Bowling Green is hoping to be the surprise team in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association this season.
The Falcons were a unanimous pick for last place in the league coaches poll.
BG has finished last in the league in three of the last four seasons, including last season when they
were 8-19-1 in CCHA play.
The Falcons, 0-4 overall, start league play tonight and Saturday at Nebraska-Omaha (3-0-1). Faceoff is
tonight at 8:35 and Saturday at 9:05 p.m.
"We want to get started on the right foot in the league," BG coach Dennis Williams said.
"We have six games (including two exhibitions) under our belt and the outcomes aren’t what we
wanted, but I’ve seen a steady improvement which is good."
The Falcons play their first two league series on the road. They travel to Ferris State next weekend
before hosting Alaska Nov. 13-14.
"We have a lot to prove," BG senior James Perkin said.
In league games this season, teams will receive three points for a regulation or overtime victory, two
points for a shootout win and one point for a shootout loss.
No points are earned for a regulation or an overtime loss.
All wins were worth two points last season, and shootout losers received one point.
"Points are critical, now that wins are worth three points each," Williams said. "You want
to come back with points, whether it’s three points or all six. League play is fun. This is what you’ve
worked for all summer and all September for. Every game is important, but the league is what really
BALANCE: BG shuffled its forward lines for last Saturday’s game against Providence and the move paid off.
The team had relied heavily on three lines during its first five contests and many players became
fatigued in the third period, when special teams duties also were factored in.
The BG coaches broke up the top three lines and balanced the team’s top nine forwards among all four
"We needed to spark some offense, get some jump in the lineup," Williams said, adding the idea
came about 12:30 a.m. Saturday after Friday night’s 7-2 loss to Providence.
BG was a 3-1 loser Saturday, but had 34 shots on goal.
"All four lines contributed evenly to the offense," Williams said.
BG’s key players were averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
"Using four lines helps a lot," Perkin said. "It gives you more time to rest and get ready
for your next shift, and you can go out there at 100 percent every time, instead of maybe just 75."
PAGEAU: Although BG freshman forward Nathan Pageau doesn’t have a point, Williams is pleased with his
"He’s going to be a heck of a player," Williams said. "He can play at this level. He needs
to shoot the puck more. He doesn’t have to be a play-maker. He should have confidence in himself because
he can skate well and finish plays."
Pageau, a member of BG’s power play, had 48 goals and 55 assists for Hamilton in the Ontario Provincial
(Junior) Hockey League last season.
ALL-STAR: UNO senior Eddie DelGrosso is one of the league’s best defensemen. He had six goals and 28
assists last season and is outstanding playing the point on the power play.
"He’s their main factor. We have to keep an eye on him," Williams said. "He likes to jump
into the rush. He’s an offensive-minded (defenseman). To stop him, we have to be physical with
MORE UNO: Senior forwards Rich Purslow and Nick Fanto are tied for UNO’s scoring lead with five points.
Each has two goals and three assists.
Senior Jeremie Dupont and sophomore John Faulkner each have started twice in goal.
Faulkner has a 0.94 goals-against average and a .958 save percentage and has relieved Dupont (6.68, .700)
in both of his starts.
PK: BG’s penalty-killing is tied for eighth in the league at 83.3 percent (20-of-24), while UNO is last
at 81 percent (17-of-21).
BG is averaging just 13 penalty minutes per game.
"Discipline makes your penalty-kill even better," Williams said.