PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team defeated Robert Morris University in the Consolation tilt at the Three Rivers Classic on Saturday night (Dec. 28), by a score of 3-2. Playing at the CONSOL Energy Center, the Falcons saw three different skaters score goals, while freshman goaltender Tomas Sholl (3-7-0) turned away 20-of-22 on the night.
In the first-ever matchup between the two teams, the Falcons' defense limited the Colonials to 22 shots on goal in the winning effort. Bowling Green went 4-for-6 on the penalty kill, while going 1-for-4 on the power play. The Orange and Brown got goals from Kevin Dufour, Brett Mohler and Bryce Williamson on the night.
The Orange and Brown dominated the opening frame, outshooting the Colonials by a 12-3 margin. Bowling Green made the most of their opportunities in their offensive zone, cashing in at even strength with 4:31 remaining in the opening period.
The Falcons moved into RMU's zone, cycling the puck around the right boards. Sophomore Brent Tate took control of the puck after a scrum along the boards behind Colonials' netminder Terry Shafer. The right-hander from Canton, Mich. flipped a no-look backhanded pass to the left side of the crease. Mohler's one-timer in front of the net beat Shafer for the first goal of the game, and gave the senior his first marker of the season.
Bowling Green doubled their lead just 2:58 into the second period, lighting the lamp on a power-play goal.
The Falcons' skated into the Colonials zone and worked the puck around the blue line with the on-ice man advantage. Junior Dan DeSalvo found sophomore forward Ben Murphy near the left faceoff circle. The sophomore collected the pass and fired a shot towards Shafer. The puck hit the post and rattled out in front of the crease, and trickled towards Williamson. The right-handed senior, who entered the game tied with a team-leading eight goals, sent the puck to the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.
Robert Morris outshot the Orange and Brown in the second period 13-12, but could not solve Sholl. The freshman goaltender kept the Colonials scoreless, as the Orange and Brown entered the final period with a 2-0 advantage.
Bowling Green added to their lead in the third period, scoring an even-strength marker with 15:59 remaining in regulation. Dufour gathered a loose puck off the boards on the near side and skated around the Colonials net. The left-hander paused near the right faceoff circle and then quickly fired the puck past a screen, beating Shafer for the third goal of the night.
Robert Morris was unable to solve Sholl until the 13:35 mark in the third period. Sholl stopped 16 consecutive shots before allowing the Colonials first goal of the game. RMU was able to add one more goal with 24 seconds remaining in the game, but it was not enough as Bowling Green won their third non-conference game of the season.
The win improved Bowling Green's record to 9-9-4 overall. The loss dropped Robert Morris's record to 2-12-2 overall. The Orange and Brown improved to 7-3-0 after holding a lead after the second period this season, and are now 3-7-3 on the road.
The Falcons will return to league play next week (Jan. 3-4), facing off against the University of Alabama in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala. The puck is slated to drop at 7:07 p.m. (CT). The road series will mark the final regular season matchup with UAH.