SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Just about everything that could go wrong for Union in its home opener against Bowling Green did Friday.
The Dutchmen couldn’t solve goalie Jordan Sigalet until it was too late. They couldn’t stay out of the penalty box. And they lost one of their top players.
Sigalet made 37 saves, and Jonathan Matsumoto had a goal and two assists as the Falcons rolled to a 5-1 non-league win over the Dutchmen at Messa Rink.
Union (0-3) will be without junior forward Scott Seney for Saturday night’s rematch. Seney, who had 13 goals and nine assists last season, was given a game disqualification for a major checking from behind penalty at 6:56 of the third period. The game DQ carries a one-game suspension.
The Dutchmen outshot the Falcons (1-0), 38-24. But they couldn’t get a puck past Sigalet until Jordan Webb’s power-play goal with 1:32 left in the game. By then, the contest was well decided.
They also gave the Falcons eight power-play chances, including a pair of five-on-three situations early in the first period. The penalties came after Union had the first five shots on goal.
“Union came out real strong,” Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch said. “They had some offensive zone play against us. We weren’t doing a good job of getting the puck out and making the strong plays defensively. Fortunately, we got the three penalty calls in a row that gave us an opportunity to catch our breath a little bit, and just get our feet under ourselves.”
Union had took 12 penalties in the game for 35 minutes.
“We must have killed about 15 minutes in penalties,” Union coach Nate Leaman said. “I thought we owned the first nine minutes until they got two five-on-threes, and that changed the momentum of the game in the first period. It seems like every time we would battle back and start to get things going, we would take another penalty. That hurt us a lot, I thought.”
Webb took two of Union’s first three penalties, minors for slashing and obstruction-hooking.
“We came out and kind of took it to them,” Webb said. “I got called for the first penalty. I’m a leader on this team. Maybe I shouldn’t have done it.”
The Falcons grabbed a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Matsumoto was behind the Union net when he centered a pass to Mike Falk in the slot. Falk shot it over a falling Kris Mayotte.
Jon Sitko gave Bowling Green a two-goal lead in the first when his wrist shot from the left point hit the left post and bounced past Mayotte.
Union freshman Josh Coyle took a bad charging the goalie penalty at 4:33 of the second period after Sigalet stopped his shot. It led to a Falcons’ power-play goal.
Mayotte made a right skate save on an Alex Foster shot from close range. The puck kicked out to the backboards, where Foster picked it up. He centered back into the slot to Derek Whitmore, who put it past Mayotte’s glove side.
“The Coyle [penalty] hurt us a lot,” Leaman said. “Poor penalty, poor timing.”
Matsumoto, a freshman, scored his first collegiate on during Seney’s major.
“I didn’t really expect this,” Matsumoto said. “I’m on cloud nine right now.”
The two teams meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. … Ben Geelan scored the Falcons’ last goal, a short-handed tally, at 15:19 of the third period. … Falcons forward Bryan Dobek was given a game DQ for checking Webb from behind at 14:49 of the third. … Dutchmen junior forward Jonathan Poirier sat out the game with a sore knee. He’s questionable for tonight’s contest. … Coyle was benched the rest of the second period after his penalty.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.