Falcons feeling blue

Time is running out on the BGSU hockey team.

The Falcons dropped a pair to Alaska Fairbanks over the weekend and are now in 11th place in the CCHA. With only four games remaining, BG will need all the help they can to get a decent playoff seed.

After falling 4-3 Friday and 3-1 Saturday, BG is five points out of eighth place in the conference. Teams coming in places five through eight in the conference get to play the first round of the playoffs at home.

No lead was safe for the Falcons against Fairbanks. BG struck first in both contests this weekend but could not hold on in either case. In Friday’s contest the Falcons led 2-0 after two quick goals in the first two minutes. Unfortunately, the Nanooks would net four unanswered goals and BG did not have the firepower to overcome the onslaught.

“We’re proud of the effort but disappointed with the result,” said BG assistant coach Ron Fogarty. “We don’t control our own destiny at this point, so we just have to focus on how well we play Friday night.”

Brett Pilkington’s seventh goal of the year would put the Falcons on top 1-0 at the 6:08 mark of the second period in Saturday’s game. The goal was assisted by Alex Foster and Don Morrison. Foster’s assist was his 36th, which is the most in the CCHA. The lead was short-lived, though, as UAF would answer at the 12:44 mark. Braden Walls got a shot past BG goalie Jimmy Spratt in an unassisted effort and things stayed at 1-1 for a while.

“Jimmy played excellent, although he came out with the loss,” Fogarty said. “He made some outstanding saves throughout the course of the game, he made the tough shots look like routine saves.”

Although he had an outstanding third period, stopping the first 15 shots he faced, Spratt could not stop a Lucas Burnett shot and the Nanooks took the lead 2-1 with just 4:07 remaining. The goal was assisted by Kyle Greentree and Jordan Hendry. BG could not muster up enough offense to respond. They would pull their goalie in favor of an extra attacker but Braden Walls would score his second goal of the night on the empty net to put the Falcons away with 11 seconds remaining, making the final score 3-1.

The Falcons were 1-for-8 on the power play this weekend while successfully killing 9 of 10 penalties. The lone power play goal was scored Friday night by Derek Whitmore. Spratt recorded a career-high 36 saves in the loss, as well.

The Falcons’ record now stands at 13-18-1 overall and 8-15-1 in the CCHA. They must play well down the home stretch with four games remaining. One good thing the Falcons have going is that three of the four games are at home where they are 9-8 this season. BG’s final two games are against first place Miami.

BG’s next game is at 7:05 p.m. Friday against Notre Dame at the Ice Arena.