Hockey team takes on Western tonight

It’ll be a tough week for the Falcon hockey team as they head to Western Michigan tonight before hosting Ohio State on Saturday.

Both the Broncos and Buckeyes will bring a strong challenge to the Falcons, but with their regained confidence from a strong weekend, it’s a challenge they are ready for.

“After a road trip this past weekend where we played in two tough buildings, getting two big ties, we jump right back into league play,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “[Tonight] we head to Western and it’s gonna be a big league game with big points up for grabs. The league standings are just so tight right now, and the weekend gave the guys a lot of confidence, where we saw some good things happening.”

Tonight, the Falcons will head to Kalamazoo, Mich. to take on the Broncos at Lawson Ice Arena. Western is currently sitting at 5-7-2 overall with a CCHA record of 2-5-1.

They are lead in points by Vince Bellissimo with 14 off five goals and nine assists. Team captain Dana Lattery has been one of the premier players in the league and is just behind with 13 off of six goals and seven assists.

“Last year, we thought Lattery was as potent a forward as there was in the league,” said Paluch. “He brings good skill and combines that with strength, which allows him to dominate down low. This will be a very dangerous team and they have some good goal scorers.”

Saturday, the Falcons will host Ohio State, a team full of talent and currently ranked at No. 9 in the national polls. The Buckeyes are also leading the CCHA with a 7-3-0 league record and have an overall record of 10-5-0.

They are led by senior Paul Capongri, who has 10 goals and six assists on the year for a team high 16 points.

“Paul is a senior that has been a big producer for us this year and it’s been a big help to our team this year,” Ohio State coach John Markell said. “He and his line-mates are a big threat every time they touch the ice for us.”

In net for the Buckeyes is Mike Betz, who is the top goalie in the CCHA with a 2.17 goals against average.

“Betz has been their guy in net and has just had a solid career for them,” Paluch said. “He gives them a chance to win every game and we’ll have to get rebounds in front and put pressure on him.”

Markell knows that his team can’t overlook BG and that this game is going to be a good league battle.

“Having played Colgate and Cornell on the same weekend as they did, we got to see how good of a team they are, it gave us a chance to compare our games to theirs,” Markell said. “They are a very good team right now and have a very good goaltender in Sigalet. This is a big in-state rivalry and it’ll be hard fought for sure. It’ll be a big road game for us in the league.”

For the Falcons, Jordan Sigalet is coming off a big weekend where he recorded 36 saves against Cornell and 24 against Colgate. His effort got him the CCHA defensive player of the week honor, as he continues to be a big part of the Falcon success.

“Jordan is a key, key guy for our club and his play on the ice is just half the story,” Paluch said. “He is a real leader for the squad and his play has been huge for us all year.”

Sigalet talked about how big it was to get two ties this past weekend and how his defensemen in front have been a big help this year.

“It was a real good weekend for us defensively and the guys in front of me did a good job of eliminating second shots, which is from every one being more experienced this year,” Sigalet said. “The ties are good for the team and it gave us two big points against two big teams. We are looking for to the two big tests coming up here this week.”

The Falcons will play Western at tonight at 7:35 and then will host Ohio State on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.