|Sloat enjoying time with BG hockey (01-31-14)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Friday, 31 January 2014 10:28|
Jake Sloat's last two seasons at Bowling Green have been frustrating.
But the senior has remained a positive influence on the Falcon hockey team.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder missed BG's final 40 games last season after breaking his ankle during the team's Canadian exhibition Oct. 7.
This season, Sloat has played in just two games as the Falcons' depth on defense has increased.
Sloat, recruited as a walkon by former head coach Dennis Williams, played regularly his first two seasons. He had two goals and 14 assists in 75 games.
"Every second of my experience here has been great, very positive, and I wouldn't trade it for the world," Sloat said.
Although Sloat isn't guaranteed to play tonight and Saturday against Michigan Tech in the Ice Arena, he still works hard every day in practice.
The Colorado native had an assist and blocked three shots in BG's 6-2 win over Lake Superior last Saturday.
"I understand the circumstances and what my role is, but it's been great to be a part of the team," Sloat said. "We have a great group of guys here, and they're my best friends. They've been very supportive and helped me through the tough times and when I've struggled."
Even though Sloat is disappointed he's not in the lineup every night, he doesn't complain about his situation.
"Coming to the rink every day and practicing is very difficult when you don't see light at the end of the tunnel, when you don't see Friday night as a reward," BG head coach Chris Bergeron said. "When you continue to play and continue to push as he has, that takes character, that takes perseverance. He has the respect of his teammates."
Sloat, who has a 3.54 grade-point average, will pursue a career in business/management.
His dad, Scott, is the director of operations for Smiling Moose Deli, a sandwich chain based in the western United States.
"There are a lot of guys on this team we're very proud of, and he's one of them," Bergeron said. "What he's been through, how he doesn't take his opportunity for granted, is really nice to see from a 23-year-old. His focus, and his energy and excitement to be a part of his thing haven't diminished."
STREAKING: BG's Dan DeSalvo has a point in seven of the last eight games, totaling two goals and 10 assists in that span.
DeSalvo is second in the WCHA with 27 points, including a league-best 21 assists.
Teammate Adam Berkle has goals in the last six games, Ryan Carpenter has three goals and one assist in the four games he's played and Mark Cooper has three goals and two assists in the last three games.
WCHA: BG's Bryce Williamson is tied for ninth in scoring with 23 points, while Ralfs Freibergs is second in assists with 17.
BG's Tommy Burke is second in the WCHA with a 2.18 goals-against average and fourth with a 921 save percentage.
HOT: BG's Tomas Sholl has stopped 44-of-47 shots in his last two games, wins over Robert Morris and Lake Superior.
WHO TO WATCH: Tech sophomore forward Alex Petan is one of the WCHA's best players, totaling 11 goals and 10 assists.
Tech sophomore Jamie Phillips has started the last five games in goal, posting a 2.15 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
Phillips has a 2.11 goals-against and a .919 save percentage in eight games this season, while classmate Pheonix Copley has a 2.52 goals-against and an .899 save percentage in 19 games.
PP/PK: Tech's killed 16 of its 18 short-handed chances this month. The Huskies are second in the WCHA and 12th nationally at 85.2 percent.
The Falcon power play scored in Saturday's win over Lake Superior, snapping a streak of five five straight games without a goal.
BG's power play is sixth in the league at 16.8 percent, going 2-of-22 in the last six games.
The BG penalty-killing is fourth in the WCHA and 14th nationally at 84.8 percent, while Tech's power play is next-to-last in the league at 10.4 percent.
BG has killed 16 of its last 17 short-handed chances over the last six games.
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