The Falcon hockey program’s annual alumni golf outing is Friday and Saturday.
The main golf outing is Saturday at Forrest Creason Golf Course. Registration starts at approximately 10-10:30 a.m., followed by lunch at about 11 and a shotgun start at noon. Dinner follows at the Ice Arena at approximately 5:30-6 p.m.
The weekend also includes an alumni hockey game Friday night at 6:30 and post-game beer and pizza in the Ice Arena. The weekend begins with an optional golf event Friday afternoon at Stone Ridge Golf Club.
“We just want it to be a chance for guys to come back,” said BG assistant coach Ty Eigner, who oversees the outing for the coaching staff. “Whether you were a national champion or not, a Hobey Baker (Award) winner or not or an All-American or not, we want you to come back and experience Bowling Green again, hang out with your buddies and have a good time.”
Twenty-five foursomes of former Falcons will play Saturday. Eigner said the outing will include players from all six decades of the program’s club and varsity teams.
“It’s not a big fund-raiser for us,” Eigner said. “It’s a really, really fun weekend for guys who played hockey here, and for them to re-engage with their teammates and re-engage with the hockey program. That’s all we want out of it.”
Saturday’s turnout will be the largest for the outing since Eigner, head coach Chris Bergeron and assistant coach Barry Schutte took over the Falcon program in April 2010. The outing had just over 20 foursomes last summer.
“It’s steadily grown during our 6½ years,” Eigner said. “This is the biggest one we’ve had in our time here, and we’re excited about that.”
The outing originally started as the HOGO — Hockey Oldtimers Golf Outing — which was run by former equipment manager Don Woods. Woods has since retired, but Eigner said he’ll be in BG this weekend.
“He ran the whole thing back in the day,” said Eigner, who played in the HOGO. Eigner played for the Falcons from 1988-93. “He did a great job, and we’re trying to continue what he started.”
The coaching staff also uses the weekend to build relationships with the alums. Bergeron and Schutte both played college hockey at Miami.
“For me, I have a history here in terms of being an alum,” Eigner said. “There’s a segment of the population I know and have a relationship with, and then I want to try to engage and build a relationship with the guys I don’t know.
“For Barry and Berge, they’ve built relationships with these guys. We want you to come back. It’s a way for you to meet us, and it’s a way for us to meet you, and gives us a chance to build a relationship. That’s all we’ve ever wanted as a staff.”
Eigner said the outing is always the first weekend after July 4. Very few alums live in the Northwest Ohio area, with most of the closest alums living in the Detroit and Cleveland areas.
“Most guys have to make a fairly significant commitment to come for the weekend,” Eigner said. “It’s nice guys can do that. They put it on their calendar to come back to BG, and enjoy each other’s company for a weekend. With guys all different eras coming back, it makes for a really great group of guys.”
Planning for the event is minimal, Eigner said.
“It pretty much plans itself,” Eigner said. “You send a few emails out, give guys the dates and let them know what the schedule is, and it pretty much takes care of itself. It’s not a big fund-raiser. We’re not looking for sponsors. We’re not trying to make this into something it’s not.
“We want it to be a very enjoyable weekend for everyone. We want them to come back and have fun, and re-engage or stay engaged and enjoy the program, whatever they need out of the deal.”
BG equipment manager Scott “Scooter” Jess and former Falcon goalie Jason Piwko (1995-99) arrange for most of the prizes for the outing, Eigner said.
“’Scooter’ does an unbelievable job of getting items donated as prizes. He’s got a relationship with a bunch of vendors in the hockey world,” Eigner said. “Jason, who works for a liquor distributor, is able to get us product and prizes. They get us a lot of really nice prizes.”
Brian Contris and his family, who own Pioneer Packing in BG, donate the meat for Saturday’s lunch and dinner.
“Everyone leaves here with a prize, a full belly and a lot of bang for the buck,” Eigner said. “It’s a low key, really, really fun weekend for everyone.”