Tommies prove tough as Falcons split doubleheader

Emma Tucker, Sports Reporter, FMSN

On Thursday and Friday night, the Falcons met the St. Thomas Tommies on the road in Minneapolis. Playing a tough game on Thursday, Bowling Green’s winning streak of six was snapped with UST winning 4-2. The next night, the Falcons got back into the rhythm, ending the night with a tie after two overtimes. When the dust settled, the Falcons were shootout winners, 2-1. 

Here’s how it happened.  


Thursday’s matchup began with a bang, as BG’s Max Coyle netted the first goal within the first two minutes with the assist coming from teammate Austen Swankler. Coming off the momentum of the last few games, Coyle set the bar and Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead in the first period. For the rest of the first period, the Falcons and Tommies held each other at bay, with neither side scoring until the second.  

With around five minutes left in second-period play, the Tommies made multiple attempts at the goal. Off a missed shot, UST’s Ryan O’Neill tied up the score at 1-1. Bowling Green was quick to respond, as off a pass made by Nathan Burke and Ben Wozney, Taylor Schneider put the Falcons back in the lead and extended his scoring streak to 17 games. The second period wrapped up with a UST power play, but the shorthanded Falcons were able to defend their goal.  

To keep things interesting, O’Neill struck again with a rebound shot to Mack Byers in the first few minutes of the third period. Byers received the help from O’Neill and netted the second goal for the Tommies, his first of the night.

At 2-2, it all came down to these last minutes of play. There’d be almost thirteen minutes with no scoring action until  Byers would come back for seconds. Off another deadly rebound shot, Byers took advantage of the opportunity to give UST the lead, 3-2. With time running out, St. Thomas found an opportunity via an empty Falcon net. Byers passed to Josh Eernisse, allowing him to score an empty netter in the last fifteen seconds of play to seal the deal at 4-2.


In a late start to the action, senior Nathan Burke grabbed a rebound shot from Zach Vinnell, eventually sneaking around the righthand side to score a Falcon goal. Five minutes later, Burke circled back, with assistance from Schneider, sending a rebound back up and scoring his second goal of the night. This goal extended Burke’s scoring streak to seven games with thirteen goals and put Bowling Green in a strong lead.  

The second period held all scoring at a standstill until six minutes were left in play. After multiple penalties, with a full team, and an opportunity, Tommie freshman Jake Braccini took the puck himself, scoring the first UST goal of the night. Not even a minute later, the Tommies struck again, as Byers sunk the game-tying goal with help from Ryan O’Neill and Garrett Daly. From here, time ran out on the second period with the score at 2-2.

The final twenty minutes of regulation brought on two power plays for Bowling Green, but no scoring for either team in the first ten minutes. With a little over seven minutes left in play, UST’s Tim Piechowski scored off a pass from Tommie sophomore Cameron Recchi, giving UST the lead. With Bowling Green down by one goal, the Brown and Orange had all hands on deck, including goaltender Christian Stover, who left his goal to skate. Falcon Austen Swankler scored the payoff goal, with help from Wozney and Chase Gresock. This was Swankler’s sixteenth goal of the season and now UST and BGSU were be tied with three goals apiece.  

Overtime showed no scoring, but gave each team a power play within the five minutes. With no score change in overtime, the teams moved on to a shootout, BG’s first all season.

Round one of the shootout resulted in a 1-0 lead for UST, Braccini making his shot, while Burke missed his. Next, Gresock made the shot and UST’s shooter, Luc Laylin, fell short of making the shot.

Now all tied up, it would come down to the last matchup, Schneider versus Eernisse.

Making the shot against Aaron Trotter, Schneider gave the Falcons the lead in the shootout, 2-1. The last shot of the night, coming from the stick of Eernisse, was blocked by Stoever, who blocked two of the three shots in this shootout. With that, the Falcons won their first shootout in almost two years, earning two points in CCHA standings and adding a 3-3 tie in the books.  

The Falcons will be back home at the Slater next Friday, Jan. 27, for an exhibition with USA Hockey U18 starting at 7:07 p.m.

For more information about the team, visit the athletics webpage.