BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The Wayne State Warriors (7-4-1; 1-0-1 CHA) got a hat trick from freshman center Adam Krug and a pair of shorthanded goals from their penalty killing unit, as they rolled over the Bowling Green Falcons, 9-3 at the BG Ice Arena on Saturday night.
For the Warriors, it was their largest-ever margin of victory over a CCHA opponent.
For Bowling Green (6-3-1; 3-2-1 CCHA), it was the most goals given up since a 10-1 loss against Ferris State in October, 2002.
“We got off to a great start in the first period,” said Wayne State head coach Bill Wilkinson, “and it just escalated from there.”
For the Warriors, special teams played a big part, just as they did for the Falcons in the first game of the series on Thursday night.
“It was just like Thursday night when they scored four power-play goals against us,” said Wilkinson. “That was the difference in this game, the special teams. If you don’t score goals on the special teams, it’s going to be hard to get a win.”
The star of the night for Wayne State was Krug.
“He was Johnny-on-the-spot for us tonight,” added Wilkinson. “Adam is a good, smart player. Not only is he good with the puck, but he’s good defensively.”
Krug, a Livonia, Mich., native, scored all three of his goals by the end of the second period. His final two goals, coming 45 seconds apart, set a Warrior record for fastest two goals scored by one player.
“I grew up watching college hockey down here for four years,” said Krug. “I couldn’t wait to get back here and play, and getting the hat trick was definitely, so far, one of the highlights of my career.”
Krug’s hat trick was the second of the season by a Wayne State player; Jason Bloomingburg netted the other one in the season opener against Clarkson.
The loss, just their third of the season, was a frustrating one for the Falcons.
“This was definitely a game where we made mistakes and Wayne State capitalized on them,” said BG coach Scott Paluch. “Our turnovers were just so costly, and they were able to turn them into goals tonight.”
Krug started the scoring drive just 2:01 into the opening period. He picked up a 2-on-1 pass from Bloomingburg on the transition and tucked it past Jordan Sigalet for the 1-0 Warrior lead. Adam Drescher assisted on the play.
The Warriors added their second goal just 53 seconds later as sophomore winger Mark Nebus fired a shot from the left circle, catching the open space between the post and Sigalet’s glove for the 2-0 lead. Matt Boldt and Taylor Donohoe assisted.
Wayne State increased the lead to 3-0 at the 12:41 mark of the period. With two Falcons sitting in the penalty box, freshman center Mike Forgie notched his 4th goal of the season, a 5-on-3 marker which fluttered past Sigalet and into the net. Steve Kovalchik and Bloomingburg added the helpers.
Stavros Paskaris blew the game open late in the period. With Warriors skating a man short, Paskaris picked up a turnover at center ice and blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle to notch his sixth goal of the season.
The Falcons got on the board early in the second period. Freshman center Jonathan Matsumoto picked up a power-play goal — his seventh of the year — on a scramble in front of the net. Jonathon Sigalet and Brett Pilkington assisted on the play.
Krug added his second and third goals midway through the second period on a wrist shot and a one-timer from just outside the crease, beating BG goalie Jon Horrell, who replaced Sigalet at the beginning of the period.
BG added its second goal of the game on a power play. Rich Meloche banked his fifth goal of the year off the goalie from the bottom of the right circle at 19:38 of the period.
The Warriors picked up their second shorthanded goal of the night five minutes in to the third, as Forgie stole a Falcon pass at center ice and skated in on net, beating Horrell. The shorthanded goal was the sixth of the year for the Warriors.
Wayne State made it an 8-2 game halfway through the third period, as Derek Bachynski took a pass from Dan Iliakis and slid the puck past the BG goalie for the score.
Wayne State capped off the scoring with 7:20 to play in the game. Sophomore winger Nate Higgins scored his second of the year from between the circles, with the assist going to Forgie.
The Falcons scored their final goal at 15:41. Freshman Ben Geelan wristed a shot into the net from between the circles for his third career goal.
The Warriors converted three of six chances on the power play, while the Falcons notched two goals in 11 attempts.
Matt Kelly was strong in net for the Warriors, stopping 34 of 37 Bowling Green shots on goal. The Warriors netted nine goal overall in just 24 shots.
After a day off, Wayne State will host Bemidji State in CHA action at the Compuware Arena on Monday and Tuesday, while the Falcons will host Miami next Friday and Saturday at the BG Ice Arena.