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College Hockey:
Eagles Return To Form With Win Over Falcons

— One night after an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame, Boston College (2-1-0) cleaned up in the slot and on the scoreboard, cruising to a 5-1 win and handing the visiting Falcons from Bowling Green their first loss of the season (2-1-1).

Benn Ferriero led the way for the Eagles with two goals and two assists, while linemate Joe Rooney added a goal and three assists. BC goaltender Cory Schneider had 25 saves in the win.

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Joe Rooney eyes the puck after colliding with Brandon Svendsen at center ice (photo: Melissa Wade).

“All of us really like to move the puck around,” said Ferriero of his linemates, Rooney and Brock Bradford.

“We have really good chemistry,” added Rooney.

Falcon goalie Jimmy Spratt (38 saves) and Bowling Green were done in by a tendency to leave rebounds in the slot to be picked up by opposing players. Three of BC’s five goals were rebounds that were not cleared by the defense nor covered up or steered into a corner by the goaltender.

“BC did a really good job getting guys to the net,” said Scott Paluch, head coach of the Falcons. “They were really tenacious around the net, and you have to give BC credit for being so intense on their second chances.”

Meanwhile, Schneider did a better job controlling the puck following rebounds, as evidenced on a power-play attempt by freshman Todd McIlrath in the third period that Schneider gloved and held. Schneider limited second chances for the Falcons, although the only goal for Bowling Green did come on a rebound.

The Eagles were reeling from a 7-1 setback a night earlier to Bowling Green’s CCHA travel partner Notre Dame, and were determined to put forth a better effort, particularly in the first period. Early pressure paid off quickly, as BC jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the latter part of the first.

“We had a much better feeling than last night,” said BC coach Jerry York. “The first 10 minutes really established how we were going to play throughout the game. We were getting to pucks, finishing checks, getting second chances at the net. We played with real vigor and resolve.”

“They had a good jump right from the start,” echoed Paluch. “We knew we would have their full attention after last night’s game.”

The first goal came on the power play halfway through the frame, with Bowling Green’s Russ Sinkewich in the box for holding the stick. Midway through a somewhat listless power play, Ferriero drove to the net and took a quick shot that was stopped by Spratt. Crashing the net following the play was Brian Boyle, who slapped the puck in the net for his third goal of the season, tops on BC.

The Eagles extended their lead a little more two minutes later, as Ferriero lifted a shot over the shoulder of Spratt from the right faceoff circle, following a pass to and return from Joe Rooney, which originated in the neutral zone.

The Falcons had been held to just three shots at the 15-minute mark of the first period, but started to show signs of life on a terrific sequence as Bowling Green’s line of Ben Geelan, McIlrath, and Brandon Svendsen had continuous puck possession in their offensive zone, which resulted in nearly a half dozen shots on net in one shift, in what was the best offensive display either team showed all night.

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Benn Ferriero scores his second goal of the game (photo: Melissa Wade).

“Todd’s a talented freshman for us,” said Paluch. “They got some chances in the last part of the first period, and we really needed that. It really gave our team a spark that we were missing.”

That energy carried over and paid off with just five seconds left in the frame, as Derek Whitmore took a seemingly innocuous shot off a rebound of a Tomas Petruska bid that slid under the pads of Schneider.

The goal could have been a rallying point for Bowling Green, but the BC players were sure not to allow that to happen.

“We just had a lapse in defensive judgment,” said Ferriero. “We couldn’t let that goal get in their skin.”

BC got the goal back at 5:01 of the second period, again on a rebound goal. This goal, off a Ferriero shot, was scored by Joe Rooney, his first of the young season.

Bowling Green’s best chance to climb back into the game came on an extended five-on-three advantage split between the second and third periods, but BC managed to kill off the penalties successfully.

Boston College added to its lead with a power-play goal in the third on yet another rebound, this time Nathan Gerbe on the edge of the crease stuffing in a Joe Rooney attempt.

A Schneider misplay behind the net very nearly cost BC a goal, as the puck squirted out in front of the open net, but the puck was cleared down the ice and onto the stick of Ferriero, who extended on a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.

York said the win came at a good time, as his team prepares for a big weekend in Madison next weekend, taking on defending national champion Wisconsin for two games.

“One of the things about getting a win is how you feel,” he said. “You play with more confidence, your practice is easier. It was important to us as we head out west to go out there on a positive note.

Bowling Green hits the road to face conference foe Miami for two games in Oxford, Ohio, next weekend.

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