Freshman forward battles through injuries to shine

Reporter and Reporter

Freshman forward Dan DeSalvo came into his first season with the BG hockey team with high hopes of getting playing time and chipping in some offense for his team.

Knowing the team had nine freshmen on it, he also knew he would get his opportunities to shine for the Falcons.

During the regular season DeSalvo chipped in here and there with goals and assists, but more importantly, he battled through his injuries and kept playing hard.

Coach Chris Bergeron said DeSalvo is a pure hockey player who makes hockey plays.

“He has always been a guy that scores big goals in big games,” Bergeron said. “It isn’t a surprise he is contributing for us at a high level. He has been looked upon to create offense for a long time.”

DeSalvo scored four goals on the regular season, with his first career goal coming in his second collegiate game against UConn. He also recorded eight assists on the season, for a total of 12 points in his first season with the Falcons.

Battling injuries throughout the season, DeSalvo missed nine games, including sitting out five straight games before the playoffs began. During that time he got healthy and rested up for the best scoring run in the history of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.

“It’s a great feeling,” DeSalvo said. “I just have to stay humble and not get big-headed. We need to keep our focus because we aren’t done yet.”

DeSalvo already has the record for goals scored in the CCHA playoffs in one season with 10. He has scored 10 goals in six playoffs game so far this season and he will be playing in at least two more games this weekend.

What makes DeSalvo’s — and the Falcons’ — scoring run remarkable are the scoring woes they endured the whole season.

In the first playoff series, the Falcons produced 11 goals in the three games played. DeSalvo started his run in this series with five goals and one assist. He had one more goal in those three games than he recorded all regular season.

The most recent series against No. 2 Ferris State started slow for DeSalvo, but he wasn’t going to be denied.

After being kept off the score sheet in game one, he mustered up five more goals and two assists in the next two games. In game three, he scored three goals in a row, including the game-winning goal in overtime to send the Falcons to the semifinals at Joe Louis Arena.

“I feel like I’ve been playing with a lot more confidence lately,” DeSalvo said. “We have to play in the offensive zone as much as possible to be able to do what we were brought here to do. I try to do my part to make our team successful.”