Falcons to take on former teammate in January

Paul Barney and Paul Barney

Jacob Cepis is set to retake the ice when the BG hockey team opens the second half of its season at Minnesota on Jan. 2.

Only this time, it will be as a Golden Gopher.

Cepis, who tallied 36 points (16 goals and 20 assists) in 56 games for the Falcons, transferred to the University of Minnesota from BG last December ‘- just 18 games into his sophomore season.

After sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules, Cepis will be eligible to play when the Golden Gophers host the Falcons on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Dodge Holiday Classic.

‘[Cepis] is still a lot of our friends around here, and we’re still in close contact with him,’ said junior David Solway. ‘[Playing against Cepis] is not really going to affect how we play, but it’s going to be in the back of our minds that it’s his first game back.’

Minnesota, however, will not be the only team on BG’s agenda at the beginning of the year.

On Jan. 3, the Falcons will either take on Northern Michigan or Clarkson at 4 p.m., who will officially open the tournament a day prior.

With the tournament still 17 days away, the Falcons have an ample amount of time to reflect on the season thus far.

BG finished half its 2009-10 campaign with an overall record of 2-14-2 and 2-10-2-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Scoring goals coupled with struggles of playing a full 60 minutes has plagued the Falcons all season, most recently a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 13 Michigan State last Friday ‘- a game in which BG had a 2-0 lead midway through the third period.

With a tough slate of games on the horizon, including another home-and-home series with the Spartans to close out the regular season, coach Dennis Williams realizes there are certain aspects of his team’s game that need to be worked on.

‘We have to continue to learn how to play with leads,’ Williams said. ‘We want to go into the first period and win that 20 minute game, and when we start the second, it’s a new 0-0 game to us.’