BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — It was just one of those good old goaltender shootouts, this one being staged between Alaska-Fairbanks’ Lance Mayes and Bowling Green’s Tyler Masters.
The last time these two netminders met — Oct. 30 of last year — the two teams combined for nine goals, but on Saturday, the story was much different as Bowling Green and Alaska-Fairbanks skated to a 1-1 tie.
With just less than 10 minutes left in the third period, the Falcons found themselves with their eighth power play of the evening when Nanook defenseman Chad Hamilton was charged with a roughing penalty. The penalty would be costly as Falcon Curtis Valentine found himself wide open after a Ryan Fultz pass and shot the puck pass Mayes for the game equalizer. Bowling Green freshman defenseman Brian Escobedo started the play with the initial pass to Fultz along the boards and thus was credited his third assist in his last two games.
Alaska-Fairbanks got its lone power-play goal 9:34 into the first period in spectacular fashion when sophomore Blaine Bablitz lunged to tip in the puck that was sitting in font of the open Falcon net. Masters was caught out of the net after saving Nanook Jim Lawrence’s shot.
The real story though was the exceptional play of the goaltenders. After sitting out last nights contest between the two teams, Mayes proved to be critical in the draw, as he made 27 saves, five of them coming in the overtime session.
“Coming into the third period, I had to make some key saves to keep the game tight,” Mayes said. “The defense played well and did a great job of keeping the other guys out in front of the net. All and all I think defensively we had a good game and it shows on the scoreboard.”
At the other side of the rink, Masters made 33 saves on the evening while unlike his counterpart had to make no saves in the extra session.
“We battled there in the third period,” Masters said. “We got the one point, which was key. I mean, you cannot come out of that there with no points. Our defense cleared the front of the net for me, which let me see 90 percent of the shots. It’s a lot easier if you can see the puck.”
Falcon Louis Mass sustained a concussion early in the second period. The senior defenseman played a few shifts until calling it a day and headed into the locker room for a further evaluation by team doctors.
The 0-4-2 Nanooks will head to Nebraska-Omaha next weekend while the 1-4-1 Falcons will head to Marquette, Mich., to battle Northern Michigan.