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September 21, 2023

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Hockey rematches with Ferris State


Ryan Carpenter prepares to pass the puck against Lake Superior State.

The BG hockey team has not had much success against Ferris State the past two seasons.

The Falcons and Bulldogs have gotten to know each other well in that time; they have met nine times since the beginning of the 2011-12 season. In those games, Ferris State is 7-2.

However, those two wins for BG came in the playoffs this past year. This weekend, the Falcons return to Big Rapids, Mich. for the first time since that playoff series win, to take on the Bulldogs in a two-game series.

Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., while Saturday’s game is set for 5:05 p.m.

Ferris State sits fourth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 39 points. The Bulldogs are third in the league in scoring offense and fifth in scoring defense.

“What they did last year has spilled over into this year in terms of their belief,” said Chris Bergeron, head coach. “They’re a team that finds ways to win. In our series early this year, we outshot them both nights … and to come away with nothing is a testament to their winning mentality.”

Leading the way offensively has been Garret Thompson and Kyle Bonis. The forwards co-lead the team with 22 points. In the two-game sweep of BG in November, Bonis and Thompson combined for three goals and four assists.

Goalie C.J. Motte has stepped in admirably for the All-American Taylor Nelson. Through 28 starts, he has a 2.13 goals-against average and a .927 save percent.

The Falcons could be without goalie Andrew Hammond this weekend. He is still day-to-day with a lower body injury.

“Our philosophy with six games left in the regular season, where everyone makes the playoffs, is we want to make sure the long-term prognosis is good,” Bergeron said. “If that means this weekend is in jeopardy, then so be it. We’re not going to force him back in early.”

Tommy Burke has familiarity with Ferris State, should he need to fill in for Hammond.

He started game two of the November series, a 3-1 loss. He stopped 12 of the 14 shots he faced in the game.

For the season, Burke has a 2.08 goals-against average and a .907 save percent.

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