BOWLING GREEN, Ohio. - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team defeated Lake Superior State University on Saturday night (Jan. 25), by a score of 6-2, in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association affair. Playing in front of 2,693 Falcon faithful at the BGSU Ice Arena, the Falcons had four different skaters tally goals, while freshman goaltender Tomas Sholl turned away 25-of-26 shots on the night.
The Orange and Brown received two goals from Mark Cooper and Adam Berkle, while Ben Murphy and Matt Pohlkamp each tallied one goal in the winning effort. Bowling Green went 1-for-3 on the power play, while going a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. For the game, the Falcons score at least one goal in each period, and outshot the Lakers by a 42-27 margin.
Lake Superior jumped on the board first with an unusual goal just 2:05 into the opening act. A delayed penalty called on the Lakers pulled Tomas Sholl from the net for the extra attacker. However, with the puck deep in their offensive zone, an errant pass couldn't be handled and slid into the Falcons' empty net.
However, the Falcons showed resiliency and fought back by netting three goals over the final 13 minutes of the first period to enter the middle frame leading 3-1.
Bowling Green's first goal came at 6:11 in the first at even-strength, coming off the stick of Murphy. The sophomore forward received a pass from junior Ryan Carpenter and skated behind the net. With his back against Kevin Murdock, who started in net for the Lakers for the second straight night, the Falcons' forward quickly turned around and fired a wrist shot past the left shoulder of the Lakers netminder to tie the game at 1-1.
The Orange and Brown continued to apply pressure in the Lakers' zone, netting their second goal at the 11:49 mark at even-strength. After working the puck around the boards, Bryce Williamson corralled the puck and fired a slap shot at the point towards Murdock. Murdock made the initial save with his leg pad, but could not hold onto it. Pohlkamp skated to the loose puck and sent the rebound to the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Soon after, Bowling Green double their lead with one last goal in the first period, coming off the stick of Cooper. Holding a 5-on-3 advantage, the Falcons worked the puck around the blue line in their offensive zone before freshman defenseman Sean Walker found Cooper waiting on the right side of the crease. Cooper lit-the-lamp at the 19:18 mark to give the Orange and Brown a 3-1 lead entering the middle frame.
The Falcons, who entered the game averaging better than three goals per game, continued their offensive surge with two more goals in the period to hand them their largest lead of the game. Goals by Cooper (12:25) and Berkle (16:36) gave each of them two markers on the night, and handed Bowling Green a 5-1 advantage heading into the final 20 minutes of action.
Sholl, who last played in a win against Robert Morris in Pittsburgh, saved 24 consecutive shots before the Lakers finally solved the netminder at the 3:33 mark in the third period. A play in front of the net resulted in a goal, as Ian Milled jammed home the puck to cut the deficit to 5-2.
The Falcons added an insurance goal at the 15:59 mark at even-strength. After creating a turnover, Berkle and senior forward Cam Wojtala skated into Lake Superior's zone with a 2-on-1 rush. Berkle made a couple of dekes before sliding the puck through the legs of Murdock for his eighth goal of the season. The goal capped off the night with any chance of a Laker comeback.
With the victory, the Falcons' overall record improved to 13-10-5 and 10-7-3 in the WCHA. The loss dropped Lake Superior's overall record to 12-13-1, and 8-10-0 in league standings. Bowling Green improved to 8-3-2 on their home ice, and 11-4-1 when holding a lead after the second period.
The Falcons will be right back in action next week, as they will play host to the Huskies of Michigan Tech. The two-game home series will conclude a six-game home stand for the Orange and Brown. The puck is set to drop at 7:07 p.m. on both nights.