RedHawks too much for Falcons, win both games

Chayse Held and Chayse Held

OXFORD – The BGSU hockey team opened up 2006-2007 CCHA play by dropping two games to No. 7 Miami on the road over the weekend.

The Falcons (2-3-1, 0-2-0) went toe-to-toe with the defending league champion RedHawks (6-2-0, 3-1-0) through both contests, but an inability to finish scoring chances cost the team any hopes of returning with valuable league points.

“It’s tough to come in here and not get any wins, especially when it’s the first weekend of CCHA,” said forward Derek Whitmore. “On the positive side, there’s a lot of good things we can take out of this [weekend].”

In the opener on Friday night at Miami’s new Steve Cady Arena, BG found itself with a 2-1 lead early in the second period after a goal by Tomas Petruska (2) at the 1:33 mark. The Falcons’ lead quickly disappeared, however, with three unanswered Miami goals in the same period, as the hosts took a two-goal advantage and held on in the 3rd for a well-played 4-3 victory.

“We were playing well, I just didn’t like our second period,” said coach Scott Paluch. “[Miami] took control of the game in the second period. They were crashing the cage and getting rebound chances. We did not respond with the necessary intensity in front of the cage that we needed too.”

Eddie Neville stopped 41 out of 45 Miami shots between the pipes for BG, a career-high for the freshman. Whitmore added his 6th goal of the year with the game’s first score. Forward John Mazzei scored for the first time this season while Jonathon Matsumoto helped out with two assists.

Saturday’s loss was a game in which BG out shot Miami 34-23, but could not crack RedHawk goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, getting shut out 3-0. The third round pick of the Los Angeles Kings was perfect on the night stopping Falcon shots and even provided some offense with an assist on the RedHawks’ first goal of the night.

The difference in the game proved to be the play of special teams. Bowling Green went scoreless on all four of their power-plays while Miami was able to get two goals with the man advantage.

“It’s frustrating for everybody on the ice,” Whitmore said. “Especially for the guys who are out there on the power play trying to make things happen when pucks aren’t falling.”

Despite the disappointing outcome, Paluch was pleased with his team’s effort.

“I think it was one of our best games we have played in three years here,” Paluch said. “We corrected a lot of things from [Friday]. They scored on their power play and they won the hockey game.”

BG Goalie Jimmy Spratt stopped 20 MU shots in the game.

“We are talking about a team that pretty much ran away with the league last year,” Paluch said. “They lost a few players”but they have so many players back. They move well on their feet and I feel they are in position for another title.”

The Falcons look to get back on track at home this weekend as CCHA rival Lake Superior State comes to the BG Ice Arena for a pair of games.