|Falcon hockey striving to make every play count|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 27 November 2013 12:27|
Bowling Green’s hockey team has played well at times this season.
But the Falcons need to be sharper on a more consistent basis coach Chris Bergeron said Tuesday.
They’ve been inconsistent this month, losing two-goal leads in three of their last four games.
Most recently, the Falcons struggled Saturday in a 4-3 overtime loss to Minnesota State in the Ice Arena.
BG was guilty of poor penalties, and too many turnovers and defensive breakdowns.
On MSU’s winning goal, the Falcons had two shots to win the game in the extra period before MSU counterattacked and scored the winning goal on a play that all five Falcons had a chance stop, Bergeron said.
“We need more individuals playing better, and we need to collectively play better for more parts of the game,” Bergeron said. “It’s not a 60-minute game for us right now. That’s not enough and a team like (MSU), a team like Ferris, they will expose you for not playing properly enough of the time.
“Individually, too many guys are losing their poise and losing their focus at that point in the time.”
BG, 6-5-3 overall and 4-3-1 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, visits 16th-ranked Lake Superior (7-4-1, 3-3) this weekend.
“Let’s make sure we’re on the positive side of each and every play. They all matter,” Bergeron said. “Our games have come down to one play here, two plays there. You don’t know play which it’s going to be. You can’t predetermine which plays matter, so let’s focus on every play.”
DIFFICULT: The Lake Superior series finishes BG’s toughest month of the season.
The Falcons are 2-3-1 against MSU and Ferris State this month, the top two teams in the WCHA coaches poll.
HONOREE: BG’s Mark Cooper is the WCHA offensive player of the week.
The sophomore forward had four goals, including the game-winner in Friday’s 4-3 overtime victory, in a split against MSU last weekend.
INJURIES: Bergeron said BG junior forward Ryan Carpenter probably won’t return at least until Dec. 27-28 at the earliest when the Falcons play in the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh.
Carpenter missed BG’s first 10 games with a broken finger and the last four games with a broken foot. He’s one of the WCHA’s top players.
He’s still not putting any pressure on the foot, Bergeron said.
“Do we need to rush him back for that? No,” Bergeron said of the Pittsburgh tournament where the Falcons will face No. 7 Boston College, and Robert Morris or Penn State. “The last thing we want to do is rush him.”
A more likely return date, Bergeron said, is Jan. 3-4 for a WCHA series at Alabama-Huntsville.
But senior Brett Mohler, another of BG’s top nine forwards, has returned to full practice and could play this weekend. He’s missed seven games with a foot injury.
PRACTICE: The injuries to Carpenter and Mohler has hurt BG’s competition for playing time in practice, Bergeron said.
“Kids are going to take their foot off the gas or not push as hard in practice because (they know) I’m going to play. That’s complacency. That’s bad,” Bergeron said. “We’re not at the point where we can have complacency. We want to have that competition at every position and we think we’re pretty darn close to having that.”
STATS: BG goalie Tomas Sholl is sixth in the WCHA with a 2.28 goals-against average and seventh with a .910 save percentage.
Teammate Tommy Burke is seventh with a 2.32 goals-against and ninth with a ..907 save percentage.
In scoring, BG’s Bryce Williamson is tied for fifth with 15 points and Dan DeSalvo is tied for ninth with 13.
BY JERSEY: BG is undefeated when wearing its tan and white jerseys. The Falcons are 3-0 in tan and 2-0 in white.
But BG is only 1-4-2 in brown and and 0-1-1 in orange.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 November 2013 12:29|
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