Bowling Green, Ohio - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team defeated Michigan Tech University in the first game of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Quarterfinals on Friday night, by a score of 2-1 at the BGSU Ice Arena. Senior Bryce Williamson and junior Ryan Carpenter netted goals for the Falcons, while sophomore goaltender Tommy Burke (13-6-6) turned away 24-of-25 shots in the winning effort.
Both the Falcons (17-14-6) and Huskies (14-18-7) played evenly throughout the opening game of the best-of-three series. The two teams went 1-for-2 on the power play in the tilt. Bowling Green's power-play goal in the first period marked the sixth-straight game the Falcons have lit-the-lamp while holding the on-ice man advantage, going 8-for-17 (47 percent) during the stretch.
Playing host in the opening round for the first time since the 2007-08 season, the Falcons scored the first goal of the tilt, coming at the 5:55 mark of the first period on the power play. Bowling Green moved the puck around the Laker zone with the man advantage, eventually sending the puck to the near side of the half boards. Williamson took the pass and skated inside the right circle and fired a shot towards the net, sending the puck high for a top shelf goal for his 12th marker of the season.
Michigan Tech answered with its first goal of the series, coming at the 10:12 mark in the opening frame on the power play. The Huskies, like the Falcons, worked the puck to the circle on the near side of the rink. Huskies' David Johnstone took a pass and fired a shot over Burke's right shoulder, tying the game at 1-1.
The Orange and Brown, however, showed the same resiliency in recent weeks and scored what proved to be the game-winner at the 11:52 mark in the first period. After creating a turnover near the neutral zone, junior Dan DeSalvo sent a pass towards freshman Matt Pohlkamp skating towards Huskies' starting goaltender Pheonix Copley. Pohlkamp collected the outlet pass near the blue line and sent a shot towards the net. Copley made the initial save, but could not hold onto the puck. Carpenter skated in and sent the rebound past Copley, handing the Orange and Brown a 2-1 lead.
Since returning on Jan. 10, 2014, Carpenter has totaled seven goals and five assists in 13 games. The junior co-captain has tallied at least one point in 10 of the 13 games.
The Falcons' 2-1 lead remained to be true for the remainder of the game, as the Huskies could not solve Burke in the net. Burke, who entered the game with a 7-2-2 record and a 2.05 goals-against average at the BGSU Ice Arena, shutout the MTU offensive attack in the second and third periods for his eight win at home.
The sophomore netminder stopped all 13 shots he faced for the remainder of the two periods to keep the game at 2-1, including two shots on a key power-play kill in the third period.
Bowling Green will be back in action on Saturday night, taking on the Huskies in game two of the best-of-three series. The Falcons will look to advance out of the first round for the fourth consecutive year under Coach Chris Bergeron. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:07 p.m. at the BGSU Ice Arena.