BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Leadership proved to be the difference Friday as a pair of captains delivered for Bowling Green in the third period of a 4-3 win over visiting Lake Superior.
Captain Kyle Page tallied what proved to be the game winner at11:10 of the third period with a slap shot from the top of the left circle. Four minutes earlier assistant captain Brandon Svendsen had regained the lead after BG had allowed two unanswered Laker goals.
Just over seven minutes into the third Svendsen gloved down a fluttering puck, dropped it to himself
and scored on a backhand move around Laker goalie Brian Mahoney-Wilson.
We told our guys we had an opportunity, it was a 20 minute hockey game to gain two points, BG coach Scott Paluch said of the late goals, Then to have your captains make big plays, first a big shot by Kyle [Page] and then Brandon [Svendsen] has been in those situations all year.
The win was even bigger as it jumped BG from a tie for last place to eighth in the CCHA standings.
It was huge, weve got a lot of games with some teams right ahead of us, Page said, Especially that team which was a few points ahead of us and then to get the first two points tonight.
Pages game winner might not have even mattered if not for the way BG started the game strong in the first two periods.
Scoring started early in the first period as junior Tommy Dee scored a first period goal for the second Friday in a row. Last week Dee had scored the game winner in a 3-0 win over Michigan.
Dee put BG on the board first 90 seconds in, as a Josh Boyd pass sprung the Maple Grove, Minnesota native on a breakaway. Dee beat Mahoney-Wilson with a nice forehand to backhand move, putting the puck just under the crossbar.
I got it and I saw the space, I was like wow, Dee said of the goal, I kind of had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do and I just went with it, and it worked. It was good.
BG doubled their lead 12:02 into the second after Kai Kantola found a wide-open James Perkin in front of the Laker net. Perkins one timer beat Mahoney-Wilson high stick side, his first conference goal of the year.
They say a two goal lead is the hardest to hold in hockey and BG witnessed that first hand late in the second period.
First, Laker captain Troy Schwab cut the deficit in half as he picked up a rebound off Falcon goalie Jimmy Spratts pad and buried the puck low stick side.
Pat Aubry scored another rebound goal two and half minutes later after Spratt made nice series of saves but his defenseman could never clear the rebound.
The first time we had it [two-goal lead] we didnt do a great job consistently in the defensive zone, Paluch said. We gave up to many rebound chances, there was probably a total of eight shots saved by Jimmy [Spratt] before both of those goals.
BG regained their two goal lead in the third thanks to the goals by Svendsen and Page, but almost lost it again when the Lakers pulled within one two minutes after Pages game-winner.
However, the goal would not prove to be the difference as BG battled back to keep the Lakers of the scoreboard in the final six minutes.
They battled back, credit to them, theyre a persistent team. When they popped the third one in to go 4-3, it was tough, Page said of the last six minutes, We just battle through it, it was a good team win near the end there.
Despite the loss Lake Superior coach Jim Roque thought his team played well and just missed out on some of their chances.
We played well, we played hard. We only gave up 20 shots on the road, but thats hockey some nights, Roque said.
The two teams face off again tomorrow night at 7:05 pm from the BGSU Ice Arena.