Matt Pohlkamp is a player all coaches love to have.
The Bowling Green freshman works hard and plays well every day, whether it be in practice or a game.
The freshman right wing has played in all 26 games for the Falcon hockey team, totaling five goals and
four assists, and an on-ice rating of plus-4.
Quality offense and defense – like that provided by Pohlkamp – is a must for the Falcons tonight and
Saturday when they host Lake Superior in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
"He’s about as consistent a contributor as we have," BG coach Chris Bergeron said. "You
know what you’re gong to get out of him everyday. I like that. The difference between Matt on his best
day and Matt on his worst day is not very big. That’s consistency. Until their junior year, most guys
struggle with consistency."
The 6-foot, 200-pounder skates well, and also plays a physical game and forechecks effectively. He’s
reliable defensively, blocks shots, kills penalties and makes smart plays.
"He just comes and does his thing every day, and he works," Bergeron said. "The effort is
consistent. The execution is consistent. His demeanor is consistent."
Neither Pohlkamp nor BG were sure what to expect this season – although expectations were high.
He had a hard time adjusting from Minnesota high school hockey to the United States (Junior) Hockey
League last season, and suffered a knee injury in late December.
He eventually was traded to the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American (Junior) Hockey League, and
He had eight goals and on-ice rating of plus-11 in 18 regular-season games with Bismarck, and three goals
and six assists in 11 playoff games.
"In the past, consistency hasn’t been one of my strengths and that really bothered me,"
Pohlkamp said. "Starting this year, that was my main focus – to be consistent. If you’re consistent
every day, you’re going to be a top player. I’ve tried to be ready to go every day, instead of not being
there mentally some days."
Although Pohlkamp has five goals, he he’s had enough quality chances to have at least twice that.
The Brainerd, Minn. skates on one of BG’s top three lines, and Bergeron expects him to eventually skate
on the power play during his career.
"There’s more offense there," Bergeron said. "You keep getting chances, those pucks will
start going in. You just have to put your time in."
PP: The BG power play has scored just three times in 26 chances over the last eight games.
BG is seventh in the league at 17.1 percent.
"We need goals," Bergeron said. "I know it starts with process and I know it starts with
(offensive) zone time, and we have that. Let’s make sure our focus is results as well. Now, we have to
Lake Superior’s penalty-killing is eighth in the league at 80.9 percent.
SERIES: The Lakers enter the series 11-12-1 overall and 7-9 in the league, good for a three-way tie with
Michigan Tech and Alaska for seventh-place. BG, third in the league, is 12-9-5, 9-6-3.
"I compare them to Ferris State in that you know what you’re going to get from Lake Superior every
year," Bergeron said of Lake Superior. "They’re a hard team to play against. They don’t care
if it’s on the road or at home. You get a really strong effort from Lake Superior. They just come up
with ways of winning games.
"(Head coach) Jim Roque and his staff have done a great job of establishing who they are and not
being worried about who they’re not. That’s a great example and model for the rest of us."
Lake Superior has lost five straight games, although it lead in 6-3, 4-2 losses at 15th-ranked Notre Dame
STATS: The Lakers are fifth in the league in scoring (2.67 goals per game) and eighth in goals allowed
(3.04 per game).
LEADERS: Freshman forward Alex Globe is the Lakers’ leading scorer with 23 points, including nine goals.
Senior forward Colin Campbell and junior defenseman Kevin Czuczman each have eight goals and assists.
Seniors Kevin Kapalka (2.51 goals-against average, .931 percentage) and Kevin Murdock (3.57, .900) have
split time in goal.
Murdock has started the last three games after Kapalka suffered an undisclosed injury Jan. 10.