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September 29, 2023

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Hockey playing for tenth win at Lake Superior State this weekend

Despite losing three of its past four games, the Falcon hockey team can reach a level not seen in this town in nearly a decade.

By winning just one game this weekend, BG could hit 10 wins this early in the season for the first time in 9 years. Back in 1998-99, the club collected its tenth win 18 games into the season.

This tonight’s Central Collegiate Hockey Association match against Lake Superior State (2-12-4 overall, 0-9-3 CCHA) is the Falcon’s (9-9-0, 6-6-0) 19th match of the year.

Though the Lakers are yet to win a conference game this year, just last weekend they tied nationally-ranked Michigan State. The last time the Falcons faced a weaker CCHA team, Northern Michigan in mid-November, they ended up splitting the series.

For this series, coach Scott Paluch wants to make sure his team collects four points and doesn’t falter in similar fashion against last-place LSSU.

‘Every game and every point is so important in our league,’ Paluch said. ‘Along with that, you realize how good every team is. We want to concentrate on what we do well, and on the road we want to make sure we do that for 60 minutes.’

The underclassmen on BG’s squad will undoubtedly play a key role yet again in putting together 60 minutes of quality hockey this weekend. Sophomore James Perkin and freshman Jake Cepis both collected CCHA honors this week after their performances against Miami.

Perkin and Cepis featured a combined plus-7 rating last weekend as the conference’s top forward and rookie, respectively. Perkin is currently tied with senior tri-captain Derek Whitmore for first in team points with 18.

‘It’s good to see James picking up in the production end,’ Paluch said. ‘He’s been such a good all-around player and a very important part of our team, but he does it kind of quietly. It’s really good to see him off to the sophomore year he’s having, and I think he’s going to have an outstanding career as well.’

Another player likely to have an outstanding college career is Jake Cepis, who happened to be Perkin’s line mate in both Miami games. Cepis has just one less point than Perkin so far with 17- nine goals and eight assists.

‘Jake has taken advantage of the opportunity because he’s been with some really good players, yet he’s a player that makes so many players around him better. That’s been great,’ Paluch said of his five-foot-six freshman who ranks eighth nationally in points-per-game.

‘That’s what they want me to do,’ Cepis said. ‘Obviously I’m not going to sit here and say I expected those points, but it’s a great start.’

The Falcons look to continue the great start as a team in 2008 beginning at 7:05 p.m. tonight and 5:05 p.m. tomorrow from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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