Playing early-season exhibition games against Canadian universities can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s nice to get some live game experience before playing games that count in the standings. But at the same time, there’s not much that can be gained from playing a game that doesn’t count in the standings, and a lot that can be lost, either in the form of injuries, or with suspensions earned in games that are typically very chippy.
The latter afflicted Bowling Green on Saturday. The Falcons played an exhibition against the University of Windsor, and though Bowling Green managed a 3-2 win, they paid a heavy price for it. The game featured 168 penalty minutes, including a major penalty for roughing the goalie called on Windsor with under four minutes remaining. And after the final buzzer, a fight broke out between the two teams, resulting in game disqualifications for Bowling Green’s Mark Friedman, Mitch McLain, and Jakob Reichert.
That means those three players will be out of the line-up next Friday night, when Bowling Green opens league play at Bemidji State. The Falcons were already dealing with the loss of their top returning scorer after it was announced last week Brandon Hawkins was no longer part of the team, so they’ll be very short-handed next Friday in Bemidji. Friedman was a preseason all-WCHA selection and McLain scored 16 points in a scoring line role for the Falcons last year.