BG leading scorer Dan Sexton wlll lead the Falcons against Notre Dame this weekend.
Nov. 18, 2008
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO -
Bowling Green (5-5-2, 4-3-1-0 CCHA) vs. #5/#6 Notre Dame (7-3-1, 3-2-1-1 CCHA)
Nov. 21, 2008 Notre Dame, Ind. (Joyce Center - 2,713) 7:35
#5/#6 Notre Dame (7-3-1, 3-2-1-1 CCHA) vs. Bowling Green (5-5-2, 4-3-1-0 CCHA)
Nov. 22, 2008 Bowing Green, Ohio (BGSU Ice Arena - 5,000) 7:05
The Bowling Green State University hockey team will have its first split series of the season as they battle Notre Dame this weekend. The two teams begin the weekend with a 7:35 p.m. contest at the Joyce Center on Friday before they complete the weekend series at the BGSU Ice Arena. Opening faceoff is at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. The same two teams will play another weekend series in two weeks (Dec. 12-13).
All games this season can be heard on WBGU 88.1 FM. Bob Mills will provide the play-by-play with Everett Fitzhugh (Friday) and Brian Fisher (Saturday) doing the color commentary. The pregame show will air 30 minutes prior to the opening face-off. The broadcast can be heard globally on both www.bgsufalcons.com and www.bgrso.org.
The game on Saturday against Notre Dame will air live locally on the Buckeye Cable System Network (BCSN) with Greg Franke calling the play-by-play and former BGSU hockey coach Buddy Powers providing the color commentary.
Live stats for all Falcon games are available on the BGSU web site (www.bgsufalcons.com). Stats can be accessed from the schedule page in the hockey section of the web site by clicking on the "gametracker" icon on the right hand side of the page.
CARRYING THE LOAD
The Falcons' top line of senior Brandon Svendsen and sophomores David Solway and Dan Sexton continues to carry a large portion of the load offensively. In BG's sweep of Northern Michigan last weekend, the line accounted for all three points on both goals in Friday's 2-1 win and they again accounted for all three points on the game-winning goal in Saturday's win by the same score. In CCHA play thus far (eight games), this line has accounted for 12 of the 15 BG goals, collected 17 of the 22 assists, and 29 of the 37 points. They are a combined plus-16 while the rest of the team is minus-34 with only one other player, senior defenseman Tim Maxwell (+3), on the positive side of the on-ice rating ledger. The line combined to score seven points (3-4) the first weekend, five points (2-3) the second weekend, two points (1-1) the third weekend, 12 points (5-7) the fourth weekend, six points (3-3) the fifth weekend and nine points (3-6) last weekend. Overall this season, the trio has scored 17 of the 28 Falcon goals, they have collected 24 of the 41 assists, and 41 of the 69 points. The top BG line has accounted for at least one point on 22 of the 28 goals this season. Two of the players have been involved in 13 goals this season and they have combined as a line to score five times, all five of those occurrences in the last four home games. At least two of the players from the line have had a hand in 11 of the last 15 BG goals covering the last eight games.
Senior Brandon Svendsen, the left-winger on the line, was credited with an assist on both of David Solway's goals in the Friday night win (2-1 in overtime) over Northern Michigan and he was credited with one of the assists on the-game-winning goal by Dan Sexton Saturday night. The alternate captain for the Falcons this season has scored a point in seven games this season and he has a point in five of the last six games totalling 10 points (2-8) in those games. Svendsen and Sexton lead the team with five multi-point games with Svendsen having four of his five multi-point games in his last six contests. He is tied for second on the team with 13 points (5-8) while he leads the team in CCHA play with 11 points (3-8). The Roseville, Minn. native has a +5 on-ice rating for the season. He is well on his way to the best season of his career with a 19-point year as a freshman his best. He has already surpassed his goal total from all of last season when he scored four goals and had 13 points. Svendsen ranks among the CCHA leaders in six categories for all games and seven categories for league games only. He is tied for sixth in the CCHA for all games scoring and is fifth in scoring for league games.
Sophomore David Solway had the first two-goal game of his career in the Friday night win over Northern Michigan last weekend. He scored the equalizing tally in the 2-1 win at the 18:20 mark of the third period. He then notched his first game-winner of the season, and third of his career, just 1:57 into overtime. He made it a three-point weekend when he earned an assist on the game-winning goal Saturday night, a Dan Sexton goal with just 2:14 remaining. For his efforts, he was named the CCHA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK, the first time he has earned conference honors. Solway has a point in eight games this season, including five of the last six contests, in which he has accounted for nine points (5-4). He has four multi-point games to his credit this season. He is also well on his way to new career highs as he had 15 points (9-6) in the 2007-08 season. The Green Bay, Wis. native has an on-ice rating of +6 for the season. He is second on the squad with 13 points (tied with Svendsen) and his nine points in league play is also second on the team (tied with Sexton). He ranks among the CCHA leaders in four overall categories and the same number in league games. He is tied for sixth in the CCHA for all games scoring and is tied for eighth in CCHA play. His seven goals this season, which leads the team, is tied for second in the CCHA and puts him tied for 27th in the nation (0.58 goals per game).
