|Williamson becomes consistent player for Falcons (01-18-14)|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON, Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 18 January 2014 01:01|
And now the senior on the Falcon hockey team has added consistency to his game.
The 6-foot, 190-pound right wing has been one of the BG’s best players almost every game this season.
He’s tied for fifth in scoring in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with a career-high 21 points, and tied for ninth in goals with 10.
Williamson, who has played in all 26 games, leads BG with six power-play goals and has an on-ice rating of plus-1.
He also skates on the penalty-killing unit, which ranks 12th nationally at 85.1 percent.
Williamson’s play has helped BG to records 12-9-5 overall and 9-6-3 in the WCHA, good for third place in the league.
“I’m taking the same mentality on the ice every day — trying to get better and be the best player I can be,” Williamson said “My goal is to be the best player on the ice every day.
“Being a senor, it’s my last kick at the can. Coming into the year, I wanted to make it a good one, and not have any regrets. I’ve been a little more focused this year.”
Williamson came to BG as a highly-routed scorer from St. Albert in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He was the league’s leading scorer during the 2009-10 season, totaling 107 points on 41 goals and 66 assists.
But his play at BG during his first three seasons was up and down, even though he totaled 26 goals and 16 assists in 115 games.
“What we’re seeing this year, on most nights, is what Bryce has been built up to be,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said.
“He’s a guy who can skate. He’s a handful because he’s a bigger guy. He’s got well above average skills, and he can make players around him better. He can create (offense and space) for himself. It’s the total package conversation with him.’’
His 10 goals are just two shy of the 12 he had last season. His previous career high for points was 19 last season.
He was one of BG’s best players late last season, and his solid continued this season.
Williamson also is excelling in the classroom where he has a 3.72 grade-point average in business/finance.
“There’s a confidence about him,” Bergeron said. “That confidence has been built up because he’s been consistent. He’s doing it everyday in practice. He’s just not doing it in games.”
KEY SERIES: The Falcons, idle this weekend, fell into third place Friday with Minnesota State’s 4-2 win over Ferris State.
The loss was Ferris’ first of the season in league play after a 12-0-2 start.
Ferris leads the league with 26 points, followed by MSU with 22 and BG with 21.
BG has played 18 games, one more than MSU and three more Ferris.
Ferris plays at MSU again tonight.
GOALIES: Although sophomore Tommy Burke has a 0.98 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage in his last four games, Bergeron declined to name him the No. 1 goalie.
“He’s on top of his game right now,” Bergeron said. “Our focus for next Friday (Jan. 24 against Lake Superior) will be to pick the goalie who gives us the best chance to win. Tommy’s definitely a major part of that conversation.
“I don’t want, by any means, to discourage Tomas Sholl at this point. We need Tomas, whether that means he’s starting, whether he’s pushing (Burke).”
Burke, who is second in the league with a 2.07 goals-against average and fourth with a .924 save percentage, has started four straight games and seven of the last eight.
“I just like his approach. He’s a more confident guy this year,” Bergeron said. “He’s stronger mentally and physically this season. We like the progression of where he’s at.”
Sholl, a freshman, has a 2.58 goals-against and an .899 save percentage.
STATS: BG junior forward Dan DeSalvo leads the league in scoring with 24 points. He has six goals and a league-best 18 assists in 26 games.
Falcon sophomore defenseman Ralfs Freibergs is tied for the league in defense scoring with 17 points and is second in assists overall with 16.
PP: The BG power play has scored just three times in 26 chances over the last eight games.
BG is sixth in the league at 17.1 percent.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 18 January 2014 08:03|
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