Falcon hockey strives for better play (2-19-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON, Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 09:32
Bowling Green's hockey team still is seeking overall improvement.
The Falcons, 1-4-2 in their last seven games, host the United States U18 national team Friday night in an exhibition.
BG is coming off a 2-2 tie and a 5-2 loss at Alaska-Anchorage in a series it held third-period leads in both games.
"Things have to change in terms of our execution," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "We're going to continue to stick to the plan that we have a responsibility to ourselves, to each other and to this program to focus on getting better each day."
BG is in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Falcons have just four league games left.
The top eight teams in the 10-team league make the playoffs, with the top four hosting quarterfinal series.
"The message to the guys is there's nothing we can do about the standings," Bergeron said. "Now, we have to control what we can control and that's us, and our next opportunity. We always talk like that and we're going to continue to talk like that through adversity.
"I say it all the time and will continue to say it, adversity brings out people's true colors."
WCHA: UAA is third in the league with 26 points, followed by BG, Alaska (Fairbanks) and Michigan Tech with 24, Bemidji State with 22, Northern Michigan with 21 and Lake Superior 20.
NMU and Lake Superior each have played two fewer games than the third- through-seventh-place teams.
"The standings are still in a position of where we have control of what's going on," Bergeron said.
BG's remaining WCHA series are at NMU Feb. 28-March 1 and at home against Bemidji March 7-8.
"We want to get back to playing better and feeling good and confident about the way we're playing, and feeling confident about ourselves, each other and our team," Bergeron said.
"The focus is what's on real," Bergeron said. "We need to play better, that's real. We're trying to stay positive because there's plenty of hockey left, there's plenty of opportunities to do what we want to do and set ourselves up for the playoffs."
DEFENSE: The Falcons are still trying to improve all phases of their team defense.
BG has allowed five goals in three of its last four games, and has given up four or more goals nine times in its last 18 games.
FACEOFFS: Although BG has won 52.5 percent of its faceoffs this season, it's won only 40.8 percent of its draws in the last three games.
BG allowed one goal in each of those games which directly resulted from a lost faceoff in the defensive zone.
"To give up faceoff goals is just so costly and we're not creating faceoff goals for us," Bergeron said.
EXHIBITION: Bergeron doesn't mind playing an exhibition this late in the season.
"At this time of year, practice is old and playing a game, even though it's an exhibition, is a good thing," Bergeron said. "We have to prepare like we always do. We don't play 80 games, so we'll treat it like a regular game."

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