The following is an opinion piece. Any factual information included is purely coincidental and most likely a complete accident by the writer. Opinions expressed are the writer’s, and probably should never be the overall opinion of anyone else.
At this point I’m sure you’ve noticed some changes around the site. Todd Pavlack, our faithful founder and photographer, will highlight some of those changes for you this week. One change I wanted to make everyone aware of has to do with our staff.
For the past two seasons Ryan Satkowiak has been a feature writer and columnist for BGSUHockey.com. His Power Rankings and Morning Observations were some of the most popular (and, at times, hilariously controversial) posts on our site. Ryan has decided to focus his time on going back to school and his jobs, which actually earn him a paycheck.
We offered him double what we were paying ourselves, but Ryan is actually pretty good at math and knows what happens when you multiply by zero. However, he has an open invitation to check in anytime he’d like on a part time basis, and we hope he does that sometime. In the meantime you can still follow his excellent coverage of BGSU hockey in the Sentinel-Tribune.
Going forward I’m going to try to write some more than just game day recaps. My work isn’t going to come anywhere near the quality or entertainment value of Ryan’s, but I’m going to give it the old college try. I’m sure the legions of my supporters will flock here like moths to a flame…or mosquitos to those bug killer lights. Either way…
Let’s talk about Friday night.
On Saturday night the Falcons opened their 2015-2016 campaign (unofficially) with a thrilling 4-3 win over the Toronto Varsity Blues. Matt Pohlkamp picked up a loose puck, overpowered his defender, and managed to get a shot past Toronto’s Brent Willows in the final minute to seal the win.
It was a lot of fun to hear the throaty Madhouse crowd of 1,700+ cheer again after a six month break. It says a lot about public perception when your student section is full for an exhibition game, and a lot of credit goes to the Bleacher Creatures and the student body.
It’s hard to judge a team after an exhibition game considering the team has only had what equates to two full practices before Saturday. But, there were some obvious observations moving forward.
First, was the up-tempo style that the Falcon’s pushed throughout the night. Chris Bergeron’s teams pride themselves on being tough teams to play against, and should challenge some team’s conditioning with their breakneck pace.
Second, the Falcons defensemen are young but show signs of depth that Bergeron has yet to see at Bowling Green. I was particularly interested to see the pairing of Chris Pohlkamp and Mark Friedman. Their on-ice chemistry was obvious and should be a great pairing going forward. Bergeron has said we’ll see at least three freshman on the blue line more times than not, so I look forward to seeing their progression as the season moves on.
I’m also interested to see how the goaltending situation shakes out. It was a bit difficult to make any real determination Friday due to Nell sitting out for a disciplinary scratch, but both Burke and Sholl played decently enough for their halves. Bergeron has called the title of “number one” for Burke “fair,” but Sholl did have a decent game and probably faced the better quality of shots. If the California kid can find the consistency he’s been missing he could make things interesting for the Falcons’ last line of defense.
This Friday the Falcons head down to Columbus to face the Buckeyes, and while I vehemently dislike most things that come from that campus it’s still a dangerous series. Last season the visiting teams picked up the wins in the home-and-home series. The Falcons could have realistically been on the wrong end if not for some late game heroics by Brandon Hawkins on the Saturday game in Columbus. Look for a hard hitting, grinding, and unpleasant experience for the teams on the ice. It will also be interesting to see how attendance shakes out Saturday with the students on their Fall Break.
That’s it for this week. We’ll see you throughout the week as we get you ready for the official kick-off to the season. Thanks for reading and Roll Along (Stop trying to make Talons Up happen. It’s not going to happen!)