The Bowling Green Falcons earned their fourth consecutive win by defeating the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks on Friday night (Jan. 10) at the Bowling Green Ice Arena. Ryan Carpenter returned from injury and scored a goal. Bryce Williamson and Adam Berkle added scores, and Dan DeSalvo contributed two assists in the victory.
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The first period of the game was rather uneventful. Neither team was able to breach the net, and the two combined for just eight shots on goal (four each). The 20 minutes were physical but clean. Bowling Green's Dan DeSalvo went to the box for tripping midway through the period, and Alaska's Josh Atkinson did the same for interference with just 38 seconds left in the period. Neither team was able to capitalize on the penalties.
The Falcons began the second period with 1:22 left on their first power play, but nothing resulted from the advantage. Early in the second, the Nanooks became more aggressive and created some close scoring opportunities. However, as the period developed, the Falcons were able to take control of the action. Play was a little more chippy later in the period, and both teams were able to generate more shots. The goalies were sturdy until 2:46 remained in the period. At that point, Matt Pohlkamp fed Cam Wojtala, who swung a nice pass to Bryce Williamson. Williamson pushed a shot through for his tenth goal of the year to give BGSU a 1-0 lead. The Falcons continued to work the puck on Alaska ice as the period closed, and the Nanooks took another penalty with 1:34 left. BGSU held a 14-6 advantage in shots on goal during the period and was not penalized. For the game, Bowling Green owns an 18-10 edge in shots and has just one penalty compared to UAF's four.
Again, Bowling Green could not take advantage of the brief power play to start the third period, but ultimately it didn't matter. The Falcons controlled play in the third period, to the extent that they had a 16-6 advantage in shots on goal. Finally, with 8:24 left in regulation, that advantage resulted in a much-needed insurance goal. The score came courtesy of Ryan Carpenter, who returned to the lineup (finally) after a lengthy injury absence. A short time later, Alaska was given a power play chance, but Bowling Green was the teak to take advantage. The Falcons scored a short-handed goal when Adam Berkle scored his fifth goal of the season with just 5:43 remaining on the clock. Dan DeSalvo assisted on both goals in the period. The Nanooks' Colton Beck was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind, and Alaska played a man down for most of the remaining time.
Bowling Green improves to 9-6-2 in WCHA play (and 11-9-4 overall) with this victory. They move into a (temporary) tie for second place with Minnesota State at 20 points. Minnesota State plays later tonight at Alaska-Anchorage.
Alaska-Fairbanks drops to 5-9-1 against WCHA teams (and 8-10-3 overall) after the loss and remains in ninth place.
The two teams will meet in the conclusion of this two-game series tomorrow night (Jan. 11) at 7:00 p.m. ET.