Sophomore Dan Sexton had his second game-winning goal of the season in the Saturday night win over Northern Michigan. His tally came with just 2:14 left in the 2-1 win. Sexton had earned assists on both goals the Falcons scored in their Friday night victory, by the same score, over the Wildcats. Sexton, who leads the team with 15 points (5-10), has a point in a team-best nine games this season with five of those multi-point efforts. The Apple Valley, Minn. native, who had seven goals and 14 assists as a freshman, has an on-ice rating of plus-7. He ranks among the CCHA leaders in seven categories and six different categories for league games. He is fourth in the CCHA, for all games, in scoring and his 1.25 points per game ranks 26th in the nation. His 0.83 assist per game average is tied for 26th-best in the country while his two game-winning goals is tied for the fourth-best total among all players in the country.
After making two trips in the first three weeks of the season, the Falcons will now look to use the friendly confines of the BGSU Ice Arena to get on a roll. Beginning with the series against Nebraska-Omaha, BGSU will play 12 of its next 16 games at home, and looking even further down the schedule, 15 of 20. After concluding a home series with Lake Superior on Jan. 24, the Falcons will have played 17 of their first 26 games at home. But, of course, then the schedule flip-flops and BG will play seven of their last 10 on the road to conclude the regular season. Beginning this weekend, eight of the next 14 BG games will be against teams who qualified for last year's NCAA Tournament. The Falcons are currently in a period where they will play 11 of their next 14 games at home and they will not make another overnight trip this season until the Jan. 30-Feb. 1 series at Miami, which begins that period in which they play seven of their last 10 on the road to complete the regular season.
SPRATT AMONG CAREER LEADERS
Senior goaltender Jimmy Spratt has started all 12 games this season. Spratt recorded his first career shutout in the 1-0 win over Alaska earlier this season turning away all 30 shots he faced. The Chesterfield, Mich. native is coming off possibly the best weekend of his career earning the win in both games of the Northern Michigan series. For the two games, he had a 0.99 goals-against and a .961 save percentage (two goals/49 saves). It was the first time since his freshman season (Nov. 4-5, 2005 vs. Nebraska-Omaha - his second and third career starts) that he won both games of a series. One of the goals he allowed was a power-play tally. He has allowed three or fewer goals in eight of the 12 games and has a 2.56 goals-against, more than a full goal better than his career GAA (3.66) coming into this season. He has just three games of 30 or more saves and has an .896 save percentage. In the eight league games, Spratt has a 2.11 goals-against and a .916 save percentage. He has now played in 78 career games, with 75 of those starts. Spratt, who has 1,896 career saves, which is good for 10th-place on the BG list, needs 63 saves to surpass Bob Petrie (93-97) for the #9 spot. Spratt is ninth on the BGSU career list for saves in CCHA games with 1,423. He is eight saves behind Angelo Libertucci's (1989-93) total of 1,431 in the #8 spot and 60 shy of Petrie, who is seventh on the school's list with 1,483 saves.
ENO OUT INDEFINITELY
The other half of last year's goaltending duo, sophomore Nick Eno, has not played this season because of a left ankle sprain and will now be held out of all activities for the next few weeks in hopes of getting his ankle healed. Eno, who sported a 12-10-0 record, a 2.79 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last year, became the third Falcon netminder to earn CCHA All-Rookie Team honors. He joined Bob Petrie (1994) and Aaron Elllis (1993) as the other first-year Falcon goalies to earn those accolades. The Howell, Mich. native's goals-against average last season ranks seventh on the single-season BG list, while his save percentage is tied for seventh-best.
POWER PLAY NEEDS TO PICK UP THE PACE
The Falcons had a power-play goal in each of the first four games of the season, but have converted at least once in just two of their last eight games. The Falcons are just three-for-44 (6.8%) with the man-advantage in the last eight games (all CCHA contests), but over the same stretch they have killed off 32-of-the-35 (91.4%) opposition opportunities on the power play. The Falcons are getting their shots with the manpower advantage, 74 in the last eight games and 120 for the season. And, one of the reasons for the Falcons success on the penalty-kill is the fact they have limited the opposition to only 34 shots in league play, and 57 shots (on 62 opportunities) for the season. BG is second in the CCHA, for league games, on the penalty-kill.
