As the winds of autumn approach, there are skates being sharpened and ice being polished in anticipation of the 2021–2022 Men’s Ice Hockey season. The first puck drop for the BGSU Falcons is less than a month away, and the team is preparing for a season that will bring many new elements.
As with any year, there are new players joining the team. Unlike other years, the Falcons are rolling forward with over 40% of the team being new players to the Bowling Green roster. Of these 11 new players, eight of them are freshmen and three are senior transfer students. Head Coach Ty Eigner explained what it was like to be working with a roster full of new players.
“We were pretty prepared for it knowing that we had ten seniors last year, so we knew based on graduation that we would have some holes to fill,” he said. “I believe the most important thing, with that, is trying to have great relationships with everybody. A lot of the kids that are new have been committed to us for a number of years, which is good, so we’ve got a good relationship already.”
As far as on-ice training goes with a new roster, Eigner knows how to go forward in situations like this. “The challenge whether there’s ten new guys or two new guys is always trying to get everybody up to speed,” he said. “Every year with new players there’s a transition to college hockey.”
They are especially shoring up the team’s needs on offense, as seven of the incoming players are forwards, including all three transfers. This is certainly a prudent move, as the spring of 2021 saw many of Bowling Green’s prominent offensive players graduate from the program.
Additionally, freshmen Christian Stoever and Peter Eigner, the head coach’s, join a goalkeeping squad led by junior Zack Rose.
Rose can be expected to start as the number-one goalie for the Falcons, as he impressed in his backup role in the previous season, allowing just 1.98 goals against average across ten games.
Peter Eigner isn’t the only incoming player with family ties. Freshman Forward Spencer Schneider will be joining the team after committing to Bowling Green back in 2018. Spencer’s brother, Taylor Schneider, is currently a senior with the Falcons.
There has also been an addition in the coaching staff, with Stavros Paskaris joining as an assistant coach. Paskaris has been coaching in college hockey since 2008, spending time at: Ohio University, Adrian College, Princeton University and recently, Dartmouth College.
Eigner says that Paskaris’ main role will be working with the team’s forwards and on their power-play. So far he’s only worked with the players in practices, and Eigner said that they’ve had nothing but good things to say about Paskaris.
“He’s brought some new, fresh ideas and some things that we believe are really going to help our forwards improve individually and as a group,” Eigner said.
On top of all the roster and coaching shakeups, the Falcons’ schedule will certainly look different this year, as the re-formed Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) will begin play this year with BGSU as one of its core schools. Seven universities from the now-defunct WCHA, as well as the University of St. Thomas of Minnesota, will make up the conference which was previously disbanded in 2013.
In addition to the more geographically-condensed conference play, the Falcons will also be partaking in some exciting out-of-conference matches. Notable opponents include a debut exhibition match against the Michigan Wolverines and a home-at-home series against the Miami Redhawks and Ohio State Buckeyes.
BGSU will also participate in the Holiday Face-Off tournament, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. The event will see these two schools, as well as Yale and Providence, compete against one another at the Fiserv Forum, normally host to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
As for regular season play, the Falcons begin their year with four away games, before having their home opener vs the Miami Redhawks on Oct. 23.