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Updated 12:10 a.m., BGSU hockey falls to Northern Michigan (2-22-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 22 February 2013 22:25
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Northern Michigan's Jake Baker (23) pressures Bowling Green's Bryce Williamson (12). (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Bowling Green’s hockey team picked one of the worst times to play one of its poorest games of the season.
The Falcons had little offense, defense, goaltending, emotion and intensity during a 5-2 loss to Northern Michigan at the Ice Arena.   BOX SCORE CCHA SCORES CCHA STANDINGS PHOTO GALLERY
Stephan Vigier had two goals and one assist, and Jared Coreau stopped 37 shots to lead the Wildcats, who scored twice in the first period and twice in the second period for a 4-0 lead just past the midway point of the middle period.
BG closed to within 4-2 in the second period on goals from Connor Kucera at 16:41 and Ryan Carpenter on the power play at 17:55, but NMU held on to snap the Falcons’ six-game home winning streak.
The Falcons held a deceptive 39-21 edge in shots, but were hurt by mistakes in all areas of their game and another night of poor special teams.
BG was just 1-of-7 on the power play and allowed NMU to go 2-of-4 with the extra man.
“We laid an egg,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “I want to come unglued. I want to lose my mind, but that doesn’t seem to work. We’ll go back to work. I have to trust our guys will respond tomorrow. We’re not in a position where we’ll just look the other way. We just didn’t play well. We’re not in that position. This is completely unacceptable, absolutely completely unacceptable. Our fans deserve better. Our program deserves better. We did not play like we were fighting for something.”
The loss was a painful one for the Falcons, who are battling for home ice for the first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
BG remained eighth with 31 points, but ninth-place NMU (29) and 10th-place Michigan (28) moved to closer to the Falcons with road wins Friday.
NMU can jump over the Falcons with another win Saturday night in BG’s final regular-season home game. Lake Superior remained seventh with 35 points.
The sixth, seventh- and eighth-place teams host first-round series.
“I don’t care that we have played like we were fighting for something the last number of games,” Bergeron said. “We had another opportunity tonight. No one cares about yesterday and no one’s worried about tomorrow. We’re focused on tonight and we let an opportunity go. That’s disappointing.”
NMU regularly won races to loose pucks and stick battles.
“It was a fear of mine coming into the game that (NMU) is a hungry team and we weren’t going to be ready to get to that level,” Bergeron said. “Our physical preparation all week long was really good. Our mental preparation wasn’t very good. I was leaning on some of our older people in the locker room to make sure we were ready to go tonight and we weren’t. That’s my fault.
“Now, we’ve put ourselves in a situation where (NMU) smells blood. That’s all we’ve done. They’re going to come out even harder tomorrow.”
Mitch Jones and Erik Higby each added one goal and one assist for NMU, beaten by BG at home in the CCHA playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
“We were excited to play, but we didn’t show it and we didn’t show it in our start,” said Carpenter, one of BG’s captains. “We have a chance to win tomorrow. We’ll think about it and look at what we can change.”
BG’s best players and team leaders did not play well.
“It starts with me and it starts in here,” Carpenter said, pointing to his heart. “We got what we deserved. (NMU) came to work and they capitalized on their chances.”
BG is seeking its first home playoff berth since 2008.
“It was a team that hasn’t been there very much against a team that’s been there a bunch, just in terms of history the last few years, and we played that way,” Bergeron said. “We played like we had nothing on the line and they played like they were fighting for something. I don’t know how that happens.
“It has to start with me, but I’m going to look at some of the older players and I’m going to lean on them because they weren’t very good tonight and they know it,” Bergeron added.
Standout BG goalie Andrew Hammond missed his fifth straight game with a knee injury and is not expected to play in the series finale, although Bergeron left the door open to Hammond returning.
“If he comes in and takes live pucks at game speed, he could play, but I don’t see that happening,” Bergeron said.
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 February 2013 09:00
 

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