ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Three third period goals, two on the power play, in just two minutes and 22 seconds, catapulted Bowling Green over Michigan, 4-2, Friday night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
The Falcons capitalized on a costly pair of Michigan penalties early in the final period on goals by Kyle Page and Tommy Dee, then added a third even strength goal by Evan Perkin by the six minute mark of the period.
Michigan entered the third period with a slim 2-1 margin, but Lee Moffie’s tripping penalty at 1:41 and then Steve Kampfer’s cross checking penalty at 3:29 give Bowling Green a small 12-second window with a five-on-three advantage.
During those 12 seconds, Page’s screened shot from the center of the ice at the blue line started the Falcons’ goal parade by tying the contest at 3:38 of the final period.
Before Michigan could recover, Dee took a deflected shot just to the right of the Michigan goal and pounded it into the empty net behind Wolverines’ goaltender Bryan Hogan at 4:52, still on the power play, to give Bowling Green their first lead of the game, 3-2
Evan Perkin poured salt into the Wolverine’s wounds with the third unanswered Bowling Green goal when he banged home a shot on a Hogan rebound from the side of the Michigan net at 6:00, extending the Falcons’ lead to 4-2.
“I thought we had a great team effort all the way through, with all four lines and all three defense pairings contributing,” said first-year Bowling Green coach Dennis Williams proudly.
“Credit to our power play,” continued Williams. “It’s been something that we’ve worked on the last couple weeks. That timely five-on-three goal when we knew we only had twelve seconds to run a quick play was key. We capitalized on that and then get the other one right after. The puck started bouncing our way.
“We still have to learn to play with a lead. We were running around at times. But, overall, I thought it was a great team effort. We got that late goal in the first. I thought we were very average in the first period. We came out in the second and we played okay. We battled through it. They scored that late one in the second, which is always a killer.”
Both teams entered the game looking to break losing skids. Michigan had lost two consecutive weekend series, first to top-ranked Miami then to surprising Michigan State, only scoring four total goals in the four losses. Bowling Green had lost four of their past five games, the only win coming last weekend against Alaska.
“The strength of our team up until now has been penalty killing,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson. “We couldn’t kill that five-on-three, not even close. Then, they scored on the five-on-four. It’s just too easy. All of a sudden, it’s a whole new game. Goals have been hard to come by for us of late and we just couldn’t come from behind.”
The struggling teams each managed a goal in the opening period, with the Falcons knotting the score, 1-1 late in the period, countering the Wolverines’ mid-period power play marker.
Wolverine Louis Caporusso netted only his second goal of the season on a power play at 10:59 after skating through a bevy of Falcons’ defenders on his way to the net from the blue line. The Michigan junior forward slipped the puck under Eno once he reached the front of the net to open the game’s scoring.
Bowling Green countered at 18:56 when David Solway broke in on left wing and fired a shot that initially lodged in Michigan forward A.J. Treais equipment. When the puck dropped back at his feet, Solway banged it over Hogan from point blank range.
Scoring a late period goal of their own, Michigan rode Robbie Czarnik’s laser of a shot at 18:59 of the second period to a thin 2-1 two-period edge.
On a feed from freshman Lindsay Sparks, Czarnik sizzled a snap shot from the top of the right circle over Eno’s glove just under the crossbar.
Bowling Green performed their triple dose of goal-scoring magic early in the third to ice the win.
“It’s huge,” said Williams of the importance of the road win for the Falcons. “I’ve said all along that I thought our guys were playing well all year and it just hasn’t translated into victories. It’s great going into tomorrow. It should be an exciting game. I know our guys are feeling good right now, but it’s a new day (tomorrow).”
The Falcons (2-8-1, 2-4-1-1 CCHA) and the Wolverines (4-7-0, 2-5-0-0 CCHA) complete their weekend two-game series Saturday night at Toledos 8,000 seat Lucas County Arena.