Three weeks after series split, Falcons and Wolverines face off


Marc Rodriguez, No. 10, battles for the puck with Michigan defenseman Mac Bennett during BG’s 3-0 loss to the Wolverines at the BGSU Ice Arena earlier this season. The Falcons and Wolverines will face each other at Joe Louis Arena Friday night in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association semifinals.

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The BG hockey team will be heading to Joe Louis Arena for the first time since 2001 for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association semifinals, the first time the 11 seed has ever made it to the semifinals.

BG has made an impressive playoff run so far and will be looking to continue this Cinderella-like run in Detroit against Michigan University Friday. The game will start at 8:05 p.m.

If BG loses they play in the third-place game Saturday at 3:30. If they win, they play for the CCHA championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The other matchup in the CCHA semifinals is Western Michigan against Miami.

BG is coming off of their best weekend of the season. They took on No. 2 Ferris State on the road and pulled off the upset. They won the first game 3-2 in overtime. BG lost the second game 7-4 and then clinched a trip to Joe Louis Arena with a 4-3 overtime win.

Freshman Dan DeSalvo is on a scoring run that has made history. He has 10 goals in the two series so far in BG’s playoff run. The previous CCHA scoring record was eight.

Michigan is also coming off an impressive weekend as they hosted Notre Dame. They swept the Fighting Irish and have advanced to the CCHA semifinals for the 24th consecutive year.

The last time these two teams met was the last weekend of the regular season. BG upset the Wolverines in the first meeting 4-3 as four different Falcons scored goals. The second game was tight all the way until the third period when the Wolverines pulled away for a 3-0 victory.

BG coach Chris Bergeron understands the talent and experience Michigan brings this weekend.

“This is like a home game for them,” Bergeron said. “Michigan is going to be at their best and they really expose you if we don’t do the little things right. We have a lot of respect for this team.”

Michigan has a high-powered offense that can put up a lot of goals. Alex Guptill and David Wohlberg lead the way for the Wolverines as both players have racked up 32 points this season. Guptill leads in goals with 16 and Wohlberg leads in assists with 24.

Goalie Shawn Hunwick is experienced in net and posted a 23-9-3 record this year. He has a 1.97 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage. The Wolverines score the most goals in the conference with 3.29 goals-per-game.

“I think we are a much more confident group,” Bergeron said. “Our guys believe we can beat anybody. We are used to be being behind and we have been through deficits, but we continue to persevere and not quit.”