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Falcons look to move higher in CCHA rankings

Only seven points separate the Falcons from the sixth place spot in the CCHA and home ice in the first round play-off series. They will look to make a change in that when the Ohio State Buckeyes come to town tomorrow night for a big CCHA match-up.

“Again we’re coming off a hot weekend, which we’d like to think as our best weekend of the year so far,” senior defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “Having them come in is going to be big, considering the last game didn’t go the way we wanted it to at all. We feel we’re a team that can beat teams like Ohio State at the top of the league and we’ve proved that this year. This is going to be a game that we’ll definitely be up for. It’s an important game for our season and getting us up in those standings.”

In their last meeting, the Buckeyes came into the BGSU Ice Arena in late November and beat the Falcons 7-0.

The Buckeyes will come into the weekend ranked No. 15 in the national polls and with a record of (15-12-0 overall, 10-9-0 CCHA). They currently sit in the fifth spot in the league standings, only four points out of first place.

Up front, forwards Paul Caponigri and Dave Steckel are both among the top 10 goal scorers in the league. Caponigri has 13 goals, along with 10 assists on the year, while Steckel has 12 goals and seven assists.

On defense, the Buckeyes are lead by Nate Guenin and Doug Andress. Both have 15 assists on the year to lead the team in that category.

Mike Betz is the man in net for the Buckeyes with a goals against average of .911 with three shutouts to his name. This includes a 26 save performance he had the last time these teams met in November, where he shutdown the Falcon offense to record his second shutout of the year.

For the Falcons, Steve Brudzewski is coming off a three-goal weekend, which put him second on the team in goals with eight. He sits behind Brett Pilkington who has nine, including a goal last weekend.

The sophomore forward has upped his production from his first year, but knows he still has some work to do.

“My year hasn’t been too bad,” Pilkington said. “I feel I could contribute more than I have, but I’m happy with where I’m at right now. I have to continue to improve more though and contribute so we can keep winning.”

D’Arcy McConvey continues to lead the team in scoring with 17 points on the season. He knows how big the split at Fairbanks this past weekend was to the team.

“It was a big weekend getting to be the first team to win in Alaska,” McConvey said. “It’s also good that we’ve split the last three weekends, but at the same time we feel we could’ve won a few more of those games. Knowing we’ve beaten big teams though has helped our confidence, and this weekend we’re going to make sure that what happened last time won’t happen again.”

Jordan Sigalet made 87 saves this past weekend and continues to play every game for the Falcons in net. His goals against average is 2.76 on the year with a save percentage of .918, and he has one shutout to his total.

The Falcons and Buckeyes will drop the puck tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m at the BG Ice Arena. Play-by-play of the game is on 88.1 FM with Andy Evans doing the commentary.

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