The Bowling Green Falcons defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, 4-3, on Tuesday night at the Bowling Green Ice Arena. The game was BGSU's regular season home debut, and the win was the first of the 2013-2014 season for the Falcons.
Against their former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals, the Falcons played a mostly-even first period. There was only one penalty in the first 16 minutes of the contest and very few shots on goal. With 16:25 gone in the period, Matt Pohlkamp was sent to the penalty box for interference, giving OSU their second power play opportunity of the night. Just under a minute into the penalty, the Falcons won a face-off and tried to dump the puck behind their own net. The puck took an unfortunate bounce, and, when goalie Tommy Burke went behind the net to try to retrieve it, Ohio State forward Nick Shilkey had an easy goal.
Shilkey's goal with just 2:41 left in the period was the only score during the first 20 minutes. Burke saved six other shots in the frame, while OSU goalie Matt Tomkins saved six of his own. OSU ended the period 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Buckeyes killed BGSU's only attempt.
In the second period, the game became much more intense and chippy. In fact, from the 18:04 mark of the first period until the end of the second, 13 different penalties were called -- one for every ninety seconds of game action.
Justin DaSilva took advantage of the added intensity and scored an even-handed goal just 2:21 into the second period to give Ohio State a 2-0 lead. Five and a half minutes later, a skirmish broke out that led to a slashing penalty on OSU's Tyler Lundey and offsetting roughing penalties on Max McCormick and Connor Kucera. Just 12 seconds after the two teams returned from those penalties to 5-on-5 skating, Ohio State scored again. This time, Darik Angeli was the Buckeye culprit, and his goal gave OSU a 3-0 advantage.
The Falcons finally came to life less than two minutes later. Dan DeSalvo was called for boarding at the 11:22 mark, but OSU's McCormick was sent to the penalty box again 13 seconds later for unsportsmanlike conduct. BGSU took advantage of the 4-on-4 opportunity and scored their first goal of the game with 8:02 left in the period. Bryce Williamson created a turnover and shot the puck past Tomkins for his second goal of the season. The unassisted score closed the deficit to 3-1 as the home crowd of 2,752 went wild.
Bowling Green then began to relentlessly attack, as if that first goal flipped on a new energy source. Six minutes after Williamson's goal, Angeli went to the box for interference. The Falcons wasted no time in converting their first power play goal of the night. Williamson and Ralfs Freibergs assisted on Ben Murphy's first goal of the year, and BGSU cut Ohio State's lead to 3-2 just 0:36 into the power play.
In the second period, OSU held a 10-9 advantage in shots on goal, but both teams scored twice. Tomkins produced eight saves to Burke's 7. BGSU was 1-for-5 on the power play, and they killed all three of Ohio State's man-advantage opportunities.
The Falcons' assault on the Ohio State defense continued early in the third period, and both the game-tying and game-winning goals were scored within the first four minutes. Just 3:07 into the final frame, Kucera nudged a shot past Tomkins off a pass from DeSalvo to tie the game. Fourteen seconds later, OSU's Al McLean was penalized for tripping to give BGSU what would ultimately be their only power play chance of the third period. The Falcons did not waste it -- and it only lasted nine seconds. After the penalty, Bowling Green won the ensuing face-off, and Freibergs nailed a pass to Ben Murphy. Murphy made it count, as he slid the puck past Tomkins for his second power play goal of the night. The goal provided the winning 4-3 margin.
OSU's intensity picked up over the game's final 16 minutes, and the Falcons were forced to primarily play defense to hold their lead. They killed off three more Ohio State power play chances and also held off a final Ohio State empty-net rally over the final minute.
The 4-3 victory is Bowling Green's first in three games this season. It is also the first regulation-time win against Ohio State since 2008 and only their third victory of any type against the Buckeyes in the pair's last 18 meetings. BGSU will now carry their 1-1-1 record into a weekend two-game home series against Colgate. The Raiders come to Bowling Green with a 2-1 record; they split a home series with Ferris State (lost 7-4, won 1-0) and defeated R.I.T. in their home opener, 4-1.
With their loss, Ohio State drops to 0-3 on the season. The Buckeyes were swept in a split home-away series last weekend versus Miami. OSU's next games are this weekend in another split series against Robert Morris.
Bowling Green and Ohio State will meet again in Columbus on Tuesday, Oct. 29th.