Notebook: BG drops in polls, two defensemen commit to Falcons

By February 23, 2015Notebooks

Bowling Green fell from eighth to 11th in the U.S. College Hockey Online Top 20 and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Top 15 announced Monday.

The Falcons have lost three straight games, including 3-2 (overtime) and 4-3 decisions to Northern Michigan last weekend in the Ice Arena.

In the U.S. College Hockey Online voting, the Falcons received 471 points, compared to 617 last week.

In the USA Today voting, BG totaled 140 points, compared to 251 last week.

The Falcons are 18-9-5 overall and 14-7-3 in the WCHA.

Two other WCHA teams were ranked this week — Minnesota State was second and Michigan Tech was third in both polls.

Those two teams play this weekend in Mankato, Minn.

Minnesota State holds a one-point lead over Tech for first place in the WCHA. Tech is eight points ahead of the third-place Falcons.

NEXT: The Falcons try to clinch home-ice for the first round of the league playoffs this weekend at Alaska-Anchorage.

BG has 31 points, seven ahead of fourth-place NMU and Bemidji State. All three teams have four teams remaining. Also this weekend, NMU hosts Lake Superior and Bemidji visits Ferris State.

WCHA STANDINGS

The Falcons need only one point to clinch home ice.

The top four teams host quarterfinal series March 13-14-15.

Anchorage (7-19-4, 4-18-2) is last in the league and trails Lake Superior by three points for the final playoff spot.

WHAT’S LEFT: The final weekend of the regular season March 6-7 has BG hosting Alabama-Huntsville, Minnesota State visiting Bemidji State, and Tech and NMU playing a home-and-home series.

TIEBREAKERS: The tiebreakers in the WCHA depend on whether teams have played four or two head-to-head games in league play this season.

If they’ve played four games, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record.

If they’ve played two games, the first tiebreaker is most league wins.

RECRUITS: BG has received verbal commitments from two defensemen – Matthew Ferrari of the Toronto Junior Canadiens in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, and Carson Musser of the Michigan U18 Nationals.

Ferrari will join the Falcons either next season or for the 2016-17 season. Musser is expected to play at least two seasons of junior hockey and join the Falcons for the 2017-18 season.

Ferrari is in his first full season of junior hockey. He has three goals, 14 assists and 27 penalty minutes in 44 games. He also has two power-play goals and three game-winning goals.

The 6-foot-175-pounder is from Toronto. He turned 17 on Dec. 13.

“Matthew brings stability to our top four defensemen,” Canadiens’ coach Mario Cicchillo said. “As a rookie in the OJHL, he has stepped right in and played in all situations, and he is always one of the first guys at the rink every day.

“He has very good work habits on and off the ice. He is very respectful, and he is well-liked by all of his teammates. Adding to that, he has very good footwork and a good stick. He finds shooting lanes and gets pucks through to the net, and his compete level is very high.”

Musser has eight goals, 22 assists and 40 penalty minutes in 47 games.

He is 6-1, 185 and is from Grand Rapids, Mich. He’ll turn 18 on April 21.

“Carson is a leader both on and off the ice,” Nationals coach Norm Krumpschmid said. “He has been our team captain since Pee Wee and his passion for the game is contagious.

“He is a mobile defenseman with great instincts who can quarterback the power play and shut down the opposing team’s top line. He is a great one-on-one defender who can play a physical or finesse game. He can eat up big minutes and is very durable. Carson is the type of player every coach would love to have.”

His uncle and aunt, Rick and Nadine Musser, live in the BG area. His great aunt and uncle, Sally and Bill Blair, live in BG.

Under NCAA rules, BG coach Chris Bergeron can’t comment on recruits until they’ve signed their national letter of intent.

NONLEAGUE: The WCHA finished nonleague play with a 30-29-9 record, including a 15-12-2 against ranked opponents.

The WCHA was 4-2-2 against Atlantic Hockey, 12-9-3 against the Big Ten, 3-1-2 against the Eastern College Athletic Conference, 3-3-1 against Hockey East and 8-14-1 against the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

The WCHA was just 26-46-12 in nonleague games last season.

Kevin Gordon

About Kevin Gordon

Kevin joined BGSUHockey.com after wrapping up a 27-year run as the Falcon hockey beat writer for the Sentinel-Tribune. He now provides his features, notebooks, and insights with BGSUHockey.com to continue providing Falcon hockey fans with the in-depth coverage they've loved for nearly three decades. He can be reached by e-mail at Kevin@bgsuhockey.com and on Twitter at @KGordonBG.

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