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Falcons' Burke seeks consistency (12-13-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 13 December 2013 10:25
Tommy Burke
Tommy Burke was played well overall for Bowling Green's hockey team.
The next step for him is to be sharp on a consistent basis.
Burke is working hard to eliminate the one so-called soft goal he allows each game - the routine shot a goalie should stop that end up in the net - from his game that have plagued him during the last month.
He's off to a good start. The sophomore is coming off a 18-save shutout  in a 3-0 win over Alabama-Huntsville last Friday.
Burke has alternated starts with freshman Tomas Sholl, and will be in goal tonight when  BG visits Michigan Tech in the opener of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
"I'm more comfortable this season," said Burke, who has a 2.26 goals-against average and a  .907 save percentage in eight games this season.
"But the consistency is the big thing. I've been pretty consistent in practice. Hopefully, that will lead to consistency in games because I've really upped my practice consistency compared to last year."
Burke spent the summer at a goaltending camp in the Minneapolis area hosted by St. Cloud State University goaltending coach Dave Rogalski. All of the players at the camp,  goalies and non-goalies, were college and pro players.
"I had a good summer, the best I've had, on and off the ice," said  Burke, who also lifted weights and conditioned during the summer. "The camp was really good for me.
"I was really nervous last year when I got to BG. I didn't know what to expect. This year, I came in ready to play and be an integral part of the team."
The Minnesota native played well overall last season, even though he had the usual ups and downs of a freshmen. He had a 2.57 goals-against and an .889 save percentage in 15 games as the backup to standout Andrew Hammond.
"He seems physically stronger," BG coach Chris Bergeron said "He's got a much more focused routine this year and defined routine of what he does before and after games."
"His confidence is 100 percent higher than it was last year," Bergeron added. "Everything seems to be more mature and stronger. He's progressing the way you would want him to progress. He's made some nice strides from his first year to his second year."
STANDINGS: BG, 7-8-3 overall and 5-6-1 in WCHA, hits the halfway point of its 28-game league season at Tech.
BG and Tech are tied for fourth with 11 points, but Tech has played two fewer games.
The second- through seventh-place teams are separated by just four points.
Ferris State is first with 22 points, followed by Minnesota State 14 and Bemidji State 13.
The top five teams host first-round playoff series.
ALL-WCHA: Tech sophomore forward Alex Petan was named to the WCHA coaches all-league first team.
The 5-foot-8, 155-pounder is Tech's leading scorer with 15 points, totaling eight goals and seven assists in 18 games.
KEY PLAYERS: Tech junior forward Tanner Kero has six goals and six assists.
On defense, freshman Shane Hanna has two goals and four assists, and freshman Chris Leibinger and senior Brad Stebner each have an on-ice rating of plus-3.
Sophomore Pheonix Copley is one of the WCHA's top goalies, ranking second with a 1.96 goals-against average and fourth with a .928 save percentage.
PP: After going 23 straight power plays without a goal, the Falcon power play is 7-of-28 in the last six games.
BG is sixth in the WCHA at 18.7 percent (17-of-91) and has allowed three-short-handed goals.
PK: The Falcon penalty-killing is fourth in the league at 84.4 percent (76-of-90).
"The results have been a little bit better than the execution has been and we'd like it to be the other way around," Bergeron said. "We want the execution to be good, so we can get better results on a consistent basis."
PENALTIES: Tech is the second-most penalized team in the WCHA (17.4 minutes per game), but is only fifth in league games (14.0).
BG is fifth overall (16.2) and second in league play (15.3).
Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 11:50

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