BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Bowling Green set the tone early and got a key win in a 4-2 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs. However, it wasn’t easy by any means.
Jonathan Matsumoto notched his second goal of the night off a pretty passing play at 4:36 of the second period to seal the deal for the Falcons. Falk passed the puck to Alex Foster who centered it for Matsumoto. MacIver slid over to make the save, but Matsumoto’s second chance went in to make it 3-1 and give him the game-winning goal.
Ferris State’s winless streak now stands at 8 games.
“I thought we played a very strong weekend of hockey,” Bowling Green coach Scott Paluch said. “I thought the play today of Matsumoto, Foster and Falk was the key to the game. They didn’t get on the scoresheet last night, and tonight they all got points. That is what you need is balanced scoring.
“The only thing I thought we didn’t do well this weekend was our penalty kill. Aside from that, this is a tough place to play and we haven’t had much luck against Ferris in recent years.”
Despite the loss, Ferris coach Bob Daniels said his team played better than Friday.
“We did struggle a little early on,” said Daniels. “This team continues to play hard and we are hanging in there in every game. That is a good sign.”
Bowling Green set out to dominate the first period as it carried the play for the first half of the period. Matsumoto got the Falcons on the board first at 4:14. Mike Falk passed the puck up ice to Matsumoto who beat Bulldog goaltender Derek MacIntyre to the glove side to make it 1-0.
Falk didn’t have to wait much longer to tally his second point of the night. At 7:20, Falk deflected a shot from Derek Whitmore into the top corner of the net to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs needed a spark and Eric Vesley was there to give them one. It was a carbon copy of the Falcons’ first goal at 12:24.
Jeff Legue fed Vesley who went in on a 2 on 2 opportunity. Vesley snapped a shot just over the glove of Jordan Sigalet to make it 2-1. Ferris State had an opportunity to tie the game just a minute later. Sigalet played the puck behind the net and lost it to Legue who passed it out front. A Bulldog forward was there to put it into the empty net, but just fired the puck over the target.
After the game-winning goal by Matsumoto, the story through the rest of the period was the play of MacIver, as he made many saves off of six point-blank opportunities. One of those chances came when Matsumoto had a chance for a hat trick when he was all alone in front with the puck on his stick. MacIver made a diving glove save to keep the Bulldogs within two.
Matt York seemingly brought the game back within a goal when he deflected it in. However, the referee ruled it a no goal due to his stick being above the crossbar. Ironically, it wouldn’t be the only disallowed goal going against the Bulldogs in the game. It would take a 5-on-3 power play to bring Ferris State back within 1. With Matt York and Matt Stefanishion cycling the puck at the point, they passed the puck down to Matt Rutkowski who flipped the puck over the pad of Sigalet to make it 3-2 at 11:15.
The Falcons put the game away for good in the third period when Steve Brudzewski one timed a pass coming from John Mazzei. The shot was in the slot, hit the far post and went in to make it 4-2 at 3:25.
The second disallowed goal going against the Bulldogs came late in the third period. With the Falcons reeling in their own zone, they put a shot in on Sigalet that fell in front of him. Just as the whistle blew, the puck was in the net when a Bulldog forward crashed the net and put it in. It was ruled no goal once again, much to the displeasure of the fans and the Bulldog team.
“I know the first disallowed goal was really close,” Daniels said. “It was hard to tell if either of those should have counted or not.”