Fresh from a thrilling 4-3 comeback win over Ohio State, the Bowling Green Falcons hosted the Colgate Raiders in a two-game weekend series at the Bowling Green Ice Arena last Friday and Saturday night. The Falcons emerged from that series with a win and a tie to finish an undefeated three-game home stretch. BGSU is now 2-1-2 thus far in the 2013-2014 season.
On Friday night, the Falcons dominated play on the offensive end but could not push across the winning goal, as they skated to a 1-1 tie with the Raiders.
Bryce Williamson scored the game's initial goal with 13:35 gone in the first period. Williamson's third goal of the young season was assisted by Mark Cooper and Rusty Hafner. The score held up through the end of the first period, as the Falcons led in shots-on-goal by a 13-4 margin.
Unfortunately for BGSU, the Falcons could not connect on any of their 26 shots after the first period, as Colgate goaltender Eric Mihalik made great save after great save. Of Bowling Green's 39 total shots, 12 came from directly in front of the net, and Mihalik saved them all.
Colgate evened the score with a Mike McCann goal just 2:46 into the second period, and the 1-1 tie held from that point. Bowling Green goaltender Tommy Burke had another very solid game and saved 19 of Colgate's 20 shots. Of those, 11 came in the third period or overtime.
The game was relatively penalty-free (especially compared to the BGSU-OSU contest from last Tuesday), as the teams combined for just seven penalties and just two in the third period/overtime. Bowling Green was 0-for-4 on the power play but killed off three Colgate chances with the man advantage.
On Saturday night, BGSU posted one of their most dominant offensive efforts in years as they shut out Colgate, 7-0. The Falcons peppered goaltender Charlie Finn relentlessly and ended the game with 50 shots-on-goal, the team's highest total in five years.
An astounding 25 of those 50 shots came in the first period. Finn stopped 24 of those, but the continuous attack set BGSU up for greater success later in the game. Mark Cooper broke through with the initial goal of the game as just 0:56 remained in the first period. The goal was his second of the season, and he was assisted by Bryce Williamson and Ben Murphy.
In the second period, the Falcons scored twice in the span of 82 seconds. With 7:04 elapsed in the period, Murphy made the score 2-0 with his third goal of the season. Williamson and Cooper assisted on the score, as the trio dominated the early portion of the contest. Just over one minute later, Brent Tate notched his first goal of the year to give BGSU a 3-0 edge.
As Bowling Green's attacks continued, Colgate players became increasingly frustrated. That frustration eventually worked against them. With just under seven minutes left in the second period, BGSU's Tate and Colgate's John Lidgett were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after a brief scrum. Less than thirty seconds later, the Raiders' Tyson Spink earned a five-minute major penalty for boarding and gave the Falcons a power play opportunity.
BGSU's first power-play conversion of the two-game series came just 0:13 later, when Williamson scored his fourth goal of the season and third point of the game. The Falcons carried that 4-0 lead into the third period.
Three more goals came in the third frame. Brent Tate and Ben Murphy each scored their second goals of the game during the period. Murphy's was a power-play goal; like Williamson earlier, it became his fourth goal of the season. Pierre-Luc Mercier concluded the scoring with 4:13 to play in the game.
Several players had outstanding games on the offensive end. Murphy had two goals and an assist, while Tate also had two goals. Williamson had a goal and two assists. Dan DeSalvo did not score himself, but he assisted on four of BGSU's seven goals, and Ralfs Freibergs added two assists of his own.
In goal, Tomas Sholl had a perfect game for the Falcons, as he stopped each of Colgate's 20 shots.
Bowling Green (2-1-2) now gets just over one week off before resuming play next Tuesday night (Oct. 29th) with a return match against Ohio State. The game, in Columbus, will be the pair's last meeting of the season. BGSU seeks their first back-to-back regular season wins over OSU in eight years. Following that game, the Falcons return home for a two-game weekend series against Alaska-Anchorage on Nov. 1st and Nov. 2nd.