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The BG News
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November 30, 2023

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Spencer Kersten: From Tiger to Falcon

Drake Harlett
Kersten handling the puck against Mercyhurst

Roughly 0.2% of Americans attend an Ivy League University. Notable Ivy League alumni include: 

  • 16 Presidents 
  • 51 current members of Congress 
  • All but one of the current U.S. Supreme Court justices  
  • 40 past US Supreme Court Justices 
  • 388 Nobel Prize Laureates 
  • Many pro athletes, including Lou Gehrig, Jeremy Lin, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Ken Dryden 

Ivy League alumni make up an exclusive and successful class of men and women in our country. Many of those alumni go on to do amazing things and go amazing places. 

In the case of Spencer Kersten, one of those amazing places is Bowling Green. But how did the fifth-year forward end up here? 

“It’s a winning track record and a winning school,” Kersten said. “I wanted to come to a winning program and the MBA program was a good fit for me as well.”  

Kersten joined the team this offseason after four years (including the COVID-19 year) playing hockey at Princeton University. In three seasons at Princeton, he totaled 15 goals, 22 assists, and a total of 37 points leading the Tigers to the 2023 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) quarterfinals as a senior captain.  

Those impressive accomplishments came while juggling his play, leadership, and an MBA degree from a top academic university. The Waterloo, Ontario native is currently fourth on BG in scoring, with three goals, 12 blocks, and a +1 +/- (meaning there has been 1 more goal scored than given up when he is on the ice), all while continuing to pursue his MBA. 

“It’s been a great transition so far as far as the hockey goes and the people go. I’ve been welcomed with open arms, and it’s been fun to get to know the guys and learn about the school and see the campus,” Kersten said. “It’s different playing a lot of different teams I haven’t played before at Princeton, but it’s a new school and it’s been going well.” 

His good relationship with and gratitude for his teammates is a recurring theme with Kersten, even with the transition between schools, friends, and personalities. 

“The guys have been great to me so far and I think we have a really strong team culture,” Kersten said. “We all have positive attitudes and hard work ethics when it comes to hockey, and I know outside of the rink they are great people.” 

But the players on and off the ice aren’t the only concern for a new player. Kersten noted a positive correlation between his new head coach Ty Eigner, and Princeton’s Ron Fogarty. 

“They are very similar coaches; they are very open to communication and having open conversations about systems and what each individual player needs to do and their role on the team,” Kersten said. “They are both very positive people and have been great to learn from.” 

Assistant Coach Stavros Paskaris recruited Kersten to Princeton and later to BG. He said he was excited to have landed Kersten out of the transfer portal. 

“Once Spencer entered the portal, we reached out and made an introduction and rehashed a conversation that said, ‘What are you looking for?’ I knew that he had this academic/athletic component there,” Paskaris said, adding “Here, we could offer a better mix of both. We wanted him to be able to focus 55% of his energy on hockey, whereas at Princeton, it was the other way around.” 

Coach Paskaris said he firmly believes this hockey priority is good for Kersten and his desire to play the game. 

“From an ice standpoint, we have so much more to offer than he was afforded at Princeton because of the academics there,” Paskaris said. “The big reason why he’s here is that he really wants to dial in on the hockey side of things, and that is the opportunity that has been given to him.” 

There are high expectations for Kersten, not only as a player but as a leader.  

Thankfully, Paskaris says he is a natural at both. 

“Just the way he carries himself, on the way he works in the weight room, on the way he works on the ice, he leads by example here because he’s done it before. Having a letter on your jersey (A ‘C’ sewn on a player’s jersey to distinguish him as captain or assistant) adds another layer of stress and responsibility that you don’t need,” explained Paskaris. “He’s wanted some of that, but it’s like ‘Hey let’s worry about your hockey piece right now, let’s not worry about taking care of 25 others.’ By who he is as a person he’s already done that, he is part of our leadership group already and we lean on him as a staff and the players lean on him as someone with a little bit more experience.” 

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

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