Morning Observations: Diving into 2014

By December 29, 2013Opinion

Winter break was always a weird time for myself as a college student.

I don’t know if you feel this way, or if your experience was different if you actually lived within driving distance from BG, but mid-December was always the first time that I had been home in at least a few months. It’s the end of the semester, you just finished finals and classes and all that stuff, so you’re ready to go home for a few weeks, see your family, meet up with old high school friends, etc.

That all sounds great, in theory. Then after like 10 days you’re missing BG and asking yourself why you even wanted to come home in the first place. That was literally every winter break for me. It was like my brain completely forgot the previous breaks and was just like, yeah let’s go home!

It gets worse when you get older and you’re used to living on your own and not having to document everything you do to mom and dad. That and you’re still not too old to get stuck with all the chores. Boring!

You also tend to forget what day it is, which is what happened to me when I woke up Friday and checked Facebook and saw, “BG vs. BC puck drops in a few hours!” Uh, when did they move this game to Wednesday? Wait, it’s Friday? Oh.

Three Rivers Game 1: Not really a ton to say about this one. BG lost 5-0 which I don’t think is that unexpected. BC may only be ranked No. 7 but the Eagles are among the most talented teams in the nation, even with freshmen Thatcher Demko, Steve Santini and Ian McCoshen in Malmo, Sweden for the World Junior Championship.

Really, that’s how deep the Eagles are. We got to watch the the line of ex-U.S. junior stars Bill Arnold, Kevin Hayes and Johnny Gaudreau do their work in the first period, combining for a goal and six assists. That’s three likely future NHLers, on one line. That’s just dumb.

And really, to the Falcons’ credit, that game could’ve gotten a lot worse. When it was 3-0 about seven minutes into the game, I thought it would get a lot worse. After all, BC has had nine (Wisconsin), 11 (Army) and eight (Penn St. in the Three Rivers Championship) goal games this season. They aren’t afraid to flex their muscles when they are allowed it. BG didn’t allow that to happen and buckled down over the last two and a half periods. Just one of those games where you don’t dwell on the result, take what you learned and apply it going forward.

Three Rivers Game 2: At 2-12-2, Robert Morris isn’t exactly a tough opponent, but this is the type of game you want to win to give you some momentum heading into the second half.

Three minutes into the second period, BG had a 2-0 lead and were looking good. Then they kind of had to weather the storm for the rest of the period, with the Colonials getting 13 shots on net.

Robert Morris got only five in the third and scored two late goals, which sort of kept up with the disturbing recent trend of BG allowing goals late in the third period of close games (fun fact, approximately 43 percent of the goals BG has allowed this season have been in the third period), but ultimately they were able to hold on to secure the win.

After getting a break in the most recent series against Michigan Tech, Tomas Sholl was back in net for this game and played well. He weathered that storm in the second, keeping Robert Morris off the board, and both of the goals he allowed came with the Colonials up a skaters (once on the power play, once with the extra attacker). Nice little confidence builder for him heading into the second half.

It was also nice to see Brett Mohler get his first goal of the season. I don’t think there’s been any player on the team whose career has been as drastically effected by injuries as his has been. After a promising freshman season with 17 points, it seems like he’s been in and out of the lineup with different ailments ever since, including a shoulder surgery in what I believe was his sophomore season. You hope he’ll be able to stay healthy and finish out his BG career on a high note.

Mingo: If you happened to miss the Kevin Gordon report from the middle of last week, Dajon Mingo has been ruled academically ineligible for the remainder of the season.

Should he decide to remain in school, he would have the spring and summer semesters to regain eligibility for next fall. On Twitter, it appears that he has already decided what he’s going to do…

 

Read into that what you will. Should Mingo choose to move on, his only options would be professional, be it in the CHL (Central Hockey League, not Canadian Hockey League), ECHL or whatever deal he could manage to swing. At 23-years old, he’s past the age limit for junior leagues.

This is not Mingo’s first brush with academics. He was redshirted in 2011-12 because he didn’t meet NCAA entrance requirements and, according to Gordon’s report, his absence from the Union series was also due to an academic issue. To the credit of the coaching staff, they aren’t abandoning Mingo and want him to stay in school to continue his education so he has the opportunity, to quote the cheesy NCAA slogan, “To go pro in something other than sports.”

“We want to work towards him getting a degree and we’re committed to doing that,” Bergeron told Gordon.

2014: If you go back and look at last season’s schedule, the second half of the season is taking shape the same way last season’s did.

BG closed 2012 with a 4-1 loss against Notre Dame, before beating Niagara, 3-0, a few days after Christmas. This year? That 5-0 loss against BC before beating Robert Morris.

BG opened up 2013 with a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) and the schedule is set up for a similar run this year.

BG opens 2014 at Huntsville. After losing to the Chargers at the beginning of December, you can bet the Falcons will not be sleeping on them and will be prepared for the intensity UAH will bring. After that, there’s a home series against Alaska, a bye week, a home series against Lake, a home series against Tech, a bye week and a road series against Anchorage.

That was kind of a run-on sentence, but you get the point. If BG brings the same intensity it did at the start of the second half of last season, things should go well for them. If we were laying money odds in Vegas, I would probably have BG favored in just about every game remaining on the schedule. But no pressure guys!

Also, at some point in that stretch, Ryan Carpenter will be back. It could be as soon as this weekend at Huntsville. That’d be a nice late Christmas present for BG hockey fans.

But we shall see what happens. That’s it from me for 2013. Hope you all have a great, safe New Years.

Ryan Satkowiak

About Ryan Satkowiak

Ryan is a features and column writer for BGSUHockey.com. During the day, he works part time for the Sentinel-Tribune and the Findlay Courier, and is a part-time people seater at Buffalo Wild Wings. Ryan covered the BG hockey team for The BG News for two and a half years during his time at BG. You can chat him up on Twitter @Ryan_Satkowiak or by e-mail at Ryan@bgsuhockey.com.

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