BG Falcon Hockey is returning to the Slater Family Ice Arena after a brief weekend absence. The Falcons are looking to win an already split series with the Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks, after falling in the opening matchup 4-1 then coming out of Alaska victorious with a 2-0 Eric Dop shutout.
With the regular season coming to a close sooner rather than later, these last three series are crucial for Bowling Green. With that being said, here is a look at three things to watch for this weekend against the Nanooks.
1. Offensive production from seniors
With the season officially entering "crunch time", the skaters that tend to step up in these situations are the seniors. These could very well be the last few games they will play in front of the home crowd and it is up to them to end their collegiate careers on a high note.
Head Coach Chris Bergeron talked about how seniors impact a run in the playoffs and possibly the NCAA tournament Wednesday morning in front of media. "For the most part, it's seniors. You see a senior kind of getting hot as he goes down the end of his senior year. At least that's in my mind. In my experience, a senior, or the class of seniors really take charge of a group and lead the way as you finish out the year," said Bergeron.
2. Strike first, win the game
Alaska is 2-10-0 this year when giving up the first goal of the game. Bowling Green is 14-1-0 this year when opening the scoring.
Starting games the right way has been a somewhat of an inconsistency this year. There are times when all of the right things are done but there is nothing to show for it on the scoreboard by the end of the first period. Other times it could go horribly for the Falcons but they still lead at the end of one.
This series against the Nanooks is a chance to hone in on the tempo of the game early and to put a stranglehold on the final few weeks of conference play.
3. Strong goaltending
The Falcons were without starter Ryan Bednard when they made the trip up to Fairbanks a few weeks ago. Still, Eric Dop managed to get a shutout during the series.
Bednard, who has been sharp all year long, will most likely face-off against Anton Martinsson who was hounded with shots in the previous series and managed to stand on his head. The junior managed to collect 67 saves in total from the two games, and with the Nanooks fighting for a playoff spot, they are in need for another stellar game from the Klippan, Sweden native.
Faceoff on Friday will be at 7:37 PM and Saturday at 7:07 PM, both from the Slater Family Ice Arena. Saturday's game can also be seen on WBGU-TV.