BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Bowling Green Falcons (9-14-7; 7-11-4 CCHA) got a pair of goals from senior center D’Arcy McConvey in the first period as they upended the Lake Superior State Lakers (6-16-5; 4-14-3 CCHA), 3-2, at the BG Ice Arena.
The win allows the Falcons to stretch their unbeaten streak to three games. For LSSU, the loss leaves them winless in the last nine games, dating back to January 16.
The Falcons weren’t playing in front of the typical BG crowd, however. Nineteen players from the 1984 national championship team were on hand as part of a weekend that commemorated their run at the title.
“Our guys have been excited about the whole event,” said BG coach Scott Paluch. “They know the names and the traditions, and to be able to see the guys that came through [the program], it’s a trigger for excitement.”
The latest version of the Falcon hockey team, possibly inspired by their predecessors, played well enough to pick up the victory, despite a fair amount of turnovers and penalties.
“This was a game that had a lot of breaks and a lot of plays,” said BG coach Scott Paluch. “We committed turnovers and that hurt us, but we worked extremely hard. We hung in mentally and stayed with it.”
The Falcons can credit a big part of their win to a strong penalty kill against Lake State. BG was whistled for seven penalties on the night, but the Lakers had difficulty solving the fifth-best penalty kill in the league.
“We did a good job limiting chances,” said Paluch. “To not give up a goal in seven chances is good.”
McConvey was impressed with the penalty kill as well.
“We’ve been up-tempo and aggressive, and that’s the key,” said the captain.
Laker head coach Frank Anzalone was at a loss for words about his team’s performance, particularly the power-play unit.
“We lost again. What is there to say? Our power play never scores. If we could score a power play goal … ”
The Lakers had chances throughout the night, but junior netminder Jordan Sigalet kept coming up big for the Falcons. Sigalet stopped 20 of 22 Laker shots on goal.
“BG did a good job,” said Anzalone. “We did a good job of handling the puck, but we never shot it.”
The Lakers opened the scoring just four minutes into the game. Senior winger Tim Krueckl fed a pass to Steve McJannet from behind the goal line, who wristed the shot past Sigalet for a 1-0 lead. Jon Booras assisted on the play.
The Falcons tied the game at the 16:09 mark of the period. Defenseman Jonathan Sigalet drove a shot from the point that was tipped by D’Arcy McConvey through the five hole of Jeff Jakaitis. Steve Brudzewski assisted on the goal.
McConvey added his second goal of the night just 2:50 later. James Unger picked up a loose puck near the far boards and found McConvey standing near the crease. He stuffed the shot between the goalie and the post for the 2-1 Falcon lead. Ryan Minnabarriet picked up an assist on the goal.
Bowling Green made it 3-1 with a power play goal at the 15:38 mark of the second period. After Lake Superior’s Alex Dunn was whistled for a high sticking penalty, Steve Brudzewski picked up his own rebound from a shot at the top of the circles and netted it for his 10th goal of the year. Steve Brudzewski and Don Morrison added the assists on the play.
LSSU narrowed the gap to 3-2 at the 4:06 mark of the third period. Jeff Rainville picked up a pass from Dominic Osman, skated around two defenders and beat Sigalet on the right side for his second goal of the year. Kory Scoran also assisted on the play.
The Lakers had a two-man advantage for the final minute of play thanks to a Jon Sitko tripping penalty and an empty Laker net, but Lake State could not score the equalizer as the Falcons held on defensively for the victory.
For the Falcon players, the chance to play in front of many of the 1984 national champions was surreal.
“It was unbelievable,” said D’Arcy McConvey. “A lot, if not everyone comes to BG because of the tradition. Having them around is pretty amazing. It’s an experience.”
The Falcons connected on one of four power play chances, while Lake State went 0-7 with the man advantage. Bowling Green outshot Lake State 26-22.
The teams will square off again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.