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Ferris a tough test for BG

Usually a hockey team’s most important games do not come in November. For BG in 2007-08, however, this is untrue.

The Falcons are currently in the middle of a crucial six-game stretch against Central Collegiate Hockey Association opponents. This weekend they travel to Big Rapids, Mich. to face off against Ferris State for two games.

The Falcons (3-1 overall, 2-1 CCHA) sit two points back of the Bulldogs (4-3-1 overall, 3-1 CCHA) in the CCHA standings. With a sweep, BG could be sitting pretty as a top five team in one of college hockey’s toughest conferences.

Accomplishing this won’t come easy, especially on offense. Ferris’ defense has been downright stingy so far this year, only allowing five goals in four games against CCHA opponents.

“Ferris is a proven, pretty good hockey team,” Coach Paluch said, citing the Bulldogs’ wins this season against Notre Dame and Ohio State. “When you break them down, the reasons they haven’t given up a lot of goals is because they’re quick and they have the puck a lot. They’re off to a very good start.”

The Falcons hope to slow them down with an increasingly solid and productive defensive unit and their own mix of speed on offense. The latter is due in part to a talented freshman class who has already proven they can help win games. Last Friday against Western Michigan, Nick Eno earned his second career collegiate victory in net for the Falcons after David Solway scored a power play goal in overtime.

“I think they’ve all fit in pretty well,” Paluch said. “The most important thing about that is all of their work ethic. They’ve all worked extremely hard and we’ve had contributions in terms of production from quite a few of them.”

The team will need these young contributors to keep it up against the aforementioned tough Bulldog defense. And just like last week, the team will need more than one or two players to produce if the Falcons are to come out on top twice this weekend.

“We were able to get the four full points [against Western Michigan],” Paluch said. “Now there’s four more against a good opponent in a very different type of road venue in Ferris.”

The opportunities for the Falcons to claim these points will begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday and 5:05 p.m. Saturday at Ewigleben Ice Arena, where the Falcons have only won 18 games through 47 attempts in nearly 30 years.

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