|Updated 11:30 p.m., Falcon hockey wins opener against Anchorage (11-1-13)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Friday, 01 November 2013 21:31|
Injuries and suspensions are no longer major obstacles for the Falcon hockey team. PHOTO GALLERY
The latest example of the depth came Friday when the Falcons were dominant in a 6-1 win over Alaska-Anchorage at the Ice Arena. BOX SCORE
The Falcons scored the six goals and were 3-of-8 on the power play, even though they remained without two of their top nine forwards because of injuries — Ryan Carpenter (finger) and Brett Mohler (foot).
BG also was without freshman defenseman Sean Walker, who sat out a one-game suspension for a disqualification penalty Tuesday at Ohio State.
The Falcons defended well, allowing just the one goal, 19 shots and holding UAA to 1-of-5 with the extra man.
BG improved to 3-2-2 overall by winning its Western Collegiate Hockey Association opener. UAA is 3-2.
Eleven different Falcons had at least one point, including Cam Wojtala with two goals, and Bryce Williamson with one goal and one assist.
The Falcons are scoring 3.7 goals per game and have converted 10-of-39 (25.6 percent) power plays this season.
‘That’s the best way to do it,” Wojtala said of the scoring by committee. “That’s the way we’ll be successful. Everyone is doing their job, winning their shifts and getting pucks to the net. That’s how we’ll score goals all year.”
Ben Murphy, Chad Sumsion and Andrew Wallace had the other goals. Dan DeSalvo, Adam Berkle, Dajon Mingo and Ralfs Freibergs each had two assists.
BG captain Wojtala, Sumsion, Wallace and Williamson are seniors. Wojtala, Wallace and Sumsion all had their first goals of the season.
Sumsion replaced Mohler, and Wallace was in for Kevin Dufour, a healthy scratch.
BG goes for a series sweep Saturday night at 7:07.
“I’m very happy the seniors had a big night in our first league game,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “We know we’ll go as far as our seniors take us. They led the way. Our seniors did a great job.”
Wallace was playing in just his third game, and Sumsion was in the lineup for the fourth time. Williamson has been on fire, totaling six goals and five assists in seven games as he’s finally playing to his potential consistently.
Murphy also has six goals, and DeSalvo has two goals and seven assists.
“It’s about coming every day, as a senior on the team, and setting a good example by being hard every practice and trying to show the coaches when they call you’re name, you’re going to be ready,” said Wallace, a regular his first three seasons.
Wallace played for the first time since Oct. 12.
“It’s always tough sitting out,” Wallace said. “Every hockey player is competitive in nature. It’s tough to watch from the stands when you want to be out there with your brothers playing.”
In addition to the injuries, Mingo was suspended for the first two games and still doesn’t have a goal. Mingo and Wojtala are two of BG’s top nine forwards.
Berkle doesn’t have a goal, either, but he’s played well. He was a force against UAA with five shots and on-ice rating of plus-1.
BG also benched defenseman Mike Sullivan for one game earlier this season over performance issues.
“It’s nice when guys step up and take a role that usually don’t have to or aren’t accustomed do,” Wojtala said.
The Falcons have allowed just 18 goals in their seven games, including only nine even-strength goals.
BG’s team defense was solid after a poor night Tuesday in a 4-3 loss at OSU. Jose Delgadillo filled in for Walker.
“We defended very well for the most part,” Bergeron said. “We took away time and space, and our backchecking and tracking were much better.”
BG dominated with solid forechecking that led to scoring chances and UAA penalties.
The Falcons never trailed and were never tied after Wojtala jammed in the rebound of Mingo’s point shot on the power play with 2:05 left in the first period.
BG’s Tommy Burke made only 19 saves, but was sharp when we needed against a handful of quality scoring chances.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 02 November 2013 09:45|
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