Falcons' Mingo emerging as offensive threat
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Friday, 25 January 2013 10:05
Dajon Mingo is gradually adjusting to college hockey.
And the Bowling Green red-shirt freshman is finally emerging as a consistent offensive threat for the Falcons.
He's BG's second-leading scorer with 14 points on five goals and nine assists entering this weekend's series at sixth-ranked Miami.
Mingo started quickly with two goals and three assists in his first four games, but totaled just two assists in his next 12 games.
The fast and skilled forward didn't play last season because he didn't meet NCAA entrance requirements.
Under NCAA rules, he couldn't practice with the team and it took him a while to get the rust off his game once he returned to the ice last fall.
"I've stepped up my game and I'm getting used to the speed and strength of this level," said Mingo, who has three goals and five assists in the last eight games.
Mingo was expected to be an impact scorer this season after totaling 24 goals and 11 assists for Des Moines in the United States (Junior) Hockey League during the 2010-11 season.
"He's been more consistent in practice. The details of his game have been better," BG coach Chris Bergeron said of Mingo's recent output. "We've been harping on him about those details and he's been receptive to it. It's paying off."
Mingo's also improving in the classroom, Bergeron said.
"He's a better student than he even gives himself credit for. He just has to realize there's more in him to give and he'll do well."
NEXT: BG. 8-11-5 overall and 5-8-3-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, faces its third straight Top 10 opponent in Miami (13-6-5, 8-4-4-4).
Last week, BG split a home-and-home series with No. 9 Western Michigan and won at home against No. 7 Notre Dame. BG also posted a win at arch-rival Michigan Jan. 8.
BG and Michigan are tied for ninth in the 11-team CCHA with 19 points, one behind eighth-place Northern Michigan, and three ahead of last-place Michigan State. The Falcons, 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, have played two fewer games than all three of those teams.
Miami is third in the CCHA with 32 points, one behind co-leaders ND and Western.
DEFENSE: Miami leads the nation in the fewest goals allowed (1.58) and is eighth in penalty-killing at 89.1 percent.
Freshmen Jay Williams and Ryan McKay have split time in goal, combining for a 1.55 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage.
"They're taking team's time and space away pretty well," Bergeron said. "Their details of their defensive system are strong and they're doing the small things the way you're supposed to be doing them. They're not giving up a whole lot, whether it be shots or goals."
IMPROVED: BG junior forward Bryce Williamson has seven goals and three assists in 23 games, including four goals and two assists in the last six games.
"He's another guy who came here with a lot of expectations and it seems to be coming together, not out of a fluke," Bergeron said, adding he had a pointed talk with Williamson prior to BG's game at Canisius Jan. 6.
"He's responded," Bergeron said.
He was expected to be a consistent scorer in college after totaling 41 goals and 66 assists in the Alberta Junior Hockey League during the 2009-10 season. But he entered this season with just 14 goals and nine in 75 games at BG.
BACK HOME: Miami is home for the first time since a Dec. 7-8 series against Lake Superior. The RedHawks have played eight straight games on the road, going 4-3-1.