The Bowling Green Falcons opened the season flying past Mercyhurst, as three players recorded four points in an 8-2 rout of the Lakers.
Senior Stephen Baylis led the way with a hat trick and an assist, putting him a third of the way to his goal total of nine in 2017-18. Sophomore Max Johnson added two goals and two assists, building on his freshman season of 30 points (13 G, 17 A) in 41 games.
Stephen Baylis Voted WCHA Forward Of The Week— Bowling Green Hockey (@BGFalconHockey) October 8, 2018
Sophomore Brandon Kruse also had four points, all helpers, as he joins Johnson in pursuit of building in a strong freshman season in 2017-18. Kruse finished second in team scoring last year, scoring eight goals and 25 assists.
Defenseman Alec Rauhauser, who finished second in defensive scoring among all NCAA player last season with 39 points (9 G, 30 A), was the only Falcons player to best Kruse’s assists and point totals. Rauhauser, entering his junior year, posted two assists in Saturday’s victory.
The Falcons’ high-powered offense was never in doubt, as the four aforementioned players all reached the 30-point plateau last season. The Falcons lost just three notable players to graduation last semester and the returning cast for head coach Chris Bergeron entices fans and analysts alike.
Sophomore Connor Ford looks to join that club and added three points (1 G, 2 A) in the win. Ford had three points in his first 15 games last season but gained confidence and some consistency down the stretch, where he scored 15 points over his final 26 games.
The Falcons are in pursuit of their first NCAA Tournament bid in 28 years after falling to Northern Michigan in overtime in the conference tournament semifinals last year.
“We feel it’s time to kick the door down,” Bergeron told Shane Frederick of The Mankato Free Press.
With a young core in Bowling Green, the boot is on and Bergeron’s team just needs to start kicking. Now, that first kick is done and it was a loud one. The Falcons undoubtedly gained the intrigue of the WCHA and earned the No. 20 ranking in Monday’s USCHO poll.
The Falcons put their skilled players and overwhelming offense on display and will look to take another kick on Tuesday, when they visit the No. 18-ranked Western Michigan Broncos, who will certainly be excited for opening night in Kalamazoo.
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