Now that the winter sports seasons have ended, Falcon Fodder is taking a look at BG’s hockey, women’s basketball and men’s basketball teams as all three prepare for the 2013-14 season. This week the focus is on the hockey program.
In this installment, our focus shifts to the defense/goalies situation. On Friday we will focus on the new-look Western Collegiate Hockey Conference, BG’s home next season.
Here we go …
OVERVIEW: This group takes a hit with the graduation of Bobby Shea, an All-CCHA second team pick last season, and Ryan Peltoma. But there are good numbers returning, and some of the newcomers will push for time in the top six.
RETURNEES: Senior: Jake Sloat. Juniors: Connor Kucera, Marcus Perrier, Mike Sullivan, Rusty Hafner. Sophomore: Jose Delgadillo, Ralfs Freibergs.
LOST: Ryan Peltoma (2-1=3, +1, 17 blocked shots), Bobby Shea (4-16=20, +17, 50 blocked shots)
BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the scoring numbers for the Falcons, including where the leaders ranked among CCHA players last season (in parentheses).
- Sullivan … 1 goal, 15 assists (T27, T16 defensemen), 16 points, +14, 69 blocked shots
- Kucera …. 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, -1, 25 blocked shots
- Freibergs … 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points, +3, 2 blocked shots (8 games)
- Hafner … 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +10, 15 blocked shots
- Perrier … 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points, -10, 47 blocked shots
- Delgadillo … 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -3, 22 blocked shots
- Sloat … DNP, injured
POTENTIAL NEWCOMERS: Mark Friedman played in 62 games for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League, scoring eight goals and adding 26 assists to rank fifth among league defensemen in scoring. He also was +20. … Sean Walker played in 53 games for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, scoring four goals and adding 20 assists. … Reed Whiteside split time between the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL and Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League. In 10 games with Sioux Falls, Whiteside had one assist; in seven games with Brookings, he had two assists.
COACH CHRIS BERGERON SAID: “We need more consistent play, especially from the sophomores (Perrier, Kucera and Sullivan). I think Sullivan took a step, I think Kucera took a step. I think Perrier’s year wasn’t what it was hoping it would be –- but he did finish strong.
“We think (Friedman) is going to be a good contributor for us next year. The biggest challenges for him will be the maturity of his game, dealing with college. But the expectations are really high for him.”
OVERVIEW: Entering the 2013-14 season, this is the area that most concerns BG hockey fans. The loss of Andrew Hammond, who was a pillar between the pipes the past two seasons, leaves a hole that must be filled. But there are options, and the job also could be split between several netminders.
RETURNEES: Senior: Scott Zacharias. Sophomore: Tommy Burke.
LOST: Andrew Hammond (10-15-3, 2.47 goals-against, 91.7 save percentage)
BY THE NUMBERS: Here are the numbers for the Falcons, including where the leaders ranked among CCHA players last season (in parentheses).
- Burke … 5-6-2, 2.57 goals-against (11), 88.9 save percentage (15)
- Zacharias … DNP
POTENTIAL NEWCOMERS: Tomas Sholl played in 32 games for the Fresno Monsters of the North American Hockey League. He posted a 10-14-5 record, a 3.14 goals-against average and a 90.8 save percentage. … Chris Nell has played in 25 games for the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League, posting a 7-11-2 record, a 3.46 goals-against average and an 89.4 save percentage. Nell is expected to return to Chicago next season and join the Falcons in 2014-15.
COACH CHRIS BERGERON SAID: ““The only position where we’ll be unproven next year is in goal. And that’s arguable because Tommy Burke has proven he can play. I like where we’re going next year.
“Tomas Sholl is a guy we recruited to replace Hammond. And Tommy Burke got put in more action than we thought he would, which in the big picture is good news. Like any freshman, Tommy was up-and-down. But the ‘ups’ proved he can win games at this level -– and maybe steal games.
“The focus next year is to make sure our goalies don’t lose games for us next year, and there’s no reason to believe that’s going to happen.
“Going in, I don’t think it’s fair that we have one guy who feels he has to carry the mail. We don’t have one guy like Hammond, who is proven.”
FRIDAY: A look at the Falcons’ new league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.