BGSU hockey ready for stretch run (1-22-14)


Bowling Green is ready for the stretch run in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The Falcons have only 10 league games remaining, starting with this weekend’s home series against Lake
BG is third in the WCHA, three points behind second-place Minnesota State and five points behind
first-place Ferris State.
The Falcons and MSU each have played 18 games, two more than Ferris.
The top four teams in the league host quarterfinal playoff series. The third-through ninth-place teams
are separated by only seven points.
Lake Superior is tied with Michigan Tech and Alaska for seventh-place in the 10-team league.
"We feel good about where we are right now," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "We feel good
about where we are in the standings. We feel good about how we’re playing today."
The Falcons, who were idle last weekend, are 5-1-2 in their last eight games overall, including a 4-0-2
record in their last six league games.
"We feel good about the second half to this point," Bergeron said.
REMATCH: The Falcons lost two 4-3 decisions at Lake Superior Nov. 29-30.
BG held a one-goal lead in the third period of both games.
"We felt they were two hard-fought games and we found a way to be on the losing side of both. That’s
a compliment to Lake Superior," Bergeron said. "They took care of their home ice and we need
to take care of our home ice against them. That’s where it starts for us.
"I’m not talking about revenge. I’m talking about making amends for a series where we didn’t play
well enough and they played better than us from start to finish."
LEARNING: The Lake Superior series was part of a tough stretch for the Falcons, who lost five games and
tied one when they held the lead late in the second period or the third period. Now, they’re learning to
play as a favorite because of their recent success.
"The more times we have the lead and the more times we have to play under those circumstances, the
better we’ll be at it," Bergeron said. "We have to learn how to play as the favorite. We have
to learn how to play with a lead and we’re learning. The only way to get better at those things is to
live through it. They’re necessary experiences for us to have."
SECOND HALF: Again this season, BG is an improved team during the second half – something its done in
each of Bergeron’s four seasons.
Bergeron admitted he was an extremely difficult person to be around during the first half in each of his
first two seasons. Now, he’s trying to be more positive during the entire season, focusing more on the
positives, and how the team is playing – instead of the results.
"Last year, I didn’t think I was as difficult to be around during the first half of the year. We
didn’t take our foot off the gas, but we gave ourselves a break," Bergeron said. "We’ve felt
better about our day-to-day the last couple years. Our process has been about the same. The overall vibe
has helped. The first couple years, it was a difficult place to be once we got to the holiday break.
"The second half, this was a much better place to be. The results said that. Our overall attitude
said that. Our attitude about coming to the rink was more positive. It’s been a more positive program,
just more positive area to be around the second half of the season."
HEALTHY: BG sophomore Brent Tate will play this weekend after sitting out the Falcons, series against
Alaska Jan. 10-11 because of a sore back.
The forward is key player because of his physical presence and the energy he brings to the team. He also
has eight goals and eight assists.
HOME ICE: BG is 7-2-2 at home this season, while Lake Superior is 6-6-1 on the road.
PK: The BG penalty-killing is12th nationally and third in the league at 85.1 percent.
The Falcons have killed off 15 straight power plays, and 20 of their last 21 attempts. They’re
consistently killing off penalties at key parts of every game.
"We all seem to be on the page this year," Bergeron said. "Last year, we seemed to be
in-between. I like the fact we don’t seem to be in-between any more which means we all understand where
we need to be and when we need to be."
Lake Superior’s power play is eighth in the league at 15.5 percent (15-of-97).

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