|Falcon hockey strives for home wins (11-14-12)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 14 November 2012 09:29|
Bowling Green's hockey team is striving to be more successful at home.
The Falcons are 0-4-2 at home this season entering this weekend's home series against 20th-ranked Ferris State.
"We just need to take advantage of our home games and we haven't done a good job of that," Falcon coach Chris Bergeron said. "We have to better at home."
Home ice hasn't been kind to the Falcons during the last two-plus seasons. They're 9-14-7 overall at home in that span, including a 4-22-6 record in Central Collegiate Hockey Association games.
The Falcons are averaging 2,282 fans per home game this season.
BG was encouraged by its play in its most recent home game, a 3-2 shootout loss against No. 9 Western Michigan.
"The crowd deserves better," Bergeron said. "We've had good crowds. It's not for a lack of our effort because the players are trying hard. We've played better than (our record at home), but it is what it is."
REVIEW: The Falcons played as well as they have all season during the shootout loss, and they displayed resiliency in both games. BG is 2-6-3 overall and 1-3-2-1 in the CCHA.
"The challenge for us is as much mental as it is physical, if not more mental, so we just stay out of our own way and just play, and not have the ups and downs based on our energy being good and bad," Bergeron said.
BG lost to Union and tied Ohio State after taking a two-goal lead, and it allowed Niagara to score the tying goal with just under a minute to play.
"We need to finish out some of those games to help us take that next step," Bergeron said. "A couple of regulation wins is what (we need), especially for a team like us, that is struggling with that mental energy. We're finding ways to be positive, even if it isn't in a win necessarily."
NOT AGAIN: The BG-Ferris series is a rematch of last season's CCHA quarterfinal matchup in Big Rapids, Mich., won in three games by the Falcons.
The teams played seven times last season, with Ferris winning five times.
Ferris swept the four regular-season games, winning twice at BG and twice at home. The Bulldogs also won twice at BG during the 2010-11 season.
FERRIS: The Bulldogs are 4-4-2 overall and 3-3 in the CCHA after splitting at Lake Superior last weekend.
"They're pretty much the same team every year," Bergeron said. "They work extremely hard. They defend extremely well. They make it extremely hard to score 5-on-5. That's who they are. That's their brand. That's what you get from Ferris."
The Bulldogs are tied for fifth in the CCHA in goals scored (2.67 per game) and tied for sixth in goals allowed (2.5 gpg).
Ferris' special teams are among the best in the league as it leads the league in penalty-killing (90 percent, 27-of-30) and ranks third in power plays (24 percent, 6-of-25)
The Bulldogs return 18 lettermen from last season when they won the CCHA regular-season title and advanced to the NCAA championship game.
Ferris coach Bob Daniels is in his 21st season.
INJURIES: BG forward Cam Wojtala (lower body) and Brent Tate (back) remain day-to-day. Neither skated Tuesday after missing the Western series.
But BG won't rush Wojtala, one of the team's top forwards and a co-captain, back.
"I don't want (the injury) to be something he struggles with all year," Bergeron said of Wojtala.
Bergeron said a long-term treatment plan is being devised for Tate, who may not return before Christmas.
BG visits No. 13 Michigan a week from tonight before finishing its pre-Christmas schedule with a series at Alaska Dec. 7-8 and a single home game against No. 8 Notre Dame Dec. 15.
Bergeron BG forward Ted Pletsch is "really struggling" with his injured shoulder. He reinjured the shoulder in the series opener at Western.
INJURIES II: The Bulldogs may be without two key defensemen, Scott Czarnowczan and Travis White with undisclosed injuries. Neither played last weekend.
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