BG icers snap losing steak

Jayme Ramson and Jayme Ramson

The Bowling Green hockey team looked like they were in control during most of Saturday’s game against Western Michigan, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead and holding a 34-23 shot advantage. The Falcons led in nearly every statistical category, yet Western Michigan walked away with the win.

In an up-and-down weekend, Bowling Green (7-20-3, 4-17-3 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association) snapped a four game losing streak with a come-from-behind 3-3 tie with Western Michigan on Friday night, then fell to WMU, 4-2, at the BGSU Ice Arena on Saturday night.

“Part of the process of direction where we’re going we need to get to the point of making these plays late in games,” BG coach Scott Paluch said. “Our ability to work and put ourselves in position to win hockey games is there and what we’re going through now is a process of understanding plays that need to be made down the stretch. Friday night we took a step forward and made some plays to get an important point on the road.”

Down 2-0 after the first period on Friday night, the Falcons scored two goals in the second period and added another in the third to get their first point on the road since a Jan. 31 win against Nebraska-Omaha.

“I thought it [the puck movement on power plays] was real good,” Paluch said. “The key to it was that we were able to retrieve the puck very well. We weren’t going back and retrieving the puck very often at our own end. We were able to possess the puck, protect it and move it pretty well. I thought on the first power play we had a chance for a couple goals.”

Bowling Green scored two power play goals in the second period to knot the game at 2-2. The Falcons started their comeback when Kevin Bieksa scored at the 4:41 mark. D’Arcy McConvey and Mark Wires assisted on the goal. A little over a minute later, Tyler Knight scored unassisted on a power play.

Knight scored his second goal of the game 5:50 into the third period. McConvey and Bieksa assisted on the goal. The Broncos’ Dana Lattery scored during a power play at 7:33.

Goalie Tyler Masters had 31 saves in the game for the Falcons, and preserved the tie during overtime when WMU threatened to score a fourth goal.

A recurring problem haunted the Falcons once again on Saturday, the problem of letting a lead slip away. The Falcons squandered a one-goal lead after one period.

“[This game was] very similar to all four games we’ve played against this team. Throughout every single contest, the games were really tight and they found a way in three of the games to get the win and tonight was no different,” Paluch said. “They took advantage in the third period and capitalized.”

Knight scored his third goal of the weekend at the 11:55 mark of the first period. McConvey picked up his third assist of the weekend on the play while Wires picked up his second assist of the series on the play.

Western Michigan played the comeback role Saturday with two goals less than two minutes apart in the second period. Bowling Green tied the game at 2-2 on Brett Pilkington’s goal at the 8:12 mark. McConvey picked up his fourth goal of the weekend and team-leading 19th on the season on the play. The assist put McConvey past his previous season-high of 18 assists.

Western Michigan’s Trevor Cook scored what would be the game-winner 10:12 into the third period. With less than two minutes left in the third period, BG pulled goalie Jordan Sigalet in favor of an extra man up front.

Shortly after BG pulled Sigalet, WMU’s Jeff Campbell was called for tripping and BG went on power play. The Falcons decided to keep Sigalet out in favor of a 6-4 advantage of attackers, but WMU’s Paul Davies intercepted the puck and scored an empty-net goal at 18:47 to give WMU a safe, 4-2 lead.

“We had nice execution late in the game with the goalie pulled and the six-on-four attack,” WMU coach Jim Culhane said. “Your best players have to rise to the occasion in big games and we did that here tonight.”

The Falcons will play a two game series this weekend at Lake Superior before their final homestand on March 8 and 9 against Ferris State. After that, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs start.

“We want to be a dangerous team. We still want to advance once the playoffs come around,” Paluch said. “And for ourselves right now our entire game has to be on top and I think our team and our overall game is solid in a lot of areas with the exception of making plays to win hockey games.”

Tyler Knight has big-time weekend

By Kevin Shields

Sports Reporter

The Bowling Green hockey team had another hard-fought weekend series against Western Michigan. A key reason behind their ability to make things competitive this weekend was the play of senior forward Tyler Knight.

“Knighter was real dangerous around the net all weekend,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “I thought he did a good job fighting for loose pucks and getting himself to the net.”

In Friday night’s game, the Falcons were trailing 2-1 in the second period when Knight was able to get a power play goal and tie the game at two. The goal came only 1:04 after Kevin Bieksa was able to get a power play goal and get the Falcons on the board, who were trailing 2-0 after the first period.

Later on, Knight was able to give the Falcons the lead just 5:50 into the final period at 3-2 with his second goal of the night. The Falcons ended up getting a tie at 3-3 that night, but Knight’s line had a huge game.

With those two goals on Friday night, Knight was able to establish new career highs in goals for a season and inch closer to his best season point total. His previous season high for goals was seven and the two on Friday gave him nine on the year. The two points also gave him 19 on the year and just one shy of his career-best 20-point season.

In Saturday night’s game, Knight was able to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period on the power play by putting in a loose rebound next to the net. The goal gave him 10 on the year and tied his season high point total of 20.

Western ended up getting a win that night at 4-2, but once again Knight was a factor in the game all night and got chances around the net.

The two-goal game on Friday night marked the third time this year that Knight got two goals in a game. The goal Saturday gave him three for the weekend and he accounted for three of the five goals scored for the Falcons.

“Tyler is on a nice little roll here and the goals have come from really close around the net,” said Paluch. “He has just had the whereabout to be in the right spot at the right time and put the puck home.”

Knight is an assistant captain for the Falcons and playing his final season at BG. He will look to continue the hot play down the stretch and try to improve his season highs even more. Paluch knows that the senior’s play will be one of the keys to their success heading into the last two weekend series and then the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Tournament.

“I’m feeling really good about Knighter’s play heading down the stretch here,” Paluch said. “Our ability to work and put ourselves in position to win hockey games is there, and we made big plays in Friday’s game to earn a tie and Tyler was one who made some of those plays.”