KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The 3-2 score Friday night from Lawson Ice Arena is a very typical CCHA score. However on this night, the Bowling Green State University Falcons outshot and out battled the Western Michigan Broncos to earn the overtime victory.
Disappointing, said Bronco head coach Jim Culhane. The home opener in league play, you are disappointed that you dont come out with the win. Bowling Green played hard and was able to get a couple of goals late in the third period and was able to come out with the victory here at Lawson Ice Arena.
The first 30 minutes of play was a very aggressive minded style of hockey, controlled by the visiting Falcons as they outshot the home team Broncos 10-1 in the first period. Yet, the Brown and Gold led 1-0 after the first 20 minutes of play making good on their one scoring chance against Falcon net minder Nick Eno.
Every game is important in this league, and we didnt get any points out of the first game, so we needed to get points tonight, said BG Head Coach Scott Paluch. I thought our guys came out extremely well right from the beginning.
It took the Broncos nearly the entire 20 minutes to get off their first shot, before senior winger Jeff Pierce picked the loose puck off the backboards off of a shot wide right by junior Patrick Galivan. Pierce made his way around the back of the net, drawing Eno out of position, dropping the pass off to sophomore Cam Watson-to light the red lamp for this second goal this season.
Bowling Green played real hard, Culhane said. I dont think we started the game like we wanted too. Last weekend we played a full 60 minutes both nights, and tonight we didnt play up to our capabilities.
You are disappointed when you only have that one shot on net in the first period. You try to match their intensity, match their emotion and we were able to do that the rest of the game, he said.
The second period again was much of the same type of hockey as the Falcons were winning the loose puck battles in the open ice, and along the boards out playing the Broncos.
Our coach was preaching hard work all week against a team like this, said freshman David Solway. Playing against a team like this, its a lot of mucking and grinding. We had good success against their D men down low, and kept putting the puck at Riley Gills feet, and it turned out to work pretty well for us.
The Falcons were able to battle back from their one goal deficit in the middle period, when sophomore Tomas Petruska added his first career goal unassisted at the 12:34 mark of the period.
It was a tremendous road effort, Paluch said. We had a great bench, and a real good road attitude, along with our guys staying with it doing the things they had to do to give us a chance to win.
After being outshot 10-1 in the first, the Broncos matched the Falcons seven shots on goal in the second while playing to a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes of play.
In the third period, the Broncos were able to regain another one goal lead at the 8:48 mark when Galivan won a puck battle against the boards, feeding freshman center Max Campbell inside the right circle, for his team high fifth helper in the young season. Campbell then wasted no time and fired a wrister past the stick of Eno. Kevin OConnor was also credited with an assist.
The one goal Broncos lead would stand up until late in the third period, when the Falcons would find the back of the net beating Gill again.
When things arent going your way, like when we were trailing 2-1 late in the third period, you just have to stick with it and keep battling, the Falcon head coach said. We never had a lead in the game, but the guys stuck with it and ultimately the only lead we got was the game-winner.
With only 2:15 remaining in regulation, senior defenseman Mike Nesdill took a pass from Solway behind the goal line inside the right-wing circle, and blasted a shot pass the sophomore Bronco net minder to notch the score at two apiece.
Both teams each had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, as the best effort came when Falcon sophomore defenseman Kyle Page, rocketing a last second desperation slap shot towards the Bronco goal.
They took it to us pretty well tonight but we were just sitting back, Galivan said. We need to stay out of the box tomorrow, be more diligent and work harder. We talked about it all week. We said we need to focus more next week but first things first we need to get a win tomorrow, he said.
As the Broncos took a quick minute inside the extra five minutes of play, when captain defenseman Chris Frank was whistled for slashing, the Falcons didnt waste any time to net the game-winner.
James Perkin made a play, deep in the right corner firing a shot towards the goal, which Gill stopped but the rebound bounced slightly off his right pad in front of the goal, and Solway was there to tap his first career goal into the back of the net.
Perkin made a nice play in the corner, Solway said of his game-winning score. Their D man went over to help out, and Gill kicked the first shot out in front. I was just open in front of the net to tap it in.
The Falcons outshot the Broncos 30-16 in the four periods of play, as Eno stopped 14 WMU shots, while Gill came up with 27 saves of his own.
These same two teams face off tomorrow from the BGSU Ice Arena with the puck dropping at 7:05 for their first of two home and home series with each other.
Tomorrow night is going to be another hard working night, Solway said.
We played hard, I thought I played a good game, Gill concluded. That is all you can ask for. I gave it my all so it wont stick in my mind. I will just try and get the win tomorrow.