Young BG hockey team has sights set on next season

Reporter and Reporter

Coming off a 10-win regular season, under second-year head coach Chris Bergeron, the young BG hockey team had potential this season.

After a strong start to the season, the Falcons struggled in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. They started out 5-0-1 and were starting to turn some heads, but when they got into league play they struggled to get wins.

With 17 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, there were going to be many ups-and-downs along the way, but the way the Falcons bounced back from adversity this season bodes well for the future of the program.

The Falcons finished in last place in the CCHA standings with five wins in the league. They won 14 games overall this season, improving from last year’s win total.

BG pulled off one of the most impressive playoff runs in CCHA history this season. As the 11 seed, the Falcons went to Northern Michigan and Ferris State and beat both of them in three games, advancing to Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 2001.

They were one goal away from playing for the CCHA championship and a chance at the NCAA tournament.

This young group only loses Cameron Sinclair and James McIntosh to graduation. They bring back the core group of players from this playoff run and the expectations have been raised for next season.

“We can really build off of the momentum for next year,” Bergeron said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am. I am excited for the guys and see how far they can go and improve. The way we finished was exciting and it shows our potential.”

The potential for this team is extreme because the top two point leaders were freshmen this season. Ryan Carpenter led the team in points with 30 and right behind him was Dan DeSalvo with 25. DeSalvo showed why he is a big time player by setting the CCHA playoff scoring record with 10 goals.

Behind DeSalvo was sophomore Cam Wojtala, followed by freshman Adam Berkle. The Falcons also have Andrew Hammond returning in goal, coming off his best performance against Michigan, making a career-high 55 saves.

“There are more things in place now compared to last season going into next year,” Bergeron said. “I expect to go into every game next year and win. I don’t think that is just me anymore.”