BGSU hockey battles Minnesota State Mankato

Corey Krupa and Corey Krupa

The Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks men’s ice hockey team will host BG Friday and Saturday night.

The Falcons and Mavericks have met a total of four times. The last time the two teams met was Oct. 10, 2009 when Minnesota State won 4-1. The Mavericks hold a 3-0-1 all-time record against the falcons in their brief history together.

The 18th ranked Minnesota State Mavericks come into the series with a 3-3-0 record with wins coming against University of Connecticut and Bemidji State University.

Head coach Mike Hastings enters his second season as their coach and earned an NCAA tournament bid last season.

BG entered WCHA conference play for the first time last weekend. The Falcons defeated the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on both nights. The Falcons are 2-0 in conference play for the first time since the 1996-1997 season.

BG has not lost a game at home this season and have a record of 4-0-1 at the BGSU Ice Arena. The Falcons are 3-1-1 when they score the first goal of the game and are a perfect 3-0 when leading after the second period.

BG forward Ryan Carpenter will miss another week with a broken finger, said Coach Chris Bergeron at a press conference on Tuesday.

“He can’t shoot and he can’t stickhandle,” Bergeron said.

BG, however, received good news about the injury of defenseman Connor Kucera. He suffered what Bergeron called a “very minor concussion” against Alaska Anchorage last Saturday, but is expected to play this weekend after practicing on Monday and Tuesday.

“He hasn’t had any concussion type symptoms since Saturday night,” Bergeron said. “Our intention, unless he takes a step backwards which we think would have happened by now, is for him to play this weekend.”

Goaltenders Tommy Burke and Tomas Sholl have shared the starting spot as both have played over 230 minutes through the first eight games of the year. Tommy Burke has allowed eight goals on 87 shots for a 1.92 goal-against average and a .916 save percentage. Tomas Sholl has faced 83 shots, stopping 74, for a .902 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA.

Senior captain Cam Wojtala scored his first two goals of the season last Friday night to give him three points on the year. Wojtala now has 58 career points in 128 total games played.

Junior forward Dan DeSalvo had an assist in each game over the past week and is currently on a four game point streak for the Falcons. DeSalvo leads the WCHA in assists with eight.

The Falcons penalty kill has been strong this season. BG is 39 for 47 (83 percent) on the penalty kill so far.

Friday’s game in Mankato, Minn., will start at 8:37 p.m. and Saturday’s series finale will start at 8:07 p.m.