BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Bowling Green defeated Ferris State 2-1 in an overtime thriller that resembled their CCHA playoff series last season.
In that series, won by Bowling Green, the Falcons took the first and third games in extra time after scoring late to tie the games up.
Tonight was a virtual replay with Camden Wojtala tying the game with 1:28 remaining to force the sudden death frame.
With Ferris State clinging to their one-goal lead, Wojtala let a shot go from the right circle and then crashed the net. The junior finally forced the puck past C.J. Motte with his third effort.
“You could see the guys get that look in their eyes,” said Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron. “We were one shot away and we went into the third period with that mindset.”
Then with momentum firmly on their side, the Falcons took the win just 2:13 into overtime, after putting six shots on Motte in that time frame.
Dan DeSalvo and Connor Kucera put in the hard work behind the net to take possession of the puck while leading scorer Ryan Carpenter parked himself in front of Motte to ram the puck home on his second try.
“That was the type of play we were waiting for all game long,” said Bergeron.
Prior to the third period, much of the game was dominated by Ferris State.
The Bulldogs had numerous scoring chances in the first and second periods, outshooting the Falcons 29-16 in that time. However, they were stymied by freshman goalie Tommy Burke and ran into penalty trouble in the waning minutes of the second period.
“All credit to them in the first two periods – they were all over us and were flying all over the ice,” said Bergeron. “But we’ve shown resiliency in this building before. We just hung around.”
Despite scoring in the first period after Matt Kirzinger tipped a shot from Simon Denis to him, Kyle Bonis was seemingly mystified by Burke later in the game. Ferris State’s senior captain had two breakaway chances gloved down by Burke in the third period.
“Those were great plays,” said Bonis. “They made great plays and it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t score on them.”
Moving forward into tomorrow night’s contest, Ferris State coach Bob Daniels thinks his team has to step it up a notch to get the win and three points in the ever-tightening CCHA standings.
“It’s a tough loss for the guys,” said Daniels. “They didn’t play poorly, but they didn’t play good enough to win. I don’t know that we were hungry enough offensively. We needed more of an edge, more grit at the right time to score tonight.”