Icers try to keep the good times rolling

Ethan Magoc and Ethan Magoc

Appearances can be deceiving.

The BG hockey team (5-2, 4-1) will have to keep this in mind this weekend as they host Northern Michigan (2-8, 1-7) for two games at the BGSU Ice Arena. Each game begins at 7:05 p.m.

The Falcons come into the game riding high after posting four straight wins over Western Michigan and Ferris State. Since losing their first Central Collegiate Hockey Association game against Notre Dame on Oct. 23, the Falcons have averaged over four goals per game. This is partly because the team has fired so many shots at the opposing net, averaging nearly 32 per game.

Despite their success within games during the hot streak, coach Scott Paluch stated his players still have plenty to improve upon.

‘There’s a lot, it’s early,’ Paluch said. ‘We like how we’ve been able to withstand some of the momentum swings on the road, but we still want to find more consistency in our game throughout all three zones.

‘The important thing is that we understand some of the main reasons we’re having success. Moving our feet and winning a lot of puck battles is keeping us there.’

The Falcons will have to keep moving forward in their improvement over last season to collect their first six-game CCHA sweep in nearly 20 seasons. Northern Michigan has triumphed over a CCHA opponent just once this season; a 4-3 overtime win in their most recent game against Western Michigan.

However, with the exception of a 9-2 rout courtesy of top-ranked Miami, every game the Wildcats have lost was decided by two goals or less.

‘Oh no, this is a good hockey team,’ Paluch said. ‘They’ve got a lot of skilled players and our team understands that.’

The Wildcats have already had to face off against Michigan, Michigan State, and Miami. Not many college hockey teams have to start their season against three of the top five opponents in the country.

As for the Falcons, in late September they were picked to finish dead last in the CCHA. Two months later, BG has cracked the list of top 20 teams in the country. Just as they didn’t focus on the pre-season ranking, though, Paluch and his players realize they can’t let their recent success go to their heads when facing an opponent such as Northern Michigan.

The Falcons will take the confidence gained from the current win streak into the weekend, but that’s about it.

‘Coming into the season, confidence was the one ingredient we were missing,’ Paluch said. ‘We need to continue to work to get that. It’s another important grind weekend in the CCHA.’