Falcon hockey staying positive PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by By KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Tuesday, 03 November 2009 10:00
Bowling Green's hockey team is staying positive and continues to work hard despite a difficult start.
The Falcons are 0-5-1 overall and 0-1-1-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association entering this weekend's series at Ferris State (5-3, 0-2).
BG is coming off a 4-3 shootout win and a 3-1 loss at Nebraska-Omaha.
"It was really important for us to get those two points, to see our guys get rewarded," BG coach Dennis Williams said of the shootout win. "In any competition, there are going to be hiccups and frustration and it's how you respond that matters."
BG and Ferris play Friday at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday at 5:05 p.m.
"I know we haven't won as much as we'd like, but I'm not upset," Williams said. "Yes, I'd like to be 5-0-1, and our team and coaching staff would like that, too. But we are who we are and we have to continue to work hard and get better."
EMPHASIS: BG continues to work at generating consistent scoring chances, and reducing turnovers and coverage mistakes in its defensive zone.
"We had a lot of good scoring opportunities," Williams said of the UNO series. BG has scored 10 goals in its six games.
The Falcons are allowing 4.0 goals per game.
"Each guy has a job to do and at times you're going to have to help out a teammate," Williams said of BG's team defense. "But everyone, forwards and defense, has to concentrate on doing their job and try not to do too much or everyone else's job.
"We have to be patient and let the game develop, but you get that, at times, with a young team. We need to keep things simple, basic."
SPECIALS: BG is ninth in the CCHA in penalty-killing (80.6 percent, 29-of-36) and last in the league in power-play conversions (8.1 percent, 3-of-37).
"Our special teams are a work in progress," Williams said. "We're seeing positives and as long as they continue to get better, I'll be happy."
Ferris is fifth in the league in penalty-killing (87 percent, 40-of-46) and ninth in power-play conversions (19 percent, 8-of-42).
The Bulldogs are the most-penalized team in the league at 24.6 minutes per game. BG is fifth for the fewest penalty minutes (15 per game).
RUSHING: BG freshman Reed Rushing has become a regular on defense and also plays on the power-play and penalty-killing units.
"He's been playing pretty well," Williams said. "He's made the adjustment to this level a lot quicker than I thought he would. He's been very smooth, he skates well, he moves the puck well and he works hard."
KEY GOALS: The Falcons have been hurt by swing shift goals - the goals that come in the first or last two minutes of the period, or a goal that is scored within two minutes of the previous goal.
BG has allowed 11 of those goals and scored just three.
UNO's first two goals in its 3-1 win came in the last two minutes of each period.
"Those are goals you never want to give up because they're drainers on you emotionally," Williams said. "You try to avoid those at all costs."
FERRIS: The Bulldogs are coming off 3-1, 3-2 losses at Alaska. The Bulldogs started the season 5-1 against Canisius, Connecticut and Robert Morris.
Ferris is third in the league in goals allowed (1.87 per game) and fifth in goals scored (3.12 per game).
"They skate well and shoot the puck as often as they can, and they hit," Williams said. "They play hard, so we have to be ready to go into a battle."
Ferris' arena is a difficult to play in. Although the ice surface is the regulation 200 feet by 85, it seems smaller, especially in the neutral zone, and the boards are lively.
The arena, despite a capacity of just 2,493, can be loud.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 November 2009 13:34

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