BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green’s New Year’s celebration came a few days late, but on Saturday night the Falcons snapped a six-game losing streak by beating visiting Princeton, 2-1, and recording their first win of 2002.
BGSU played well in all facets of the game by outshooting Princeton in every period (a total of 35-24), holding the Tigers to just 1-for-6 on the power play, and getting 23 saves by freshman goalie Jordan Sigalet.
“I don’t know if we can play much better than we did tonight,” said BGSU coach Buddy Powers. “That’s the way Bowling Green hockey should be; pressuring the puck, banging guys, getting in on the forecheck. We got to play the game at their end of the rink for quite a period of time.”
Freshman Colen Pappas got the Falcons on the board first for the second straight night just 24 seconds into the game. His third goal of the season came from an assist by classmate Ryan Minnabarriet from inside the right circle, which Pappas redirected stick-side past Princeton goalie Trevor Clay. Tyler Knight was also credited with an assist.
Bowling Green ended the first period by outshooting the Tigers 11-10, just the fifth time all season the Falcons have done that in the first 20 minutes of the game. It was also just the fifth time that BGSU outshot its opponent for an entire game this year. Princeton was outshot 12-7 in both the second and third periods.
Princeton answered later in the first period when Brad Parsons scored the only power-play goal all weekend for the visitors, this one coming at 12:58.
The Falcons regained the lead at 11:15 of the second period off of a power-play goal of their own coming from the stick of senior Scott Hewson, his third PPG this year. Greg Day and D’Arcy McConvey assisted on the give-and-go score.
“The power play scored an awesome goal tonight,” said Powers. “That was a great play. That was hockey.”
Less than a minute later the Falcons had to kill off a five-on-three that saw defensemen Brian Escobedo and Kevin Bieksa enter the penalty box at 12:01. BGSU was up to the task and held on to the lead.
“Everybody did a good job of staying in the lanes,” Powers said of that kill. “And I thought that was a big lift for the team to kill that.”
The Falcons and Sigalet held the rest of the way for the victory. Sigalet ended with 23 saves and just one PPG allowed in 60 minutes of action. Clay had 33 saves in 59:08 of playing time. Princeton finished with nine penalties compared to BGSU’s eight.
“We talk about it an awful lot (playing at a high level), but the players still have to go out there and do it,” said Powers. “And tonight they went out and did it. I thought the guys went out and played with high energy.”
The Falcons improve to 6-14-4 overall while Princeton falls to 5-12-0.