BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Freshman Rich Meloche had a pair of goals as Bowling Green roared back from a four-goal second period deficit to tie Miami, 4-4, at the BGSU Ice Arena.
“You have to catch your breath from a game like this when it’s over,” said Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch.
“This was a great point for our team.”
Perhaps the real story was the special teams play for both teams this weekend. While Miami had a pair of shorthanded goals in the tie, Bowling Green did an outstanding job of shutting down the second-ranked power play in the nation. Miami finished the weekend 0-for-11 with the man advantage.
“We really try to use the penalty kill as a motivating force for our team,” explained Paluch. “When it’s not going well 5-on-5, killing off a penalty can give you a great lift.”
As good as the Falcons were on the penalty kill, they were even better on the power play, racking up four goals in 11 chances on the weekend. The biggest power play goal of the weekend came off the stick of Meloche with 46 seconds left in regulation.
With BGSU skating 6-on-4 thanks to a Miami penalty and Sigalet on the bench for an extra attacker, Meloche netted his second goal of the period on a shot from the left circle which was deflected by a RedHawk defender into the net.
“[Jonathon] Sigalet faked a shot and threw it over to me,” said Meloche. “I just tried to one-time it.”
Meloche’s goal capped an almost-impossible comeback for the Falcons.
“[Bowling Green] played hard. They created chances and got opportunities. That’s just the way it ended up,” said Miami coach Enrico Blasi of the disappointing tie for his team.
Miami opened the scoring with a short-handed marker at 5:22 of the opening period. Freshman winger Matt Christie picked off a Falcon pass between the circles and wristed a shot past Sigalet for a 1-0 lead.
After each team sent a player to the penalty box, the RedHawks made it 2-0 at 13:36 when Andy Greene picked up the puck at the top of the circle and blasted it past Sigalet. Marty Guerin and Chris Busby assisted on the play.
The RedHawks lit the lamp again 43 seconds later when Guerin stole the puck in the BGSU zone and sent it to Derek Edwardson, beating Sigalet for his sixth goal of the year. Guerin picked up his second assist of the night.
“Miami was playing extremely well in the first period, and we were not playing extremely well. It put us in a hole.” said Paluch.
“Miami dictated the tempo. Their forecheck dictated the whole first period. They kept us in our zone basically the whole time.”
Edwardson added his second goal of the night, a shorthanded goal, when he picked off a pass from the faceoff, skated in with a defender on him, and beat Sigalet for an unassisted goal :45 into the second period.
Bowling Green finally got on the board 8:41 into the second as Mike Falk scored his first of the year, a power play tally. Falk’s shot was deflected in front by a Miami defender, beating goaltender Steve Hartley. Brett Pilkington and Mark Wires added assists.
The Falcons cut Miami’s lead to 4-2 with 7:27 left in the period when Wires picked up the puck behind the Miami net and ricocheted the puck off of Hartley’s back and into the net. Alex Rogosheske and Kevin Bieksa aided in the goal.
“That second goal is one Steve would have liked to have had back,” said Blasi.
Meloche pulled the Falcons within one as he netted his third goal of the season midway through the third period, picking up a McConvey rebound and stuffing it under the pads of Hartley to make the game 4-3. Steve Brudzewski had the other Falcon assist.
After the game-tying goal, both goalies made quality saves in overtime to keep the game knotted.
“Both goalies were big down the stretch. They had to make some big saves,” said Blasi.
The RedHawks outshot BGSU, 33-29. BGSU converted 2-of-6 power play chances while the RedHawks were 0-for-5.
Bowling Green concludes a six-game home stand next week as the Falcons host Niagara in a non-conference game on Friday night.
Miami will also be at home in non-conference action next weekend, against Alabama-Huntsville.