Thursday, November 1, 2012

Know Thy Enemy: Bowling Green State University

Michigan State (1-1-0-0 CCHA, 2-3-1 overall) plays a home and home with the Falcons from Bowling Green State University (0-1-1-1 CCHA, 1-4-2 overall). Friday night the game will get underway at 5:05 pm at Munn Ice Arena, and the teams make the two hour trek down to Ohio for a 7:05 pm puck drop. Friday's game is on Comcast Local. Friday's game is on 1240 AM on your radio dial, and 730 am on Saturday.

Bowling Green is coming into the weekend winless in three games. They did manage to get the extra point against Ohio State in the shoot-out last Saturday though. Their last actual win came back on October 19th at Colgate. In fact, that stands as their only win in this young season so far.

Don't sleep on the Falcons though, they will make you work for everything on the ice.

Bowling Green is looking to start an unbeaten streak this weekend, and MSU is looking to start a winning streak.
Series History

This might be one of those historic series that MSU fans may be sad to see come off the schedule (if it actually does next year). Michigan State and Bowling Green's rivalry might have peaked in the 1980s, but for MSU fans and BGSU fans alike, they always enjoy this series when it comes up.
 MSU holds a 71-29-8 all-time record against Bowling Green

MSU is 40-9-3 in East Lansing against BGSU, and 24-18-5 at Bowling Green.

Michigan State has won four straight in the series, and they are unbeaten in the last eight games in this series.

Bowling Green last won a game in this series on February 21, 2009 - a 4-0 decision at Bowling Green. February 24, 2007 was the last time Bowling Green won in East Lansing - a 2-1 game. All MSU did that year was win the national title. No pressure.

MSU is 1-0 in shoot-outs against BGSU

Top Scorers:

Dajon Mingo              2 goals, 5 points
Ryan Carpenter           2 goals, 5 points
Adam Berkle              1 goal,  5 points
Dan DeSalvo              0 goals, 5 points
Mark Cooper              3 goals, 3 points

In Goal:

Tommy Burke              1-2-1, 2.22 GAA, .913 save %
Andrew Hammond      0-2-1, 3.60  GAA, .869 save %

Special Teams:

Power Play - 9.1%  (3 for 33)
Penalty Kill - 80.0% (20 for 25)

Final Thoughts:

Bowling Green's power play actually got off to a decent start, as they scored a goal in each of their first three games. However, the last four games the power play is 0 for 16. It's going to be tough to win anywhere with a power play that cannot convert. The good news for Bowling Green is the PK has been very strong in the last four games going a perfect 13 for 13. Really, the PK only had one bad weekend against Union in which it went 4 for 9.

Getting off to a strong start is obviously important for both teams. Michigan State did a better job against LSSU (especially Saturday), and it should be key once again. Bowling Green has been outscored 8-4 in the first period, but only 12-10 in the last two periods. BGSU is 1-0-1 when leading after the first period, but 0-4-1 when trailing or tied. The Falcons are a very young team - their lone senior in the top 10 of scoring on the team is defenseman Robert Shea. I only see four seniors on the roster, so it will be a very interesting match-up of two young teams simply trying to go out and get points in the CCHA standings.

This weekend stands to be big for Michigan State, as the Spartans have to take on Michigan and Miami in back to back weekends starting next week. If the Spartans get off to a good start, then maybe they can get on a roll and sweep the series. A three game winning streak would be nice going into the Michigan series. Also, anytime you can sweep anyone in this league, you'll take it.  

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