|1st||5:13||BGS||1-0||EV||Mike Sullivan (3)||Connor Kucera/6, Dan DeSalvo/15|
|1st||7:54||ALH||1-1||EV||Brandon Carlson (5)||Brandon Parker/14, Brennan Saulnier/8|
|1st||18:56||BGS||2-1||PP GW||Mitchell McLain (8)||Brandon Hawkins/14, Mark Cooper/11|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Alabama Huntsville (8-24-4)||0/1||3/6||0|
|Bowling Green (21-10-5)||1/3||1/2||0|
|Alabama Huntsville Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Matt Larose (L, 0-8-1)||59:34||2||11||7||8||26|
|Bowling Green Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Tommy Burke (W, 12-5-3)||59:41||1||5||4||7||16|
Bowling Green, Ohio - On a night in which the Bowling Green hockey team, ranked No. 13 in the country, honored its five seniors for reinvigorating the program, the Falcons defeated Alabama Huntsville 2-1 to close the regular season with a sweep of the Chargers. Bowling Green improved to 21-10-5 with the win and will carry a No. 3 seed into the WCHA Tournament beginning next weekend.
"We did what we needed to do this weekend," BGSU Head Coach Chris Bergeron said. "I always want us to play better but we found a way to win both games. This time of year, you've got to find ways to win games."
And it was fitting that three of those seniors united on the game's opening score. Mike Sullivan's rocket from the point found its way through traffic in front of goalie Matt Larose just 5:13 into the first period. Connor Kucera and Dan DeSalvo added assists on the score. For DeSalvo, it was the 100th point of his career to become the 70th Falcon in program history to reach that milestone.
Alabama Huntsville did answer back less than three minutes later with a Brandon Carlson goal to tie the score but the Falcons weren't done in the opening frame. With time running down in the first, freshman Mitch McLain scored on the power play after a clearing attempt was denied. Freshman Brandon Hawkins and junior Mark Cooper picked up assists on the play.
From there, the Bowling Green defense settled in. Alabama Huntsville had just 11 shots on goal over the final 40 minutes of the contest and the Falcons held the Chargers to only 17 shots for the game. BGSU also played a disciplined style, committing just one penalty on the night. The Falcons had three power play opportunities, getting McLain's score for BGSU's third power play goal of the weekend.
"Eight penalties last night and tonight it was just one," Bergeron said. "We found a way to win the special teams battle both nights. It's nice to see our power play heating up right now."
Cooper led the Falcons with five shots on goal and was extremely active just one night after a two-goal game. McLain added four shots on goal.
Junior Tommy Burke improved to 12-5-3 in net with the win, earning the decision in both weekend contests. He made 16 saves for the victory.
Alabama Huntsville ends the regular season with a record of 8-24-4 overall and 7-20-1 in the WCHA. The Chargers will be the No. 8 seed for the WCHA Tournament and will face top-seeded Minnesota State in the first round. BGSU will be the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 seed Northern Michigan Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a best-of-three series with each contest beginning at 7:07 pm. The Sunday game is an "if necessary" contest.
BGSU and Northern Michigan have a recent playoff history with the two schools playing a best-of-three series twice in Falcons' head coach Chris Bergeron's five-year tenure at BGSU. In 2010-11, Bowling Green went to Northern Michigan and upset the Wildcats in the first round of the CCHA Tournament in three games. The next year, the scenario was the same and BGSU again won in three games. This year's group of seniors were just freshmen then and they combined for eight of the team's 11 goals (five from DeSalvo) in the series.
"I'm glad we're at home," Bergeron said. "Obviously, Northern Michigan and us have a past in the playoffs. They aren't going to forget about that. There's players on both teams that were a part of that."