COLUMBUS, Ohio — Scott Hewson had two goals and an assist and Tyler Masters stopped 33 of 35 shots as the Bowling Green Falcons picked up their second win of the season, beating Ohio State 5-2 on Saturday.
The Buckeyes couldn’t buy a goal after playing what amounted to essentially three periods of keep-away, outshooting the Falcons 35-19, and peppering Masters in close and often.
“We capitalized on some chances tonight and that makes a world of difference,” said BG coach Buddy Powers. “Scoring on the power play makes a world of difference. We were opportunistic tonight.”
Hewson opened the scoring for the Falcons at 13:06 in the first on the BG power play. The goal was just the third shot in the game for the Falcons; the other two had come just seconds before. Hewson’s second goal of the game — the fourth Bowling Green tally — also came from a man-advantage opportunity. The two markers were Hewson’s first and second of the season.
“We’ve been waiting for a while for him to break out,” said Powers. “He was a guy in junior hockey who put some decent points on the board … but his role changed a little bit in college. We’ve got him on some power-play time now and he’s taking advantage of it.”
Greg Day extended the Falcon lead to two goals 45 seconds into the middle stanza, a one-timer from the left circle that beat OSU netminder Mike Betz long.
The Buckeyes pulled to within one when Dave Steckel registered his sixth goal of the season at 9:48, but that was as close as Ohio State would get. Mark Wires caught Betz out of position with less than a minute to go in the second, giving the Falcons another two-goal lead.
“We scored in the first minute of play in the period and we scored in the last minute, and those are two things that from a defensive standpoint you don’t like to see happen,” said Powers, “but offensively when you do it, it sent us into the locker room at 3-1 feeling pretty darned good after a period where we spent most of the time at our end of the rink.”
Hewson’s second goal at 4:27 in the third made it 4-1 Bowling Green. Paul Caponigri scored on the power play for Ohio State at 6:10 to cut the BG lead to two again, but Ryan Fultz capped the Falcon scoring with the empty-netter at 19:01.
Masters played his net tight and close, stopping 16 shots from within 5 feet of the crease. The sophomore said that it was “nice” to finally play a game with a lead. “It gives you a little bit more confidence knowing that your team is going to score, that you don’t have to continually put that pressure on yourself to stop the puck [or] otherwise…[you'll] lose,” he said.
Masters also said that his defenders blocked more shots than he faced. “I was pretty happy with how I played. I’m more happy with our defensive play than with how I played,” he said. “Defensively I think our team has been pretty strong all year. They’ve kept us in games … and given us an opportunity to win every night. We just haven’t been able to score, and tonight we broke out.”
The Falcons were 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Buckeyes — ailing on special teams — were 1-for-7. The once-strong Buckeye penalty kill dropped to 86 percent.
Ohio State coach John Markell said the reason for the loss was simple: “We couldn’t score.
“I thought we generated enough scoring opportunities to win the game,” Markell said. “Obviously [Masters] played well. We know what it feels like now to have the game stolen out from underneath us. They scored on their opportunities and we didn’t. I can’t fault us for our work ethic.
“I think that’s the hardest we’ve worked at home and not come away with a win. It’s unfortunate. What I want to do is get my team playing better, and I felt pretty good about that tonight, but we came away with no points.”
Betz, whose goals against average was 1.96 going into the game, allowed an uncharacteristic four goals, but Markell said only one, Greg Day’s, was “disappointing.” Betz saved 14 of the 18 shots he faced.
“Mike’s been terrific in net for us,” said Markell. “Hopefully the team in front of him can put more pucks in the net.”
With the win, the Falcons improve to 2-5-2 (2-3-2 CCHA), while the Buckeyes are 6-4-0 (4-3-0 CCHA). The two teams meet again Sunday afternoon at 3:05 Eastern in Value City Arena for their final game of the season.