontario.
Sholl had a 3.14 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage in 32 regular-season games.
Sholl, who played for Fresno in the North American (Junior) Hockey League, is expected to challenge Tommy Burke for the No. 1 job in goal.
Pohlkamp, a solid two-way forward, had four goals and six assists in 30 games for Fargo in the United States (Junior) League.
Friedman, who plays for Waterloo in the USHL, had eight goals and 22 assists and an on-ice rating of plus-22 in 64 regular-season games.
Bergeron said no timetable has been set for when defenseman Reed Whiteside will join the Falcons.
Whiteside, who turns 18 in June, has struggled with injuries the last three seasons and still has three seasons of junior hockey eligibility remaining. He committed to BG during the 2010-11 season.
He's played in just 25 games the last two seasons, including only 10 games this season with Sioux Falls in the USHL.
Among the injuries, Bergeron said, are a concussion and a second battle with concussion-like symptoms.
"We're concerned with his long term prognosis, but he's still a young guy," Bergeron said. "He hasn't played enough games, based on injury. We want kids to play two full seasons (of junior hockey) before they come."
CHOSEN: BG freshman defenseman Ralfs Freibergs has been selected to play for Latvia in the World Championhips which run today through May 19.
The tournament is being played in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.
HILLS: Bergeron said defenseman Derek Hills has decided to leave the program.
Hills didn't play in a game this season after sitting out the 2011-12 over eligibility issues.
"He fit in around here as a person, but we didn't see him playing," Bergeron said. "We felt like the fairest thing to Derek was to tell him that and potentially help him find a place where we can play. He's a competitor, he's a winner and he wants to play."
|Last Updated on Friday, 03 May 2013 15:06|
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