FALCON QUICK HITS
BG returns 21 letterwinners from a year ago and seven of their top 10 scorers...the Falcons play 14 games this season against teams who played in the NCAA Tournament last season...the Falcons have a 4-1-1 record at home this season and in compiling that mark, they have outshot their opponents, 257 (42.8 avg.) to 139 (23.2 avg.)...despite the wide difference in shots, BG has just a 17-14 edge in goals...BG has three one-goal victories, winning twice on red-lighters in the last four minutes of the game, and once in overtime...Bowling Green is 6-2-1 at home in their last nine games dating back to the end of last season...BG leads the CCHA for all games and league games in shots...the Falcons, who had their second contest of the season with 50 shots in the Friday win over Northern Michigan, are averaging 36.6 shots per game overall and 37.2 shots in league play...BG has nine games this season with 30 or more shots, the opposition four...junior forward Josh Boyd scored his second goal of the season, an unassisted tally, to get the Falcons on the board against NMU Saturday night on a great individual effort...it was his first goal against a CCHA opponent since early in his freshman season...BG's sweep of NMU was the first at home in a CCHA regular-season series since Nov. 4-5, 2005 when they beat Nebraska-Omaha in both ends of a weekend series at the BGSU Ice Arena...BG has given up a goal in only 17 of the 36 periods this season, but in 10 of those 17 periods in which the opposition has scored, they have yielded two or more tallies...by comparison, BG has scored in 20 periods, but they have more than one goal in only four of those 20 periods...BG had a string of 11 successive periods in which they scored at least one goal earlier this season...the Falcons' three-game unbeaten streak is tied for the 10th-longest in the nation...BG is third in all games and second in league play in penalty minutes...BG is averaging just 14.4 minutes per game overall and only 11.2 minutes in CCHA games...BG is three-for-41 (7.3%) on the power-play on the road this season...the Falcons have scored 12 goals in their wins this season and they have scored nine goals in the games in which they have lost...BG has scored three goals on three occasions this season when they have lost.
NOTRE DAME NOTES
The Fighting Irish return 18 players from last year's team that finished 27-16-4 overall and 15-9-4 in the CCHA, good for fourth-place...Notre Dame, which comes into the weekend fifth or sixth in the nation depending on the poll, are unbeaten in their last six games (5-0-1) that includes a sweep of Northern Michigan on the road, wins over Boston College and Providence on the road, and a win and a tie (Notre Dame won the shootout) at home with Lake Superior last weekend...they are 3-2-1 at home this season and were 11-4-3 in the Joyce Center last season, 8-3-3 in CCHA play...much like last season, the Fighting Irish feature a balanced scoring attack as 10 players have six or more points for the season (last year they had 10 players with 19 or more points)...junior Kevin Deeth leads the team with 10 (2-8) points while freshman Billy Maday (5-4), second among first-year players in the CCHA, and junior defenseman Brett Blatchford (0-9) each have nine points...last year's leading scorer senior Erik Condra (15-23--38) is one of three players with eight points (3-5) this season...Notre Dame has 15 different players who have scored at least one goal this season with Maday the team leader...senior Jordan Pearce, who led the CCHA in league games last season with a 1.80 goal-against, is 6-3-1 this season with a 2.10 goals-against, seventh in the CCHA, and a .920 save percentage, eighth in the CCHA...head coach Jeff Jackson has compiled a 79-45-12 record in three-plus seasons at Notre Dame while his overall record in nine-plus seasons is 261-97-37...of course, Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA title game last season before falling to Boston College.
The Falcons swept their first series of the season handing Northern Michigan a pair of 2-1 defeats, the Friday game in overtime. In the Friday victory, it looked like the Falcons might have a 50-shot night and not score. But, sophomore David Solway, and his linemates, senior Brandon Svendsen and sophomore Dan Sexton, combined on a pair of goals in a span of 3:37 to give the Falcons the win. Solway scored at 18:20 of the third period and again just 1:57 into overtime as the top BG line accounted for all three points on both goals. The Falcons had a 50-20 edge in shots while neither team converted on the power play (BG was 0-8 and NMU was 0-4). NMU goalie Brian Stewart made 48 saves while BG`s Jimmy Spratt had 19 stops. A late Bowling Green goal in the Saturday contest was the difference for the Falcons in completing the sweep. After junior Josh Boyd had put the Falcons ahead with an unassisted goal in the first period on a spectacular individual effort, and NMU had tied it midway through the final stanza, the top BG line combined on the game-winner at 17:46 of the third period. BG had a 43-31 edge in shots as Stewart had 41 saves and Spratt stopped 30 shots. NMU was one-of-four with the man-advantage while BG failed on five opportunities.
The Falcons step outside CCHA play for the first time in six weeks hosting Minnesota State for a weekend series at the BGSU Ice Arena. Both games of the Friday-Saturday series will begin at 7:05 p.m. Minnesota State is ranked 11th in the country in both polls this week.