Jr. | D | Surfside, Calif.
Improvement from Hodgson and the rest of the Falcon
defense is key to Bowling Green's hopes.
Key Statistics: Hodgson
put up 11 points on two goals and nine assists last
season, meaning he and Mike Nesdill are the co-scoring
leaders among returning Falcon defensemen. Two other
notable stats: Hodgson took the fourth-most penalties
(23) and had the fourth-worst plus/minus rating (minus-11)
on the team in 2005-06.
What He Does: After notching
18 points as a freshman, Hodgson made the CCHA’s
All-Rookie Team and proved he was a capable offensive
defenseman at the college level. But his production
took a bit of a dive last season, and he thinks it was
because he was trying too hard. You wouldn’t think
that a kid who grew up in California and Vancouver (he’s
a dual citizen) would have to convince himself to chill
out, but that was the case. Hodgson is most effective
when he’s relaxed.
The Bigger Picture: Bowling
Green’s defense was abysmal last year, dragging
the entire team to last place in the CCHA despite a
wealth of talent up front. If there’s to be any
kind of turnaround in northern Ohio this season, the
blue liners are going to have to tighten up. Don Morrison
is gone, meaning Hodgson and Nesdill are the leaders
of the pack. Hodgson can play in all three zones, as
well as on both special teams, but the direction he
imparts on the young defensive corps might be his biggest
contribution of the year.
Hodgson, on reports of a falling
out between Falcon players and the coaching staff near
the end of last season: “It really was
blown out of proportion by the media and fans. It wasn’t
a big deal. At times, last season was very frustrating.
But (the rift) was nothing.”