Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bowling Green Preview

Have you voted Shawn Hunwick for Hobey today? Here's the link. It literally takes 2 seconds. 

The final weekend of the regular season takes the Wolverines down US-23 to Bowling Green, Ohio. After giving up just six goals in a 4-0-1 start, the Falcons have struggled to a 9-20-5 record this season (4-18-4-3 in the CCHA). Just four of those wins have come at home. They've beaten LSSU, Alaska, WMU, and Notre Dame in conference play.

BGSU comes in having lost their past four games. Last weekend they went up to Big Rapids and were handed 5-1 and 4-1 losses by the #1 Bulldogs.

They've given up 4+ goals on fifteen occasions this year, and haven't scored more than 3 since a 4-4 tie against Miami back on November 19th. They've scored just 26 goals in the 20 games since. In 14 of the 20, they've been held to 0 or 1. They rank 57 out of 58 in offense at 1.65 goals per game. Alabama-Huntsville is the only team below them (with a dreadful 1.19). They haven't won a game when they've given up more than 2 goals.

As you'd expect with that kind of offense, the numbers aren't pretty. Jordan Samuels-Thomas, the leading scorer the past two years, took his 46 carer points and transferred to Quinnipiac. The Falcons have just five players who have cracked the 5-goal barrier and five players who have double-digit points.

The good news for BGSU is that 43 of their 56 goals have come from underclassmen and their five leading scorers are made up of three freshmen and two sophomores. They're led in goals, assists, and points by freshman Ryan Carpenter who has 8-12--20. Camden Wojtala is right behind him with 7-11--18.

Lee Moffie has outscored their entire defense corps by 2 goals and 6 points. Robert Shea is the top-scoring blueliner with 4-4--8.

CCHA Commissioner Fred Pletsch's son Ted is a freshman forward. He has 5-1--6 on the year.

The power play is 55th at 9.5% and they haven't scored with the man advantage in their last 35 opportunities, dating back nine games. Both Wojtala and 7-goal scorer Alan Williamson have 3 PPGs to lead the team.

Defensively they aren't that bad. They rank 32nd in the country at 2.82 goals per game, tied with Notre Dame for last in the conference (but still fairly middle-of-the-pack overall). The PK is 25th, despite having given up a goal in five-straight games.

In net it's been Andrew Hammond all the way. He's started every game this year and has every decision but one. He has a 2.67 goals against and a .896 save percentage. He's done his part, despite a 19 point drop in his save percentage from last season. He currently ranks 4th in the CCHA Perani Cup Three Star Award standings.

Andrew Wallace is a 60% faceoff guy, but no one else on the team is higher than 50%.

Michigan has won seven straight in the series and was 4-0 last season, outscoring the Falcons 17-5. No Falcon player has more than one career point against the Wolverines. Wohlberg (9), Moffie (4), and Merrill (4) all have averaged one point per game against BGSU. Shawn Hunwick has faced the Falcons on three occasions and is 3-0-0 with a 0.72 goals against and a .963 save percentage.

The Wolverines can wrap up a share of the CCHA Title with six points against the Falcons, combined with Western Michigan sweeping Ferris State again. Michigan has locked up a bye in the first round of the CCHA Tournament and will clinch home-ice in the second round with two points this weekend. There is no video for either Michigan game, though the Friday night WMU/Ferris game will air on FSN-Detroit.

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