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Hockey splits pair of weekend road games

While a split wasn’t quite what they were looking for in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the Falcon hockey team did edge a little farther up in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings this weekend.

On Friday night, BG (10-10-0 overall, 7-7-0 CCHA) came back twice in the same game to beat Lake Superior (3-13-4, 1-10-3) by a score of 4-2. It was the second consecutive meeting between the two teams in which BG would win 4-2. Last season they did so on Nov. 4, 2006, at the BGSU Ice Arena after jumping out to a three-goal lead over LSSU.

This time around, though, the Lakers took a 1-0 lead two minutes into the first when Nathan Perkovich, their top goal scorer, put one of 11 first period shots past BG goalie Nick Eno.

Freshman Jake Cepis answered five minutes into the second with the 10th goal of his college career to tie the game at one.

‘I think there’s no question that Lake Superior controlled the first period and we finally started to get our offensive zone play back in the second,’ coach Scott Paluch said. ‘The guys started moving their feet a little better, we started to get to more pucks, we cycled the puck better and just had more puck possession than we did in the first period.’

The score would remain knotted until Lake Superior’s Pat Aubry recorded his first goal of the 2007-08 campaign at 1:35 of the third period to give his team the lead for the second time in the game.

Once again a BG freshman rose to the occasion to tie the game.

David Solway hit the back of the net from the left side of the Laker zone after getting assists from Cepis and Mike Nesdill at 6:51 of the third.

That’s when two upperclassmen decided this game would belong to the Falcons.

Tri-captain Derek Whitmore scored his 14th goal of the season one minute and two seconds later. Though the goal put Whitmore back into fifth place in CCHA goal scoring, it was his first tally since the last game in November against Wayne State.

Oddly enough, coach Paluch had commented on his captain’s scoring drought earlier in the week.

‘It was going to be really hard to keep up that eight goal in three game pace he had, but Derek means a lot to our team,’ Paluch said. ‘His leadership is so strong and he is a big voice on our team.’

‘Even when he’s not producing, he’s still a big factor.’

He did become a factor on the scoreboard once again on Friday since his goal did end up as the game winner.

Junior Brandon Svendsen, who only a month ago was predicted to be sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, added an insurance marker at 11:25 to close off the scoring.

‘In the third period, we made some real nice plays to score the goals after having our character challenged at the beginning of the period when we fell behind,’ Paluch said. ‘Overall, I’m proud of the effort and I’m proud of the way the guys hung in there.’

The Falcons failed to hang in there at all the next night, as they surrendered a three-goal lead to the Lakers in the first and second periods. Whitmore would add his second goal of the weekend at 16:19 of the second, but it would be the team’s last of the game.

Lake Superior added an empty netter with 33 seconds left in the third period to salvage a split and their first conference victory of the season.

Despite dropping the second match, BG’s two weekend points put them just one back of Nebraska-Omaha for fifth place. Miami swept the Mavericks this weekend, leaving them with 15 CCHA points to the Falcons’ 14.

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