DETROIT — Bowling Green hasn’t had much to be proud of this season, but the showing that it put on Friday night at Joe Louis Arena was special. The Falcons lost to Michigan 3-2 in double overtime in the CCHA semifinals, but Falcons junior goalie Andrew Hammond had the spotlight.
Hammond was one of the few players on the Bowling Green roster with experience entering the season. The team has 17 freshman and sophomores on the roster but it went toe-to-toe with Michigan Friday night.
The junior goaltender has played in every game the Falcons have played this season. His career win total coming into the season was six. After this magical playoff run the Falcons have been on, next season has to be encouraging.
“I am looking forward to next season,” Hammond said. “I’m really happy with how everyone competed. We weren’t expected to be here. We just need to keep what we started in the second half of the season going.”
Hammond has 14 wins this season, with two games with over 50 saves. He set a personal best with 54 saves against Ferris State in a 3-2 overtime win in Game 1 of their CCHA quarterfinal series. Friday, he broke it with 55 saves, 17 of them in the second period alone.
“I just try to take it one shot at a time,” Hammond said. “Overall, it’s more so worrying about each shot as it comes.”
Hammond saved 20 more shots than Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick. He also kept Michigan at bay on the power play as the Wolverines went 0-for-3.
Hammond was a spectacle for much of Friday night, lunging side-to-side, even hopping up and down at Michigan shots to try to keep his team in the game. He made saves with the blocker and some hearty saves with his glove. He had it all working against Michigan, despite the loss.
Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron said he was extremely proud of his team in its effort and especially proud of the way Hammond shined.
“He is a special young man,” Bergeron said. “He has played in every game this season. I think he is learning to win at this level and what expectations mean. Every day [he's] coming to the rink with a mind-set and a purpose, and his game has progressed. He’s an example of what this program has been through.”