Hockey falls in first regular season game

By Zane Miller and By Zane Miller

The Falcons hockey team fell in their season opener against the Western Michigan Broncos 3-1 on Tuesday night.

The team outshot Western Michigan 34-23; however, they were only able to get one goal past goaltender Ben Blacker.

“He played really well,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said. “We had some really good looks at him; we hit the post a couple of plays but obviously couldn’t get one to go in to tie it.”

The scoring began early for Western Michigan, getting on the board just one minute into the first period. However, freshman forward Cameron Wright put the Falcons right back in it at the 7:12 mark, taking advantage of a power play opportunity to score his first collegiate goal as well as the team’s first goal of the regular season. The score remained even at 1-1 at the end of the first.

“To have a freshman scoring in the first regular season game is big,” Bergeron said. “He’s a guy that’s put up a lot of offensive numbers in the past, and hopefully he’ll be able to do that at the next level.”

In the second period, however, Western Michigan regained the lead with another early goal, giving themselves a 2-1 advantage that they held going into the third period. However, despite a number of quality scoring chances for the Falcons, the team was unable to find a way to tie it back up as Western Michigan put in a late empty netter in the third to seal the 3-1 victory.

Despite the loss, the team saw a lot of good things to build upon as the season progresses.

“We saw a great effort,” Bergeron said. “We got scored on in basically the first minute of the game, and we showed resiliency to fight back and basically take over the first period. I thought our special teams looked good, so there were a lot of positives to take away from tonight, obviously with the exception of the result.”

The team was also proud of the effort that allowed them to tie the game back up after the early first period goal.

“They battled through a little bit of adversity,” Bergeron said. “They didn’t have it turn into a bad period or a bad game, our guys just kind of picked themselves up and got back to playing.”

The team will next play in a home and home matchup against the Michigan State Spartans on Friday and Saturday, playing at home on Friday night before traveling to face Michigan State on the road on Saturday night.