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September 21, 2023

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Hockey finishes off break with late game winner at Canisus


Marc Rodriguez controls the puck as he skates down ice. Rodriguez scored the game winning goal Sunday.

The BG hockey team took the ice for four games during winter break, highlighted by a victory against No. 17 Niagara.

The Falcons opened break with a 4-1 loss against No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 15.

The Falcons got off on the right foot, drawing first blood just under two minutes into the second period on a goal from Ryan Carpenter. However, the Irish responded with four unanswered goals.

“Overall, an OK game, nothing better than that,” said coach Chris Bergeron. “That small margin for error that we have, Notre Dame exposed.”

Following a two week break from game action, the Falcons returned to the ice Dec. 29 against Niagara at the BGSU Ice Arena. BG played perhaps its best all-around game of the season in the 3-0 win.

The Falcons outshot Niagara 43-38, putting three goals past Niagara goalie Carsen Chubak, who entered the game with a 1.25 goals-against average.

BG goalie Andrew Hammond’s shutout was the sixth of his career, putting him one shutout away from tying Tyler Masters for the school record.

“I felt good from the start of the game, and it was one of those things where a lot of the time they were just throwing pucks at the net and it allowed me to get in the game from the start,” Hammond said. “I knew Chubak was playing well so I had to be on my game.”

Bryce Williamson, Cam Wojtala and Dajon Mingo scored the goals for BG, and Mike Sullivan had two assists to stretch his point streak to a career-high four games.

“We were just trying to stay with it,” Williamson said. “We knew that we were going to get chances in front of their net.”

The win was BG’s first against a ranked opponent this season.

“I’m pleased with the effort,” Bergeron said. “Niagara’s a good team. They’re proven that against top competition this year.”

BG finished off break with a weekend series at Canisius. The Falcons tied the Golden Griffins in game one thanks to a late-third period power play goal by Ryan Carpenter.

Ben Murphy scored his first collegiate goal to open the scoring, and freshman Brent Tate returned to the lineup and picked up an assist. Tate has only played in one other game this season due to a back injury.

Hammond was one against strong, stopping 29 of 31 shots.

In game two, BG won by a score of 3-2 thanks to senior Marc Rodriguez’s late game winner with 1:30 left in the third period.

“It’s been awhile since I scored a goal.” Rodriguez said. “If you don’t get one early and you still don’t get it, it gets in your head. I’ve been able to focus on the other things that I can bring to the table and stay focused on my game and I was lucky to get one tonight”

The Falcons have a quick turn around as they take on Michigan on Tuesday in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines will be without leading scorer A.J. Treais, who was suspended for the game because of a contact to the head major penalty he received against Michigan State on Dec. 30.

Michigan could also be without the services of defenseman Jacob Trouba, who ranks second on the team with five goals. Trouba spent the past two weeks playing in the World Junior Championships for Team USA in Ufa, Russia. The tournament concluded this past Saturday.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena.

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