BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Western Michigan Broncos moved closer to home ice as they upended the Bowling Green Falcons, 4-2, on Saturday night. The win keeps Western Michigan in a sixth-place tie with Northern Michigan and Notre Dame for the final home ice spot in the CCHA playoffs.
“There’s a logjam right now,” said Bronco coach Jim Culhane of the tight race for home ice in the CCHA. “The next two weeks, we all play each other. The teams that win those games will be in position for that final spot.
“This was a solid effort by [goalie] Scott [Foster], the defense and the entire team.”
Foster, the backup goalie, had a big weekend, helping the Broncos pick up three much-needed CCHA points.
Bowling Green opened the scoring at the 11:55 mark of the first period. Senior Tyler Knight notched his fifth power-play goal of the season on a second attempt as he beat Foster top shelf for the lead.
“The team got rattled between periods,” said Culhane. “We were down 1-0, but the older guys got everyone to relax.”
Western Michigan tied the game at the 2:11 mark of the 2nd period. Vince Bellissimo fed junior captain Dana Lattery from behind the net, who beat Jordan Sigalet over the shoulder for his 12th goal of the season.
Jeff Campbell gave the Broncos a 2-1 lead just over two minutes later. After BG’s Mike Falk went off the ice for a hitting after the whistle penalty, Campbell deflected a Dave Cousineau shot past Sigalet for the lead. Cousineau’s shot came off the draw won by Mike Jarmuth to begin the power play.
The Falcons tied the game 4:02 later as Brett Pilkington notched his fifth goal of the season, a rebound try, to beat Foster.
The Broncos regained the lead halfway through the final stanza as sophomore Mike Cook picked up a Lattery rebound and slid it past Sigalet for his second goal of the season.
Paul Davies iced the game with just over a minute left in the game with an empty-net goal.
For BG coach Scott Paluch, he sees many positives in the way his team has been playing of late.
“We’re solid in a lot of areas with the exception of making the plays to win the hockey game.” said Paluch. “As a team, at this point in the season, you want to be working hard, playing well, and getting points. Right now, we’re doing 2 of those 3 pretty well.”
The Broncos will host an important home-and-home series against Notre Dame next Friday night before they finish up the regular season with a home-and-home against Michigan State. The Falcons travel to Sault Ste. Marie to play the Lakers next weekend, then close out the regular season at home against the league-leading Ferris State Bulldogs.