BOWLING GREEN, Ohio. - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team lost to the University of Alabama in Huntsville Saturday night (Dec. 7), dropping a 4-3 decision in overtime, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association affair. Playing in front of 1,729 Falcon faithful at the BGSU Ice Arena, the Orange and Brown saw three different skaters score goals, while freshman goaltender Tomas Sholl (2-7-0) stopped 22-of-26 shots.
On the night, Bowling Green got goals from sophomore forward Mark Cooper, Brent Tate and freshman Sean Walker. The Falcons went 1-for-5 on the power play, while going 4-for-5 on the penalty kill. The Orange and Brown outshot the Chargers 44-26 in the game.
Bowling Green struck first for the second consecutive night, lighting the lamp at the 10:54 mark in the opening frame for the game's first goal.
Sophomore defenseman Ralfs Freibergs, who entered the night as the Falcons' leading assists man with 11 on the year, found Walker near the right circle. The right-hander from Keswick, Ontario, fired the puck into a scrum of players near the front of the crease. The Falcon screen worked, as the puck flew past UAH's goaltender Guerriero Carmine, giving the Orange and Brown an early 1-0 lead.
However, the Chargers evened the score at 1-1 at the 12:34 mark in the first period. Freshman center Brent Fletcher sent a pass across the slot and found freshman winger Cody Marooney for the one-timer. The equalizer marked the first of the series for UAH and their sixth in league play.
The Falcons was then able to reclaim the lead just 1:20 into the second period, lighting the lamp for the second time of the tilt. Bowling Green's senior captain Cam Wojtala received a pass at the goal line and was able to slip a pass across the slot. The puck avoided several Charger defenders as Tate gathered the pass and quickly sent the puck to the back of the net, giving the Falcons' a 2-1 lead.
With a 2-1 lead, Bowling Green once again threatened to score, this time on a power-play opportunity. However, the Chargers created a turnover in the neutral zone and found themselves on a breakaway towards Sholl. Matt Salhany was able to beat Sholl 1-on-1 and knotted the game once more with 2:22 remaining in the middle frame.
The Falcons' once again answered, taking only 52 seconds after the Chargers short-handed goal to once again reclaim a 3-2 lead. While still on the power-play, the Orange and Brown worked the puck to the right side. Freshman Pierre-Luc Mercier sent a pass from the right circle across the middle of the ice and found the stick of Cooper. Copper sent the puck back towards the Chargers' netminder. The puck seemed to be initially saved, but trickled over Carmine's right pad and into the net.
The goal marked Cooper's fifth goal in six games, and now has 12 total points on the year (7g, 5a).
Entering the final frame with a 3-2 lead, UAH was able to score the final two goals in the contest, including the game-winning goal with 3.4 seconds remaining in overtime for their first win of the season.
The loss dropped Bowling Green's record to 7-8-3overall, and 5-6-1 in league play. With the victory, UAH earned their first points of the year, and improved to 1-15-0 overall with a 1-9-0 mark in the WCHA. The OT loss dropped the Falcons' record to 1-2-3 in the extra frame.
The Falcons will be back on the road next week (Dec. 13-14), taking on the Huskies of Michigan Tech at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. The WCHA series will mark the seventh consecutive week Bowling Green will play a conference opponent before playing in the Three Rivers Classic on Dec. 27-28 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.