BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green got another outstanding effort from junior goalie Jordan Sigalet as his Falcons downed the Northern Michigan Wildcats, 2-1, at the BG Ice Arena on Friday night.
The win allows the Falcons to remain in a ninth-place tie with Ferris State in a league where positioning for the postseason means everything.
“It was a good game,” said BGSU boss Scott Paluch. “We were able to do just enough to win the game. We were able to survive the second where Northern was able to dominate the period.”
Northern Michigan did indeed dominate the period, but it was the play of Sigalet, the nation’s leader in saves, who kept the game under control for the Falcons. He stopped 42 shots on the night.
“This was a huge game for us. [Northern Michigan] is two points in front of us going into tomorrow. It makes the last two games huge for us,” explained Sigalet.
The Falcons have a chance to move into a tie for eighth place with a Saturday night win.
At the other end of the ice, it was senior goaltender Craig Kowalski who played a great game for the Wildcats. He stopped 27 of 29 shots on the night.
“Kowalski played really well,” said Sigalet. “It’s not easy to get two goals by him.”
“He made a lot of good saves,” said Paluch. “He wasn’t tested consistently, but he held the scrambles well.”
While not pleased with the outcome, NMU coach Walt Kyle was pleased with the way his team played.
“I thought we played well and we played hard. I have no complaints at all. Sigalet was great. Kowalski was good. We had some great chances in the game.”
The Falcons got on the board in the first period. D’Arcy McConvey netted his ninth goal of the season at the 5:04 mark of the opening period, picking up a rebound in front of the net and stuffing it past NMU goaltender Craig Kowalski. James Unger assisted on the goal.
Northern Michigan answered a period later. Junior winger Alan Swanson fired a pair of shots from between the top of the circles, the second of which deflected up into the air in front of Sigalet. Junior Matt Hunter was there to bat the puck in, knotting the game at one. Hunter’s fifth goal of the season came at 7:05 of the period.
“[The puck] hit me in the shoulder and bounced up in the air,” said Sigalet. “A Northern player got his stick on it and batted it in before it hit the ice.”
For the Wildcats, it would be the only goal of the period, as Sigalet stopped 18 of 19 shots in the second stanza.
“We weren’t playing our systems [in the second period],” said junior winger James Unger, who finished with a goal and an assist on the night. “We got away from hitting them. We got away from our Falcon style of play.”
Bowling Green got the game winner on a carryover power play goal to begin the third period. After Northern Michigan’s Pat Bateman went to the box at the end of the second period, Steve Brudzewski fed a pass from the far boards to Unger who was waiting between the circles. He one-timed it past Kowalski for his fifth goal of the season. The power play goal came 49 seconds into the period.
The early third-period goal held up as Bowling Green held on for their tenth win of the year.
Northern Michigan went 0-4 on the power play, while the Falcons netted one power play goal in six tries. Bowling Green has scored at least one power play goal in all ten of its wins this season.
The Falcons and Wildcats will face off again tomorrow night at 7:35 pm. The game is being carried regionally by Fox Sports Detroit.