BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Union (4-0-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) won its fourth consecutive game, the longest season-opening winning streak in program history, as the Dutchmen downed the Bowling Green Falcons (1-4-0, 1-3-0 CCHA), 3-1 on Friday night.
“It was a gutsy effort by our guys tonight,” said first-year Union coach Nate Leaman. “We got up 3-0 and maybe sat back a little bit, but I like the way our guys gutted it out.”
The defensive corps of the Dutchmen had to gut out most of the game one man short. Sophomore Scott Wheeler left the game after just a few moments into the contest.
“Our five [defensemen] had to kill a lot of penalties tonight,” said Leaman.
The Dutchmen penalty kill was stellar, killing off six BG power play attempts. Union has not allowed a power play goal in their four games.
Union goaltender Kris Mayotte stopped 31 shots on the night, including a breakaway to keep the Falcons off the scoreboard at the end the first period.
“[Mayotte] is a great goaltender,” said Leaman. “We try to limit the number of second shots he sees.”
Scott Seney began the scoring for Union College, netting his fifth goal of the year at the 11:20 mark of the opening period. Seney beat BG goalie Jordan Sigalet over the right shoulder to give the Dutchmen the 1-0 lead. Matt Vagvolgyi and Olivier Bouchard assisted.
“[Seney] is doing good things for us,” said Leaman. “He’s going in hard to the net. He uses his body well. The [defense] had a little bit of trouble with him.”
Union added a pair of goals in the second period. After a Falcon holding penalty, Ian Ross scored his first career goal at :28. Sigalet stopped the initial shot, but the puck bounced away, skipped off a defender’s skate and trickled into the net for the unassisted goal.
Seney added his second goal of the night 5:30 into the period on another shot that tricked past Sigalet. Jordan Webb and Bryan Campbell assisted.
“Jordan made a big save at the end of the first period for us, “said BG coach Scott Paluch. “But when you’re playing from behind, you give up chances. He kept the game where we needed it to be.”
Bowling Green tallied its first goal 3:22 into the third. Sophomore center Brett Pilkington deflected a Brian Escobedo shot past Mayotte for his first goal of the season. Mark Wires added the other assist on the play.
“We’re not a very confident team right now, offensively,” said Paluch. “Our offensive game is struggling. We’re able to make a lot better plays than what we did tonight.”
BG finished the night 0-6 on the power play, while Union picked up one power-play goal in five chances. The Falcons outshot the Dutchmen, 31-23. Bowling Green has outshot its opponents in three of its four losses this season.
The two teams will conclude their series Saturday night. The starting time of the game has been moved back to 8:05 p.m. to accommodate the Bowling Green-Northern Illinois football game.