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Youth movement a success early for BG hockey

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association features a plethora of teams this year with loads of young talent competing at the top of the league. BG happens to be one of those teams, and by no means is the team’s early success and its deep pool of freshmen talent an unrelated coincidence. All six freshmen that have seen game action so far have scored at least a point. These six players also account for one-third of all shots taken and points scored on the entire team. Below is a look at each young player and their contributions to the team so far. Jake Cepis, a highly touted national recruit from Parma, Ohio, is currently second on the team in shots taken and third in scoring with three goals and four assists. Cepis made the decision to come to BG partially because of his acquaintance with former Falcon and NHL player Brian Holzinger. Like a few of his other teammates who don’t possess much size, Jake Cepis still finds ways to score, and score often. ‘I’m not a big guy, but I use my speed and knowledge of the game,’ Cepis said. ‘I watch the game from the bench and I read it out there on the ice, and then I just use my feet to draw penalties.’ David Solway is a Wisconsin native whose father happens to be on familiar terms with Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. So far this season Solway has put up a plus-four rating, four points, and scored a game-winning goal in overtime to kick off his team’s current four-game winning streak. Dan Sexton and Patrick Tiesling played on Solway’s team in the United States Hockey League last season. Together, the trio led Sioux Falls to a Clark Cup title and Tier I national championship. Did their success last season together help them when they joined forces once again at BG? ‘Oh yeah, big time,’ Solway said. ‘Sexton committed here real late, but Tiesling kind of got him to come here eventually. We have a great group of guys here and everyone’s getting along great.’ The instant team chemistry up front has certainly helped the team to its 4-1 turnaround in CCHA play this year. One freshman has stood alone so far, however, and that is goaltender Nick Eno. The Buffalo Sabres selected Eno with their seventh pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but he easily chose BG because the coaching staff told him he would get chances to play right away. ‘[Buffalo] told me to keep up the good work,’ Eno said. ‘They said they were going to keep an eye on me and see how it goes.’ It’s gone quite well fo Eno, as he’s a perfect three-for-three, claiming a win in each game he’s started in net for the Falcons. He and Jimmy Spratt currently provide the second-best statistical combination in net out of the 12 teams in the CCHA. Paluch is pleased with the freshman’s overall contribution to the team’s success thus far. ‘Eno has recorded three wins,’ Paluch said. ‘We’ve had important point contributions from Solway, Cepis, and Sexton. Tiesling has been real solid on the penalty kill. Wade Finnegan, who hasn’t played a game yet, still works extremely hard. Andrew Krelove has played real well in the two games he has dressed. ‘With the exception of Nick in goal, there’s a quickness with them that I think has really helped our team. It’s an added element that definitely gives our team an extra step.’ As the team enters its fifth week, the enthusiasm throughout the locker room is catching on with these young players. ‘We’re just excited because we haven’t had a sweep in a while,’ Cepis recently said after the team’s second overtime victory over Western Michigan. ‘What could be better, you know? ‘It’s exciting to get this place rocking.’

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