Icers’ offense comes alive in in win, tie against RedHawks

The Falcon hockey team had a big weekend against the Miami RedHawks, who came in tied for the CCHA lead. BG got a 4-1 win and 4-4 tie, which moved them into a tie for sixth place in the league standings and showed how much they have improved from last season.

“Bowling Green is obviously much improved this year and that’s not surprising with Scott [Paluch] at the helm,” Miami head coach Enrico Blasi said. “Their second effort along with their work ethic is very good this year and they threw everything at us this weekend.”

On Halloween night, the Falcons came out in their orange and black uniforms ready to play from the start.

The two teams went scoreless in the first period, but BG ended the period with nine shots on goal compared to only five for the RedHawks. Miami goaltender Brandon Crawford-West had to come up with some big stops as the Falcons generated some good opportunities throughout the period.

In the second period, the Falcons put up three goals and started to take control of the game.

Forward Brett Pilkington got the first goal of the game just 2:18 into the period, as his high shot went over Crawford-West’s left shoulder to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Mark Wires and Rich Meloche got assists on the goal. Then, just six minutes later, defenseman Brian Escobedo netted the eventual game-winning goal on the power-play from Kevin Bieksa and D’Arcy McConvey to give BG a 2-0 lead. Pilkington would get his second goal of the night with just 2:07 left in the period on the power-play from Jonathan Sigalet and Mike Falk to give BG a commanding 3-0 lead. Miami would answer back less than a minute later as Derek Edwardson got his stick on a pass in front of the net that beat Jordan Sigalet making it 3-1.

“The goal they got … a guy was driving down the wing then threw to the net where the guy [Edwardson] was able to get a stick on it and get it over my pad,” Sigalet said.

The shot total and play was once again dominated by the Falcons in the final period, as they out-shot Miami in every period of the game and held their power-play that ranked second in the nation in check.

Pilkington had a chance at a hat-trick, but had a near miss on a power-play when the goalie was out of position. Then the final tally came when Steve Brudzewski added an empty-netter in the final 2 minutes of the game to give BG a 4-1 CCHA victory.

Sigalet and the defensemen in front of him held Miami to 0-6 on the power-play, with the RedHawks only being able to create six shots on the man-advantage. While BG countered with a 2-5 night on the power-play.

“I thought it was a very solid game played by our team,” head coach Scott Paluch said. “Offensively and defensively we had a solid game doing a lot of things necessary to win the game over a very good Miami team.”

“When they scored the goal late in the second, it was a real critical moment in the game for us mentally and I was happy with the way we responded to that by having good shifts to begin the third,” Paluch said.

It was a wild game on Saturday night to wrap-up the weekend series as Miami came out and dominated the first half of the game putting up a 4-0 lead just 45 seconds into the second period. The Falcons worked their way back and got a goal in the final minute of the game to send the game to overtime tied at 4-4.

In the first period, Miami was out-hustling and out working the Falcons all over the ice. Matt Christie got a short-handed goal off a turnover in front of the net to give the RedHawks a 1-0 lead 7:09 into the game. Andy Greene added another Miami goal at 13:46 to make it 2-0 and less than a minute later Edwardson had a breakaway on a 4-on-4 situation and put it past Sigalet on a second effort to make it 3-0 Miami. The period ended with the RedHawks out-shooting BG 12-8. Just 45 seconds into the second, Edwardson created Miami’s second short-handed goal and his second of the night off another turnover to make it 4-0 RedHawks.

The Falcons finally got on the board as Wires beat Steve Hartley on the power-play with assists from Pilkington and Falk to make it 4-1 at 8:41. Then Wires added his second goal of the night at 12:33 with a shot behind the net that went off the back of Hartley’s leg to make it 4-2. Alex Rogosheske and Bieksa got credit for the assists on the goal. The period ended with Miami having a 7-6 advantage in shots, but the Falcons were climbing back into the game.

The final period began with the Falcons killing off a five minute major penalty from a spearing call at the end of the second. The third period was very evenly played, but at 9:28 into the period, Meloche got a goal after BG was creating pressure to make it 4-3 with McConvey and Brudzewski assisting. Sigalet and Hartley were both making big saves throughout the period, but in the last minute of the game while on a power-play, Sigalet was pulled and the 6-on-4 advantage allowed Meloche to even it up at 4-4 with just 45 seconds left. Meloche scored his second goal of the night with assists going to Sigalet and Bieksa on the tying goal then talked about the play afterwards.

“We had the power-play and they were forcing up top and Sigalet faked a shot then threw over to me then I tried to get a good one-timer off … I think it fooled their goalie and it went in, Meloche said.”

In the overtime session, both Sigalet and Hartley made big saves as both teams got good opportunities, but the game ended in a 4-4 tie.

“It was certainly a game you got to catch your breath when it’s over,” Paluch said. “We got a good spark in the second period with the goal and were able to get things rolling from there. I’m extremely proud of the way our team hung in there and it’s a huge point for us tonight.”

Meloche commented on how the coaches kept the team motivated during the comeback.

“Our coaches on the bench stayed positive throughout and that just showed how much confidence they had in us, which in turn made us keep fighting,” Meloche said.

“Anytime you’re up 4-0 and give up a lead like that it’s tough, but we played tough and they did what they needed to get back in the game.”