One weekend after picking up his first win as a head coach, Chris Bergeron got his first weekend sweep as Bowling Green defeated Alabama-Huntsville 4-2 Saturday night.
“I feel like it means a lot,” Bergeron said. “We’re trying to develop confidence, and we’ve been playing well.”
Bowling Green improved to 3-3 on the season, while the Alabama-Huntsville fell to 1-4.
The Falcons struck first, on a power play with 3:46 remaining in the first period on a goal by Marc Rodriguez. Skating below the left circle, Rodriguez received a pass from Jordan Samuels-Thomas and beat Chargers goalie CJ Groh over the left pad.
While Rodriguez beat Groh on a power play, the freshman goaltender, who was making his first career start, did a good job of keeping it to a 1-0 deficit in the first period.
With 9:57 remaining in the period, Groh made a pair of pad saves, despite playing deep in his net on the initial shot.
Then with 28 seconds remaining, Groh came up big again, stretching with the right pad to deny a Falcons forward who stood alone in front of the net.
The Falcons outshot the Chargers 11-4 in the period.
In the second period, the Falcons offensive continued, and the lead was almost doubled on a scintillating move by captain David Solway. On the penalty kill, Solway slid the puck through the skates on a Chargers defender, went airborne to avoid a hit, and almost beat Groh with a with a wrist shot from the right circle.
While Solway’s move got the Bowling Green fans on their feet, they were quickly sent back to their seats when Matt Baxter’s blast from the point tied the game, 1-1, just 47 seconds later.
Finally getting goal support, Groh continued to be stellar in the Chargers net, turning away eight shots in the second period, including two point blank glove saves with less then 30 seconds remaining.
While Groh did make a couple tough saves, Chargers coach Chris Luongo was happy with how his team responded from a poor first period
“We responded, came out and played much better, but there’s always ebb and flow to the game,” Luongo said. “You could say Bowling Green played well after getting outplayed in the second period.”
The Chargers almost took the lead 4:03 into the third period when Chris Fairbanks wrist shot beat Falcons goalie Andrew Hammond, but it clanged off of the far post.
The Falcons finally turned their advantage of shots into an advantage in goals in the third period. First, Mike Fink beat Groh on a pseudo breakaway, going forehand-to-backhand and putting the puck over the left pad.
Only 42 seconds later, Brett Mohler scored his first collegiate goal, sneaking a shot from the faceoff dot between the right arm and body of Groh.
“It just felt like it was our time for the pucks to go in,” Bergeron said. “We got a couple breaks and put traffic in front of the net.”
If the two-goal push wasn’t enough to secure victory, the Falcons got an insurance goal with 6:35 remaining when Andrew Krelove banked a shot off the far post and into the net.
The Chargers did add their second goal of the game with 2:51 remaining when freshman Alex Allan beat Hammond for his first career goal and point.
Hammond made 23 saves to earn the win, his second of the season. Groh stopped 20 shots in the loss.
Bowling Green returns to conference play next weekend when they head to Alaska, while Alabama-Huntsville will head to East Lansing for a game with Michigan State.
The two teams will meet again Nov. 26 at the RPI Tournament in Troy, NY.