Hockey looks to face Lake Superior

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons hockey team will face the Lake Superior State Lakers on Friday and Saturday night, as the Falcons come off of defeating the Michigan Tech Huskies in both games of their series last weekend.

However, the team feels that Lake Superior has made some changes over the past offseason.

“On paper, they’ve got some really good forwards,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “They lost one guy who they counted on last year for offense, but I think they’ve got five or six guys outside of him that can hurt you offensively, so I’m looking for that, but I’m not really sure what to expect outside of that. I don’t know their team great from the back end and their goaltending’s new, so it’s a little bit of an unknown, but we’ll see what we see again with their series against Alaska Anchorage, but I do think they’re going to work really hard.”

The team is also looking to be better able to create scoring opportunities by sticking more to their plan throughout the series.

“I’m a process-oriented guy,” Bergeron said. “Without saying, ‘Shoot it where the goalie isn’t,’ or something like that, that’s kind of obvious, but it’s hard to score goals at this level when you’ve got goaltending as good as it is on every team. So you’ve got to go to the process. The process is hitting the net. The process is getting traffic. The process is making sure you’re a second- and third-opportunity team, which means you’re chasing down pucks and not being a one and done. That’s the process for us, when we don’t spend enough time in the O-zone five on five, we don’t get enough chances because our process isn’t good enough.”

Lake Superior State also comes into this series with the top power play in the WCHA.

“First of all, we need to stay out of the penalty box,” Bergeron said. “We’re averaging 15 and a half minutes per game; that’s way too much. I have faith in our penalty kill for the three or four opportunities that we’re going to have to step up to, but seven and six and eight is just way too many, so that’s the first place. Secondly, we’re going to have to make sure our process is good, we’re going to have to make sure that they earn the zone, we’re going to have to make sure that we’re good with our clears and we’re good with stick on the puck and those kind of things. If we’re not, this power play will expose us.”

The team is also looking forward to the challenge of playing being able to play against a tough team at home.

“I find that the series against Lake Superior in this building have always been difficult,” Bergeron said. “Every inch of the ice, scoring goals and all that kind of stuff, so I’m expecting it to be difficult.”