An inside look at the BG hockey team

Jamison Terbrack and Jamison Terbrack

After a stellar start to the season, things have cooled off with the weather for the Falcon hockey team.

The team currently sits in a tie for second place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with the Northern Michigan Wildcats at 43 divisional points. There is a clear cream of the crop in this conference, as the Minnesota State Mavericks dwarf all other nine teams with 59 points.

This ranking may be coming at just the right time according to Falcons’ sophomore defenseman Justin Wells.

“I think with a weekend off we could regroup and really focus on the details of our game to try to find consistency for the last six league games before playoffs,” Wells said.

The Falcons have been led offensively by a trio of sophomore forwards through the season with Brandon Kruse, Max Johnson and Connor Ford, who all have over 20 points so far.

Kruse, a 2018 Round 5 draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights, has been able to use his blazing speed and playmaking ability to garner 29 points (eight goals, 21 assists) to lead the Falcons offensively.

Johnson’s 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) and Ford’s 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) round out the trio point leaders. Johnson uses precision and accuracy to get the job done while Ford, a center, is often seen all over the ice making plays happen with his legs.

The highest goal scorer on the team is currently junior forward Lukas Craggs. He uses his big body to bring a very physical presence to the ice that opposing players do not like to mess with. He also leads the team with 72 penalty minutes, followed by his sophomore forward brother Sam Craggs who has 49 minutes.

Kruse and Craggs were both named to the Hobey Baker Award watch list earlier in the season. The Hobey Baker Award is an annual award given to the top National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s ice hockey player. The award is named after a former Princeton standout who died fighting in World War I.

This Falcons team features one of the stronger blue-lines in recent memory with junior Alec Rauhauser and seniors Connor McDonald and Chris Pohlkamp, who have provided a veteran presence all year long.

Joining the team on the defensive core is freshman Tim Theocharidis, who is having an extremely solid and productive season. Coming from Ontario, he is second on the team in defensive points only to Rauhauser.

Most important for this team has been the standout playing from both goaltenders. Coming into the year, it was expected that junior rearguard Ryan Bednard would carry the team at times with outstanding netminding; he has with an extremely impressive 1.34 goal against average through 20 games to go along with a 0.925 save percentage.

Those numbers would stand out at most other schools, but not at BGSU, as sophomore Eric Dop has been even better when given the chance to play, with a minuscule 1.34 GAA and a 0.948 save percentage.

The Falcons next take the ice at Slater against the Nanooks of Alaska Anchorage on the weekend of Feb. 15-16.