SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team began their 2013-14 regular season on Friday night (Oct. 11), skating to a 3-3 overtime tie with No. 16 Union College. Playing in front of 1,921 Dutchmen fans at Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y., the Falcons (0-0-1) saw three different players score goals, while sophomore Tommy Burke logged all 65 minutes in the net.
The Falcons got goals from junior Dan DeSalvo, freshman Pierre-Luc Mercier and senior Bryce Williamson, while Burke turned away 24-of-27 shots. The Orange and Brown went 1-for-2 on the power play, and 6-for-8 on the penalty kills.
The Dutchmen (0-0-1) lit-the-lamp first, scoring at the 10:08 mark in the first period. Union worked the puck around the Falcons' defensive zone before freshman Michael Pontarelli fired a pass into the slot. The pass was collected by freshman Eli Lichtenwald and put on a deke and found the back of the net for the first goal of the season.
Union was able keep the pressure on in the first frame, netting their second goal with 1:15 remaining in the period. After a Falcon shot was blocked, Daniel Ciampini raced down towards the Dutchmen's attacking zone. Sophomore Tommy Burke made the initial save, but couldn't hold onto the puck. Union's Matt Hatch corralled the rebound in front of the crease and fired in the Dutchmen's second goal of the evening.
Trailing 2-0 entering the second period, the Falcons answered Union's call with two quick goals, all within a 1:06 time span.
The Orange and Brown scored their first goal of the 2013-14 season at the 13:38 mark in the second frame. Freshman Kevin Dufour sent a pass to junior Dan DeSalvo, who entered the season with 50 career points, and shot the puck towards Union's goaltender on a one-timer. The puck went through the screen and past the netminder on the left side of the net for an even-strength goal.
With the assist, it was Dufour's first collegiate point in his career.
Trailing 2-1, the Falcons' kept the pressure on the Dutchmen. Sophomore Mark Cooper created a turnover at Union's goal line. Cooper skated around the net and sent a pass across the slot towards Mercier. Mercier received the pass from Cooper and sent the puck past the Dutchmen's netminder on the right side, tying the game at 2-all with 11:44 remaining in the second period.
The goal marked Mercier's first point in his collegiate career.
With a back-and-forth game through the first 35 minutes, the Dutchmen again was able to light the lamp with 6:56 remaining in the second frame, answering the Orange and Brown's two goals. Daniel Carr, who led Union last year with 16 goals, sent a backhanded shot past Burke for their second power-play goal of the night.
However, the Falcons answered with a goal of their own with less than two minutes remaining in the period. On the power play, Bowling Green worked the puck around until sophomore Ralfs Freibergs sent the puck off the boards and behind the net.
Williamson collected the puck and sent, in what seemed to be towards the front of the crease, instead, hitting off the goaltender's left leg and trickled into the net. The goal tied the game at 3-all heading into the final period, which both teams failed to light the lamp as extra minutes was needed.
In overtime, Union put three shots on goal. However, Burke came up with some spectacular saves to keep the Dutchmen from punching in the winning goal. Just 50 seconds into overtime, Burke made a tough sliding glove save, and seconds later slid across and saved the puck with his left pad, keeping Bowling Green tied with Union.
The Orange and Brown will turn around tomorrow night (Oct. 12) and play No. 16 Union College in their second game of the weekend series. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. at Messa Rink in Schenectady, N.Y.