Michigan's first CCHA opponent of the year is the Bowling Green State University Falcons. Again, Fridya's game will air on Comcast and both games can be purchased on the B2Network. Here are ten things to know about the team that's just a quick trip down US-23.
1) This is the first time we've gone to Bowling Green for a weekend series since 2004. While we've won 3 straight in the series by a combined 10-2, Bowling Green has won 4 of the last 11 contests. They've only beaten Michigan twice in their home rink since the 99-00 season, in 2006 and 2007.
2) While the Wolverines were busy "choking" last weekend in their opening regular season contest and playing a tougher-than-expected exhibition game, the Falcons nearly blew a lead of their own. They got out to a 3-0 lead on Wilfrid Laurier before the Fightin' Lauriens (not really) came storming back to cut the lead to 4-3. That's where it ended, however. Nick Eno stopped 12 of 13 shots in the game and Andrew Hammond stopped 11 of 13.
3) The Falcons scored three power play goals, which was more than 1/8th their total from all of last season. They ranked third from the bottom in power play percentage at 11.7%. Their penalty kill was worse, giving up fifty power play goals on the season, coming in at 74.9%. Only Michigan Tech was worse on the PK. They were also one of only five teams to not score a short-handed goal all year. None of that is a good thing when you are the fourth-most penalized team in the country.
4) BGSU is coached by longtime Miami assistant Chris Bergeron. He replaces Scott Paluch, who took a position with USA Hockey. From everything I've read, it sounds like Bergeron was a really solid hire. He played at Miami and coached there for ten seasons, also helping out with their excellent recruiting.
5) The Falcons are coming off a dreadful season where they won just five games. One of those, unfortunately, was against the Wolverines at Yost. They also scored a season high (matched 4 other times) four goals in that contest. By contrast, they gave up 4+ on 18 occasions and only held teams below two goals twice.
6) Last year, Bowling Green's leading scorer was freshman Jordan Samuels-Thomas, who returns for his sophomore season. He led the team in goals (11), assists (14) and points (25), as well as power play goals (4). They actually lose six of their top eight scorers from last year's team. Samuels-Thomas and senior David Solway (5-13--18) are the two that return.
7) Senior Nick Eno and sophomore Andrew Hammond pretty much split time last year. Eno played 27 games and picked up all five of the Falcons' wins, going 5-13-4 with a 3.30/.896. Hammond was 0-12-2 with a 4.30/.880.
8) They've actually come up with some jerseys that aren't butt-ugly. They're going to a throwback-style, similar to the jerseys they wore in their national championship season of 1983-84. I actually really like the white ones, apart from the captain letter. The brown ones aren't nearly as bad as some of the jerseys they've had over the years.
9) Louie Caporusso has had 3-3--6 in six career games against the Falcons. Chris Brown had 5 points in 4 games as a freshman. Matt Rust (3-1--4 in 7 games) is the only other player with multiple goals against BGSU in his career. Bryan Hogan is 5-1-0 with a sparkling 1.84 goals against average in his career vs. Bowling Green. Shawn Hunwick has yet to face the Falcons.
10) In the 112 meetings between the two teams, there have only been five shutouts--four by Michigan. Interestingly enough, four of the shutouts have come in the last ten meetings. You have to go all the way back to 1993 for the other.