|Updated 12:15 a.m., BGSU hockey shuts out No. 17 Niagara (12-29-12)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 29 December 2012 22:14|
The Falcons played well offensively and defensively, and Andrew Hammond was excellent in goal en route to a 3-0 victory over 17th-ranked Niagara in the Ice Arena. BOX SCORE
Hammond made 38 saves and BG scored once in the first period and twice in the third period. PHOTO GALLERY
Bryce Williamson and Dajon Mingo each had one goal and one assist for BG, while Cam Wojtala had other goal and Mike Sullivan had two assists.
BG also won the special teams as it was 2-of-5 on the power play and held Niagara scoreless on its two chances with the extra man.
“We’re pleased with the 60 minutes as a whole,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “I’m pleased with the effort.”
BG improved to 4-10-4 overall with its nonleague win as it attempts to bounce back from a disappointing first half of the season. The Falcons are 2-7-3-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
The Falcons were playing for the first time since Dec. 15. Niagara fell to 10-3-4 and saw its unbeaten streak ended at 12 games (9-0-3). The Purple Eagles were seeing their first action since Dec. 12.
Hammond and Niagara junior Carsen Chubak staged a terrific goaltending battle.
Chubak finished with 40 saves as the teams played a fast-paced, physical and action-packed game before a crowd of 1,823. Chubak leads the nation with a 1.56 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage.
“For us to come out with an effort like that and play 60 minutes is something we really haven’t done a whole lot of,” Hammond said. “It’s definitely a step in the right direction, something to build on.”
“We wanted to start the second half off right and getting a win is definitely a confidence boost going into the second half,” Williamson said.
The Falcons opened the scoring on the power play at 7:01 of the first period when Williamson was in front to tip in Mingo’s pass from the right point.
Hammond and Chubak took over after that and the Falcons carried the 1-0 lead into the third period.
BG finally clinched the win on goals from Wojtala on the power play with 3:04 left and Mingo with just 1:53 to go.
Wojtala was in front to tip in Sullivan’s shot from the center point, while Mingo scored from close in on the left side.
The Falcons made a conscious effort to shoot more often and to get as many players as possible to the net to make it harder for the goalies to stop the puck and create better scoring chances.
“We want to be relentless offensively and get more pucks and more bodies to the net,” Williamson said.
The Falcon power play, which had scored just seven goals in the first 17 games, looked sharp in scoring twice on 13 shots.
“For the most part, we did the things we wanted to do on the power play,” Bergeron said. “Our looks were good and our results were really good. It’s good to see them get rewarded with a couple of goals.”
BG’s penalty-killing also was good, even though it had just the two chances. The Falcons entered Saturday having allowed 13 power-play goals in their last nine games.
“All in all, the special teams were a positive and when that happens, you’re going to win more games than (not),” Bergeron said.
“There was a lot more intensity on our special teams,” Hammond. “It’s something we harped on in practice, having better special teams.”
Hammond, who had 28 saves in a 2-2 season-opening tie at Niagara Oct. 6, posted his sixth career shutout.
“Their guy was great,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “He’s a big kid (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) who makes the first save and they have a (defense corps) that boxes out well. We had a ton of grade-A (scoring chances) in the first and second periods and nothing to show for it. Sometimes you just tip your hat and their goalie played great.”
Hammond has a .938 save percentage in his last five games.
“All in all, he looked on top of his game and in control,” Bergeron said.
BG forward Chad Sumsion suffered what is believed to be a sprained ankle when he was hit during the second period.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 01:19|
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