BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Bowling Green Falcons started the season on the right foot — unofficially — as they pounded the Windsor Lancers, 7-1, in exhibition play at the BG Ice Arena on Thursday night.
The Falcons dressed 24 players in the contest, and fifth-year head coach Scott Paluch was able to get a good look at some of the new faces as well as the returning veterans on his roster.
“It was a good start for our team,” said Paluch. “We got to see a lot of different areas, and see a lot of different people. We did a lot of the things better as the game went on. I loved the enthusiasm, and I thought we had some good jump. All in all, it was a good start for us.”
Five different freshmen found the scoring column for the Falcons.
“For the first time playing against other competition, they did very well,” explained Paluch. “We were able to get a lot of ice time for some of them, and work them into some different areas. [Kai] Kantola and [James] Perkin did a lot of penalty kill for us, and I thought they did an outstanding job.”
The Falcons scored a trio of goals in the opening period, with freshmen Todd McIlrath and Tomas Petruska, and junior Jonathan Matsumoto all notching markers.
Bowling Green struck for four more goals in the second stanza. Freshmen Tim Maxwell, Tomas Petruska and Kai Kantola, as well as sophomore Brian Bales, all lit the lamp for the Falcons.
Windsor’s lone goal of the night came in the second period off a five-on-three advantage.
Paluch did receive some bad news this week regarding one of his seniors. Forward James Unger injured his right wrist earlier this week. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
He had his surgery today. He had some cartilage damaged, but it wasn’t as severe as it could have been. He has to have the cast on it for four weeks, then it’s a matter of how quick things can go from there.”
Thursday’s exhibition also gave the CCHA a chance to try some experimenting.
The league used four on-ice officials in the game. They also used a new rule disallowing icing during a power play that drew catcalls from some of the fans. Neither of the experiments will be used during regular-season play.
“The not icing the puck was interesting,” remarked Paluch. ” I thought it forced our guys to move their feet a little bit more and make some strong plays.”
The league also introduced its new video replay system, and it came into play once during the game. The system will be used in all CCHA buildings this season, for both league games and non-league games.
The Falcons drop the puck officially next weekend as they host Connecticut. Game time is 7:05 at the BG Ice Arena.