The Bowling Green Falcons opened the 2013-14 hockey season -- and their new life in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association -- with a two game weekend series in Schenectady, N.Y. against the Union College Dutchmen. Union College opened the season ranked 16th in the country.
In Game 1 on Friday night, the Falcons earned a 3-3 tie in comeback fashion. Union took an early lead midway through the first period when Eli Lichtenwald scored a power-play goal after a Bryce Williamson penalty for charging the goalie. Just 1:15 before the period ended, the Dutchmen made the score 2-0 on a goal by Matt Hatch.
The second period belonged to the Falcons, as BGSU scored three times on seven shots. Dan DeSalvo began the comeback effort just 6:22 into the period with an even-strength goal. He was assisted on the score by Adam Berkle and Kevin Dufour. Less than two minutes later, freshman Pierre-Luc Mercier scored his first career goal off of an assist from Mark Cooper. The effort evened the contest at two goals apiece.
Union reclaimed the lead on a Daniel Carr power-play goal at the 13:04 mark, but Bowling Green roared right back and tied the game at 3 just five minutes later. Union's Mat Bodie committed a holding penalty to give BGSU the man edge, and Bryce Williamson scored with help from Berkle and Ralfs Frebergs.
In the third period, the Falcons withstood two different power plays and six total shots. Eight shots of their own could not find the net, and the game went to the season's first overtime period. In the overtime, the two teams combined for five shots, but neither could put the puck in the net.
Tommy Burke saved 24 of 27 shots in goal for the Falcons, while Union's Alex Sakellaropoulo held 21 of 24 shots out of the net.
Unfortunately for Bowling Green, Saturday's series finale was not as positive. The Falcons were constantly in penalty trouble, as they committed 12 during the game. Of those, nine came in the second and third periods. Union took advantage of the trouble and scored their final four goals of the game on the power play. Two came in each of the second and third frames. Ultimately, that led to a 5-2 Union victory.
Daniel Ciampini scored for the Dutchmen just 1:24 into the game, but Matt Pohlkamp evened the score at 1 with an unassisted goal with 7:48 left in the first period. From that point, it was all Union. Daniel Carr and Nick Cruice scored in the second period for a 3-1 lead, and then Michael Pontarelli scored twice in the third for a 5-1 margin. Pontarelli's first goal was scored 0:51 into the third, and his second occurred seven minutes later.
Mark Cooper scored with 9:32 left in the game for the final score of 5-2; Sean Walker earned the assist on the play.
Tomas Sholl saved 13 of 14 shots in the first period of his first career start. The freshman ultimately posted 24 saves.
Bowling Green (0-1-1) opens the home portion of their schedule on Tuesday night (Oct. 15) at 7:00 p.m. against Ohio State. OSU was swept by Miami this weekend. After the game versus the Buckeyes, the Falcons will host Colgate for a two-game weekend series next Friday and Saturday.