BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Boston College used a balanced scoring attack, getting seven different players to light the lamp as it upended the Bowling Green Falcons, 9-6, at the BG Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Despite a four-goal second-period lead, BC was not able to secure the victory until late in the final period of play.
The Falcons, trailing 6-2 midway through the second, stormed back to tie the game early in the third, until BC righted the ship and eventually came away with the victory.
Boston College coach Jerry York felt his team’s ability to stop the bleeding after giving up four unanswered goals showed resolve on his team’s part.
“I think it’s a significant win for our program,” said York. “We were in a hard-fought game last night with Michigan. We knew tonight’s game was going to be a difficult game. I feel very good about the win and our ability to bounce back from a 6-6 tie in the third.”
York credited his fourth line of Joe Adams, Pat Gannon, and Andrew Orpik with turning the game back in favor of the Eagles.
“After they tied it 6-6, our fourth line came back and got a goal. It was a big, big play for us. It was a big turning point in the game.”
Despite scoring nine goals, one aspect that gave BC fits was the power play of Bowling Green. The Falcons scored five power-play goals on the night.
“The Falcon power play was just unstoppable tonight,” remarked York. “We were dodging bullets toward the end. They move the puck very well. They have very skilled players. They were very, very good on the power play.”
Despite the loss, BG coach Scott Paluch was pleased with his team’s comeback.
“I was extremely proud of our group to get it back to 6-6,” said Paluch. “We showed a lot of who we are in that regard. We played a pretty good hockey game against a pretty good team.”
Paluch was equally pleased with his special-teams units. Besides scoring five times with the man-advantage, the penalty kill stopped seven of nine BC power plays.
“Our special teams were very good,” said Paluch. “Our power play kept answering the bell when we needed it. Our penalty kill did a pretty good job against a pretty good power-play team.”
“I thought all 10 guys on the power play tonight moved the puck extremely well. We made some terrific plays. I thought we were pretty complete.”
Boston College jumped out to a quick two-goal lead in the early part of the first period.
After a hooking penalty to the Falcons’ Ryan Barnett, senior winger Chris Collins notched his second goal of the season, a backhander past rookie netminder Jimmy Spratt from the side of the net for the 1-0 lead. Nathan Gerbe and Brett Motherwell assisted on the goal.
The Eagles struck again just 17 seconds later. Center Pat Gannon skated though traffic with the puck and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of the BG goalie for a 2-0 lead. The goal was unassisted.
The Falcons cut the lead in half moments later with a power play marker of their own. Jonathan Matsumoto fired a one-timer from the right circle just eight seconds into the man-advantage for his first goal of the year. Brandon Svendsen and Kevin Schmidt added the helpers.
Bowling Green then tied the game at 9:50. Derek Whitmore deflected a shot off the stick of Mike Nesdill for the second Falcon power-play tally of the night. Brett Pilkington also assisted on the play.
Boston College closed out the first-period scoring at 14:49. Defenseman Peter Harrold found an open space through traffic in front and slid the puck through the five-hole of Spratt for his first goal of the year. Dan Bertram and Joe Adams assisted.
The Eagles scored the first three goals of the second period, two on Falcon giveaways.
Joe Rooney gave BC a 4-2 lead 1:53 into the period. He picked up the puck on a turnover in the defensive zone and skated in on Spratt, and fired a wrister for his first goal of the season.
Brian Boyle and Chris Collins scored the next two goals for Boston College to give their team a 6-2 lead midway through the second. Boyle fired a wrist shot off the crossbar and the puck caromed behind netminder Jon Horrell, who replaced Spratt midway through the second stanza.
Collins’ goal was off another giveaway, this one in the neutral zone. He skated in alone to score a shorthanded goal, his second goal of the night.
The Falcons stormed back in the second half of the period, notching three goals in a span of four minutes.
Matsumoto scored twice in the span, both goals coming on power plays. The goals gave Matsumoto his first career hat trick, and the first hat trick for a BG player since Ryan Murphy against Lake Superior State in 2001.
Junior Rich Meloche contributed the other goal for the Falcons, tipping in a shot from the point off the stick of Jon Sitko. It was Meloche’s first goal of the year.
The Falcons knotted the game in the third. Mike Falk scored the goal at the 5:21 mark, a power-play goal that bounced off the skate of goaltender Cory Schneider and into the net. Pilkington and Don Morrison assisted.
Boston College regained the lead for good at the 9:26 mark of the period. Adams made it 7-6 with a wraparound, beating Horrell along the near post for his first collegiate goal. Orpik and Gannon assisted.
The Eagles scored a pair of insurance markers later in the period. Gerbe scored his first of the night on a one-timer, while Rooney scored his second with a shot from the left circle to cap the scoring.
Despite the rough start for the Falcons, Paluch likes what he sees out of his team.
“I’m disappointed that our club is 0-2 right now, but I feel really good about this team. I like what this team can do. I like the fact that we’ve got a lot of guys involved.”
Boston College goaltender Schneider stopped 28 of 34 shots, while Spratt and Horrell combined for 24 saves in 33 attempts for BGSU.
The Falcons will open the CCHA regular season next week with a home-and-home series against the CCHA preseason favorites, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Thursday’s game will be in Bowling Green, while Friday’s game will be in Columbus.
BC heads home to take on Northeastern next Saturday.