Easiest story lead ever: Chris Bergeron was the head coach of Bowling Green the past nine seasons and now faces his old team in his first game at the helm of Miami.
The RedHawks open their season and a five-game homestand on Sunday in Bergeron’s highly-anticipated Miami head coaching debut.
WHO: Bowling Green Falcons (25-11-5) at Miami RedHawks (11-23-4).
WHEN: Sunday – 5:05 p.m.
WHERE: Cady Arena, Oxford, Ohio.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Bowling Green leads, 62-49-9.
BOWLING GREEN RADIO: None.
MIAMI RADIO: WKBV-AM (1490), Richmond, Ind.
NOTES: What an opening-game matchup for Miami to kick off the Chris Bergeron era.
Bergeron was the head coach at BGSU for the past nine seasons, and Ty Eigner is making his Falcons debut in that role.
Miami has had incredible success vs. Bowling Green the past 14 years, going 27-3-2 in the the teams’ last 32 meetings.
But the Falcons are coming off an NCAA Tournament season in which they won 25 games.
They also return all three of the forwards that posted at least 30 points in 2018-19.
Max Johnson led the team in goals (19) and points (43), and Vegas draft pick Brandon Kruse was tops in assists (31) and second in points (41).
Connor Ford went 17-17-34 with a BGSU-best nine markers in NCHC play.
All three will be juniors.
Two more members of that class should be major contributors this season. Cameron Wright found the net nine times and picked up 11 helpers, and Sam Craggs scored eight goals and notched seven assists.
Frederic Letourneau, Taylor Schneider and Alex Barber also finished with double-digit points totals last season and should be significant offensive contributors again in 2019-20.
Alec Rauhauser is BGSU’s top defenseman, having posted 87 points in three seasons including a 4-22-26 line last year.
Will Cullen and Will Theocharidis both reached double digits in points as freshman.
Three-year veteran goalie Ryan Bednard turned pro this off-season, leaving Ryan Dop as the lone BGSU netminder with D-I experience.
Dop went 5-3-1 with an outstanding 1.34 goals-against average and .948 save percentage last season as Bednard’s backup.
Junior Brett Rich and freshman Zack Rose will also challenge for ice time between the pipes.
Outstanding goaltending was a key in Bowling Green’s success last season, as the Falcons finished with a team save percentage of .927, including five empty netters.
Miami hasn’t hosted BGSU in three years, and the loss it suffered in that 2016 series finale was its first vs. the Falcons on home ice since 2001.