Notebook: BG seeks improvement on power play

By October 14, 2016Notebooks
Bowling Green's Kevin Dufour (right) makes a play as Bemidji State's Kyle Bauman closes in last weekend (Photo by Todd Pavlack/

Bowling Green’s power play is off to a disappointing start.

The Falcons failed to score a power play goal in 13 attempts during 2-1, 4-1 season-opening losses at Bemidji State last weekend.

They had just five shots in 8:04 with the extra man in the Game 1 and nine shots in 11:38 on the power play in Game 2. BG had better scoring chances on the power play in Game 2, but still didn’t score. One of the chances was a 59-second two-man advantage with the score tied 1-1 in the second period.

“Inconsistent, a mirror of our team,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said of the power play against Bemidji.

The Falcons still need more time in the offensive zone, Bergeron said, adding they need to improve their entries, breakouts and puck retrieval.

BG will look for improvement on the power play this weekend when it hosts Western Michigan (2-0) in a non-league series. The teams play tonight in the Ice Arena and Saturday night in Kalamazoo. Face-off on Friday is 7:07 p.m., while Saturday is 7.

“We had a little bit more zone time (Saturday) than we did Friday. 0h for 13 over the course of a weekend tells the story,” Bergeron said.

The BG power play was third in the league last season at 18.8 percent, although it was inconsistent most of the season. The Falcons were 14-of-52 (26.9 percent) on the power play over their final 12 games last season.

NON-LEAGUE: The Western Michigan series starts a stretch of six straight non-league games for the Falcons, who play Ohio State in a home-and-home series Oct. 21-22 and visit Miami Oct. 28-29.

BG’s other two nonleague games are against the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology Dec. 30 at the Huntington Center in Toledo and at home against Mercyhurst Feb. 11.

The Falcons were 3-4-1 in non-league games last season.

RECRUIT: The Falcons have received a verbal commitment from Brandon Kruse, a forward for the Brookings (South Dakota) Blizzard in the North American (Junior) Hockey League.

Kruse is in his first season of junior hockey. He has two goals, one assist, and one minor penalty in seven games this season. The 5-foot-10, 165 pounder turned 17 in February and is from Saline, Michigan.

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

WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos, who were seventh in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference coaches poll, opened the season with a 5-3, 2-1 home-and-home sweep of Ferris State last weekend.

Western Michigan had 83 shots on goal and was 3 of 18 on the power play in the series. Junior forward Aidan Muir had three assists in the series, while junior defenseman Scott Moldenhauer had one goal and one assist, and senior defenseman Taylor Fleming had two assists.

“Their group of forwards seems to be really good,” Bergeron said. “They’re relentless. They’ve got some talent. They’ve got some guys who can really skate. Their forwards are a handful.”

Freshman goalie Ben Blacker stopped 48-of-52 shots against Ferris. The Bronco penalty-killing was 10 of 12.

Western Michigan has four NHL draft picks — freshman forward Wade Allison, second round, Philadelphia; sophomore forward Matt Iacopelli, third round, Chicago; Muir, fourth round Edmonton; and junior forward Frederik Tiffels, sixth, round, Pittsburgh.

Kevin Gordon

About Kevin Gordon

Kevin joined after wrapping up a 27-year run as the Falcon hockey beat writer for the Sentinel-Tribune. After providing another two years of the Falcon hockey coverage fans had grown to love over the past three decades, Kevin decided to hang up his notebook and is now enjoying the retired life. Please join us by sending Kevin a tweet and thank him for all the time he's dedicated to BGSU hockey: @KGordonBG.