The Bowling Green State University hockey team is close to returning to their nest this season.
This weekend, the Falcons take on Miami (OH) in a home and home series. The Redhawks will be led by former BGSU coach Chris Bergeron.
Bergeron said playing against BGSU means more than playing against any other team. Even though he is becoming less and less familiar with the team, he is still tied to the Bowling Green community.
“It will be different, but I’m excited to play them (BGSU). Miami and Bowling Green should be playing hockey against each other forever as far as I’m concerned. This weekend will be fun,” Bergeron said.
On Friday, BGSU will travel to Oxford to take on the Redhawks. Then on Saturday, BGSU will have their home opener against Miami.
Head coach Ty Eigner said he is excited for his team to fully experience a full crowd at Slater Family Ice Arena.
“Some of our guys have never experienced Slater Family Arena at its best. We are excited for the opportunity to have a big crowd in here and an opponent that people are certainly familiar with,” Eigner said.
The Redhawks (1-3) are on a three-game losing streak with one loss to Ferris State and two losses to Michigan State.
All four games for them have been on the road and Friday will be their home opener. Eigner thinks the game on Friday will be a challenge for his team.
“We expect them to play really, really hard. Everybody knows how exciting home openers are in our sport. We anticipate them being really excited to play us,” Eigner said.
The transfers on both teams could play a big role in this series.
Falcon fans will be familiar with one of the Redhawks’ transfers that will be on the ice this weekend. After playing the last three seasons with the Falcons, defenseman Will Cullen has made an impact on his new team so far.
For Miami, Cullen has two assists. Eigner is making sure his team is aware of what Cullen can do on the ice.
“He’s an offensive defenseman and does a really good job on the power play. We’re aware of what Will brings to the table and the things he’s capable of doing. We will talk about that in our pre-scout meeting for sure,” Eigner said.
For BGSU, Nathan Burke has already been an offensive force. Coming over from the University of Minnesota, Burke already has three goals in the two games against RPI.
Eigner said Burke came highly recommended from Minnesota’s head coach. It seems like Burke has found the right spot to blossom into a great player.
“He seems to be having fun everyday. He’s really enjoying school and has come out of his shell a little bit. He feels really comfortable here because it’s a different environment than at Minnesota,” Eigner said.
Eigner does want to see a better offense from his team against Miami.
Against RPI, BGSU had fewer shot attempts than the Engineers. In the first game, BGSU had 18 shots compared to the 28 shots by RPI.
The attempts did go up the next game as both teams had 22 shot attempts.
Eigner said the offense didn’t perform up to their normal standards. He hopes the small improvement between the two games continues this weekend.
“From an offensive perspective, creating more offensive opportunities has been something we’ve been focused on the last 10 days,” Eigner said.
The Friday game is set to start at 7:05 p.m. at Oxford. On Saturday, the puck will drop at 7:07 p.m. at Slater Family Ice Arena.