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Falcon hockey picks up first victory of season

Out of the gates 0-7-1 and barreling toward a historic losing streak, the hockey team was able to knock off No. 9 Alaska Friday night, giving the team its first win of the season.

‘We played a complete game, and our team’s pretty excited,’ said assistant captain Tommy Dee. ‘It’s nice to get that goose egg off the scoreboard.’

It was Dee’s goal that provided the euphoric release for a team in desperate need of one.

The goal came midway through the third period, with BG already holding a one goal advantage.

Because of the way the team has managed to let games get away from them this season, there was an obvious feeling of nervousness in the crowd.

But when Dee’s goal hit the back of the net, giving BG a 3-1 lead, the arena erupted.

Dee’s goal served as the knockout blow, following up goals by Jordan Samuels-Thomas and David Solway in the first and second periods, respectively.

‘That probably doubled our average outcome this year,’ said first-year coach Dennis Williams. ‘We’re not going to score the most goals, but when we have Nick [Eno] back there only letting one in, we’ve got a chance to win.’

Eno, the team’s junior goalie, turned in his strongest performance of the season, a season in which he has spent time sharing starts with freshman goalie Andrew Hammond.

‘I just tried to stay positive the whole game,’ Eno said.

Eno would finish the night with 24 saves, with the Nanooks’ lone goal coming on a deflection in front of the net.

Following the final horn Eno could be seen celebrating with a triumphant fist pump, while Solway and Dee embraced each other at middle ice to a chorus of cheering fans.

BG was looking for the series sweep Saturday, but three first period goals from Alaska was too much to overcome as they would end up splitting the series with a 5-3 win.

The Falcons found themselves in an early hole as penalties opened the floodgates for a Nanooks 3-0 advantage after the first period.

‘The first period really hurt us,’ Williams said. ‘If we play 60 minutes of hockey we have them.’

The first period was indeed the difference maker, as BG came out strong in the second and third periods to crawl their way back into the game.

Samuels-Thomas continued his scoring dominance in the second, scoring off a power play opportunity and assisting on Solway’s goal minutes later to cut the deficit to 3-2.

A late goal by Alaska, however, had BG staring at a 4-2 game heading into the third.

With just minutes left and still a 4-2 game, the Falcons pulled their goalie and the man advantage paid off with Solway scoring his second goal of the game and Samuels-Thomas recording his second assist of the game.

The Nanooks finally were able to take advantage of the Falcons’ empty net, however, as they fired a shot the length of the ice to find its way in for the goal and a 5-3 win.

The Falcons won the first and second periods statistically, but the first was too much of a hurdle to overcome.

‘The last two periods we put an emphasis on sticking to our systems,’ Samuels-Thomas said. ‘The first period we weren’t really finishing our checks. The last two periods we went back to playing Bowling Green hockey.”

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