Hockey splits weekend series at Michigan Tech

Momo Pfaff and Momo Pfaff

Falcons Grab Points in Split with Huskies

As the CCHA playoffs near, the Bowling Green men’s ice hockey team looked to snatch some points over the weekend as they faced the No. 14 Michigan Tech Huskies. On Feb. 11, the Falcons got shutout 4-0 for the second game in a row and on Feb. 12, they bounced back with a much-needed win by a score of 4-2. They are holding on at No. 4 place in the CCHA standings, and they look to remain at a good rank before the 2021-22 regular season comes to a close.

Feb. 11 | Game One

On a cold night in Houghton, Michigan, BGSU was ready to redeem themselves after a tough shutout loss against No. 1 Minnesota State. However, the Huskies would get on the board first as forward Logan Pietila slapped one in from the right circle.

Soon after, Bowling Green would get their first power play after a hooking call on the Huskies, but they were not able to get past Tech’s netminder Blake Pietila. The power play opportunity soon diminished as BG defenseman TJ Lloyd would get sent to the sin bin for interference, making it 4-on-4 hockey.

Falcon veteran Taylor Schneider would get yet another BG penalty for tripping. The Falcons’ sloppy penalties would create a golden chance for the Huskies, which converted into a power play goal by MT forward Brian Halonen.

The curse of BG’s first shutout loss did not stop there, with yet another goal by Huskies’ Trenton Bliss going past freshman goalie Christian Stoever. The score was now 3-0, and the Falcons couldn’t find their stride.

Michigan Tech started the second with a power play, and the misfortune of the first kept following the Falcons into the second as Falcons veteran Sam Craggs would be thrown out of the game for a hit from behind, which resulted in a five minute major. After the penalty kill, Bowling Green needed to prove that their offense could bite back in the third.

Unfortunately, the third told the same story of the others. No power play goals, unnecessary penalties, and goals racking up for Michigan Tech. Another power play goal, this time by Huskies’ defenseman Colin Swoyer,  would come for MT five minutes into the third, and the Falcons did not have any life in their play. The nightmare of a shutout loss came true yet again for the team, as the Huskies won 4-0.

The Falcons were barely holding onto a .500 win percentage, and needed to bounce back the next day in order to prove themselves as strong playoff contenders.

Feb. 12 | Game Two

After a brutal second shutout loss in a row for the Falcons, change needed to come immediately. The offense needed to show up, and the opportunities needed to be taken. The first period started in a similar fashion to the previous game, with a Huskies’ goal coming early by defenseman Eric Gotz.

A glimpse of hope came minutes later as Hobey Baker nominee Nathan Burke would get the first BG goal of the series. The game was now tied at one, and Bowling Green seemed to have some fight in them. The glory would falter just seconds later as Matthew Quercia took the lead back. The period ended with a score of 2-1, but BG was not about to give up yet.

Bowling Green was looking much better than they did Friday night, as the offense was finally providing. They would provide once more with a goal by BG veteran Evan Dougherty to tie the game up at 2. Things were looking up for the Falcons at the end of the second, and they needed to keep that momentum.

The beginning of the third was dominated with the newly confident Falcons, and that confidence transformed into another goal for BG by freshman Ryan O’Hara. This was the Falcons’ first lead of the series, and their confidence was apparent in the rest of the time frame. Michigan native Coale Norris would seal the deal late in the period for BGSU, and the Falcons would finally break their losing skid.

Bowling Green will have their last home series of the season against Northern Michigan in less than a week. Feb. 18 will be “90s Night,” and puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. Feb. 19, the last home game of the season, will be “Senior Night”, and puck drop is at 7:07 p.m. as well.