BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green snapped a five-game winless streak in a big way with a 6-2 victory over visiting Alaska Fairbanks on Friday night at the BGSU Ice Arena. The Falcons were 0-4-1 in their last five games and hadn’t recorded a victory since Dec. 3 at Michigan State (2-1).
Several Falcons recorded multiple points in the win, which improved BGSU to 9-7-3 overall and 6-5-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The 14 league points keep the Falcons in fifth place, just one point behind fourth-place Nebraska-Omaha and two points behind third-place Northern Michigan.
“I think we answered a few situations,” said BGSU Coach Scott Paluch. “Jordan (Sigalet) did a good job of making some saves early. I thought Fairbanks came out with a lot of fight and spirit for being off as long as they were. We saw very similar teams getting up and down and creating chances.”
Junior Brett Pilkington scored the lone goal of the first period with a power-play tally at 11:01 with assists from Alex Foster and Michael Hodgson. After that the game turned into a track meet with both teams trading chances and moving up and down the ice.
BGSU came out strong in the second period, getting two goals within the first two minutes. Senior Steve Brudzewski scored his fifth goal of the year at 1:19 then freshman Jonathan Matsumoto netted his team-leading ninth goal just 38 seconds later at 1:57 on a breakaway for a 3-0 Falcon lead.
The Nanooks fought back, though, cutting their deficit to just one goal. Kelly Czuy scored a power-play goal at 14:17 and Ryan Muspratt scored his first career goal at 15:40 to make it a 3-2 game. That was as close as UAF would get, however.
Three goals in the third period by the Falcons put the game away. Pilkington scored his second extra-man goal at 3:55 while Mike Falk (10:05) and Chris Pedota (11:02) added the last two goals. It was Pedota’s first collegiate goal in his 50th career game at BGSU.
Pilkington was named the Perani Cup First Star, ending with a season-high two goals and adding an assist.
“It was the first time in his career here that he played left wing,” Paluch said about Pilkington, who teamed with linemates Bryan Dobek and Rich Meloche. “I thought that line really had good jump and battled extremely hard. Pilkington’s power-play goals were being patient and making the right play.”
“It was pretty comfortable tonight,” Pilkington joked about playing on the wing. “It seemed to work pretty good tonight. We started moving our feet more and getting more bodies on them, which created turnovers for us and scoring chances. Tonight I was in the right place at the right time twice.”
BGSU held a 38-31 shot advantage for the game, marking just the fifth time the Falcons outshot their opponent in 19 games (3-2-0). It was also the third-straight game that BGSU fired 35-plus shots on goal.
Hodgson and Alex Foster each tied a career-high with three assists in the game. Matsumoto ended with a goal and assist.
Jordan Sigalet stopped 29 shots while UAF’s Wylie Rogers had 32 saves. BGSU ended 2-for-6 on the power play and UAF was 1-for-5.
The two teams conclude their weekend series on Saturday, Jan. 8, at the BGSU Ice Arena beginning at 7:05 p.m.