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Falcons' Hammond on top of his game again (02-08-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 08 February 2013 11:54
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File Photo. BGSU's Andrew Hammond defends the goal durign a game against UOIT. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Andrew Hammond is on top of his game again.
The Bowling Green senior goalie has been terrific during the second half of the season, posting a 2.14 goals-against average and a .932 percentage in his last 14 games.
BG, 8-4-2 in its last 14 games, faces Michigan State this weekend. The teams play tonight in BG and Saturday at MSU.
"There's a lot more control to my game," Hammond said. "I've simplified everything. There haven't been as many goals that I'd like to have back. I've been more consistent from start to finish in most of the games."
Hammond had a difficult first half this season, but has improved his season goals-against to 2.52 and and save percentage to .917.  He started all 44 games last season, recording a 2.73 goals-against and a .903 save percentage.
"I've improved over the last year, just technique and performance ability," said Hammond, who has started 22 of BG's 28 games this season. "I feel good about where my game is."
Hammond had started 55 straight games until he suffered an elbow injury Oct. 19 at Colgate just 29 seconds into the game.
The injury sidelined him for three games and he then split starts with freshman Tommy Burke the next three weekends. He's started BG's last eight games and figures to start every game the rest of the way unless BG solidifies its playoff position.
"I like playing every game. It's difficult watching," Hammond said. "It's something I got used to last year. I feel more comfortable when I start playing quite a bit. When you're playing quite a bit, you get into  a routine and a groove."
Hammond's proven to be a workhorse. He usually plays his best late in the season and when he has a heavy workload.
"When you look at goalies in the NHL, when they get into a routine and a groove, that's when they start playing their best. Right now, I feel like I'm in a little bit of a routine and I hope I can stay with that."
COOP: Freshman forward Mark Cooper has played well for BG, totaling nine goals and five assists in 25 games.
"We felt from the beginning of this season that he had the chance to become a special player," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "He's a lean guy (6-foot-2, 185 pounds), but he thinks the game well and he shoots the puck better than people think."
Cooper has four goals and four assists in his last seven games. He skates on a line with Ryan Carpenter and Dajon Mingo, two of BG's other offensive leaders.
"He's a good hockey player and Mark Cooper has a bright future in this game, if he's willing," Bergeron said. "This is just the beginning. I don't see any reason why he couldn't take his game to a while new level as we continue to move forward."
PP/PK: The Falcons - whose power-play and penalty-killing units rank last in the CCHA - are coming off a good special teams weekend against Lake Superior. The power play was 3-of-11, while the penalty-killing was 7-of-7.
The MSU power play was 4-of-7 in a 6-1 win at BG Nov. 3.
"We just need to be more consistent with our special teams," Bergeron said.
STAR: Sophomore forward Matt Berry leads MSU in scoring with 11 goals and 20 points.
"Matt Berry is as good as there is in the league," Bergeron said. 'He is a dangerous player every time he's on the ice."
MSU: The Spartans, seventh in the coaches poll, are last in the CCHA with records of 5-14-1 overall and 7-18-3 in the league. MSU has lost three straight and is 3-14-2 in its last 19 games.
MSU is last in the league in goals scored (2.07 per game), next-to-last in goals allowed (2.86), eighth in power plays (14.3 percent) and fourth in penalty-killing (85.0).
Freshman Jake Hildebrand is the No. 1 goalie, posting a 2.27 goals-against and a .932 save percentage in 20 games.
MAV: John Mavity, a star defenseman for the Falcons from 1974-78 during their glory days, died of cancer recently. He was 57.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 February 2013 16:05
 

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