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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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BGSU vs St. Thomas: rejuvenated Tommies present serious challenge for young Falcons

Drake Harlett

The CCHA regular season is back again for the Falcons. 

Unfortunately, it starts with St. Thomas. 

St. Thomas finished seventh in the CCHA last year. They went 10-14-2, split the ties 1-1, and were outscored 69-81. They went 1-9 in non-conference play, being outscored 86-117.

That is not a year that would strike fear in the CCHA, especially since they were ranked only fifth by the coaches poll in the preseason. 

But the Tommies have come trying to prove the rest of the league wrong.

They are currently ranked second in the CCHA with a 2-2 record, 4-5-1 overall. In their four conference games, they were swept by the 1st-place Bemidji State Beavers in close games (3-2 and 2-0) and turned around to sweep and outscore the Northern Michigan Wildcats 10-3 in a two-game series. 

“Sweeping Northern Michigan last week was definitely a positive for them,” said Bowling Green head coach Ty Eigner. “We know (the Northern Michigan Wildcats) are a dangerous team, so for St. Thomas to sweep them last weekend was obviously a big thing for them.” 

Yet this is still not the impressive part of their season. 

In their non-conference games, the Tommies won in overtime against #8 St. Cloud State, then only a 1-0 loss the next day.

The following week, they took #2 Minnesota to overtime, losing 6-5 in a two-score effort by leading scorer Lucas Wahlin.

They are 1-3 against two top-10 opponents in the NCAA being outscored only 14-10 in four games. 

Out of their 29 total goals scored this season, every single one is from a forward. Sophomore Lucas Wahlin and fifth-year Luke Manning account for 11 of those 29 goals, including two goal efforts twice by Wahlin (Minnesota and Northern Michigan) and once by Manning (Northern Michigan). 

“Their forwards are dangerous,” said Eigner. “And they got new guys on the back end that provide them more experience and more options defensively.” 

Defensemen are a healthy mix of a few freshmen and a few upperclassmen who represent a large portion of the assists, most notably four assists by defenseman James Marooney, as well as the majority of the blocks.

They have done an impressive job of staying out of the penalty box, with only 18 penalty minutes for all blueliners, key for defensemen playing against top-10 teams and offenses. 

BG seeks an early win in the CCHA and stun St. Thomas when they come into the Slater Family Ice Arena at 7:07 on Friday. Come to the game or listen to the Tommies and the Falcons on 88.1 WBGU. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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