BG Hockey Loses Thriller in OT to Split Series Against NMU

Ben Shanahan , Reporter

It did not take long for the Wildcats to be on the powerplay, as Falcon’s defenseman Hunter Lellig was called for tripping only 30 seconds into the game. On that powerplay, Artem Shlaine would capitalize finding Joey Larson wide open on the left side of the net to give NMU the early lead. Five minutes later a faceoff win in the NMU offensive zone would find Wildcat Co-Captain Aj Vanderbeck, he would beat Sophomore Falcon goalie Christian Stover to take a 2-0 lead. 

In the second period, the defense would shine for both squads holding the offense scoreless for the first ten minutes. This would change however as Falcon Freshman Dalton Norris would leave the puck for Austen Swankler, who shot with little space finding the back of the net and cutting the NMU lead in half. That play would also earn Norris his first collegiate point. BG used that momentum right away as 15 seconds later they’d find the back of the net to tie it. This time being Freshman Jaden Grant who beautifully poked the puck off of a Wildcat’s stick to Ethan Scardina, scoring his second goal in as many nights. 

The third period would see a lot of back and forth, neither team getting the edge, until a nice down ice pass from Ben Wozney, and great passing in the offensive zone ending with Norris once again finding Swankler to score and take the lead. Penalties would hurt the Falcons like they did earlier, as Grosse Pointe, Michigan native Adam Pitters would find himself in the box for holding. NMU for the second time in the game would score on the man advantage, as Alex Frye’s initial attempt would be saved by Stover but the rebound found David Keefer who buried it home tying the game at three. 

This game would be sent to OT, as both teams had many chances in the three on three five minute period. The Falcon’s best chance came on a Swankler break away that was saved by Wildcat goalie Charlie Glockner. The game would end off of AJ Vanderbeck’s stick, after a BG shot that was blocked found Vanderbeck on a two on one breakaway ending the crazy series at a split. 

Head Coach Ty Eigner had this to say about the series,

“We’re proud of our guys for competing all weekend. We hung in there after a tough start tonight, which is good to see. Getting 4 of 6 points on the road against a good team on opening weekend is definitely something to build on.”

Bowling Green will have a chance to build on this momentum next Friday, as they start a home and home series on the road against Michigan State in East Lansing.