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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Team looks to improve

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association divides the hockey season into two halves and each half treats teams entirely differently.

With the first half of the season ending in December the Falcons had a 3-12-1 overall record and a 1-9-1 record in the CCHA.

“We’d love to have our record reversed, but we are who we are as far as our record,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “We’re not trying to hide that fact, but we do certainly believe that we are a better team than back on Sept. 26, when we started.”

One way in which the Falcons have changed is that they are more aggressive offensively than they were at the start of the season.

“We’re much more dangerous offensively,” Paluch said. “We have the ability now to create some different kinds of offense and to get more guys in the attack. We’re a dangerous team down low offensively, cycling pucks.”

The Falcons aren’t giving away as many loose pucks and are able to get off many more shots, but they are still unable to find the back of the net.

“With our offensive game coming along the way it is, we certainly need to finish more goals, but we’re creating a lot more chances than we were at the beginning of the year,” Paluch said. “Now we need to flip-flop our performance; we need to be a much better defensive club.”

The Falcons defense, however, is a different story.

“When we look at things, the biggest area from the first half we need to improve on in the second half is our full ice defense,” Paluch said. “We need to identify better in the neutral zone and own guys more, handle our guys down low in the defensive zone a lot better.”

This year, being the first year for Paluch, it took the players a while to get used to a new head coach.

“There were a lot of new things the first half that we kind of adjusted to, but now we’ve been there and down that all,” captain D’Arcy McConvey said. “I think the expectations are definitely raised from the first half. They expect more out of us.”

As the Falcons entered the second part of their season they came out onto the ice with a different, more aggressive attitude and it has shown.

“We think we have a good nucleus of guys that are all committed to getting better and working hard. I think that we are going to have a lot better second half,” Steve Brudzewski said. “We just have to stick together and play a full 60 minutes. Sometimes we’ll play 50 out of 60 minutes. We’ll have a lapse for a few minutes in our game and the other team will capitalize and score a couple of goals, which maybe we can’t come back from.”

Another area the Falcons are hoping to improve upon is how they head into Saturday night games. Since most series are Friday and Saturday nights the Falcons seem to play better on Friday nights than Saturday nights.

“We really have to concentrate more on coming into our Saturday night games,” Brudzewski said. “We seem to play better on Friday nights and then Saturdays we are down. Hopefully we can win more Friday nights because our preparation for Saturdays doesn’t seem to be as good as our preparation for Fridays.”

“We have to be a little bit more mentally prepared for Saturday night games, regardless of how we play Friday we still have another game to play Saturday,” McConvey said.

So far the Falcons have been playing better on both Friday and Saturday nights this year. They have gone 2-1-1 in 2003 and are just coming off a weekend sweep against Northern Michigan.

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