BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — After a rut during which Bowling Green goaltender Tyler Masters really did not look like the number-one goaltender BG fans had become accustomed to, Masters finally showed his regular self.
During a five-game Falcon losing streak, Masters gave up 19 goals in four games and did not start in the 6-3 loss to Ferris State on Feb. 9. But in Friday’s 2-0 victory against Lake Superior State it was all Masters, who was able to turn away 26 Laker shots to post his first shutout of the season.
“Masters played much more like himself,” said BG head coach Buddy Powers. “He was always on the money for every shot, challenged the shooters and was in position all the time.”
The BG defense was able to shut down any chance of the Lakers scoring a goal with physical play, constantly knocking the LSSU players off the puck while BG was nearly able to waltz through the offensive zone.
Almost eight minutes into the game the Falcons pushed up-ice on a breakout. BG winger Tyler Knight was able to take a Laker defenseman out of the play, gaining position near the net. He then got the puck, skated right up to the net and slid it by LSSU’s Matt Violin.
Violin held his ground for most of the game, though, and was able to stop BG’s leading scorer, Greg Day, 35 seconds into the second period. Day was on a breakaway and went from his backhand to forehand only to see Violin grab the puck out of the air with a brilliant glove save.
At the 5:19 mark of the period, though, BG defenseman Grady Moore carried the puck into the Lake State zone and had it pokechecked away from him. But he regained possession, circled around and beat Violin with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.
LSSU head coach Frank Anzalone said that in this game, like others this season, the Lakers just were not able to produce goals.
“Masters did a good job tonight, but we are what we are and that is not having any scoring. We had goal-scoring chances but not enough quality ones to score with. We need that talented offensive player, but we just don’t have that in this program,” said Anzalone.
Lake Superior is now five points behind Bowling Green for 11th in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings. With only five games left to play, the likelihood of the Lakers leapfrogging BG in the standings is getting slim.