|Despite Ice Arena record crowd, Falcons fall to No. 3 Michigan (2-25-12)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 25 February 2012 23:36|
Brilliant goaltending from Andrew Hammond provided Bowling Green with a chance to complete a sweep of third-ranked Michigan Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they couldn’t score.
Shawn Hunwick stopped 22 shots and helped the Wolverines kill off all nine BG power plays en route to a 3-0 victory.
On a night the teams played before an Ice Arena record crowd of 5,031, the Wolverines scored all of their goals in the the third period.
Michigan — after losing a 4-3 decision to BG Friday — rebounded to play well.
The Wolverines finished with a 49-22 edge in shots, but Hammond kept BG in the game with 46 saves. He had 12 saves in the first period, 19 in the second and 15 in the third.
“We battled really hard and gave it our best,” Hammond said. “They’re the number three team in the country for a reason and they proved it tonight.”
BG finished the regular season 10-21-5 overall and last in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association with a 5-19-4-3 record. It’ll visit sixth-seeded Northern Michigan (16-12-6, 11-11-6-3) next weekend for the first round of the league playoffs in a best-of-3 series.
Michigan (21-11-4, 15-9-4-1) finished second and earned a first-round bye.
“He looked really good,” Michigan coach Red Berenson of Hammond, who stopped 27-of-30 shots Friday. “He’s really finishing up well. He’ll give them a chance in the next round.”
The Wolverines’ first two goals came after BG lost faceoffs in its defensive zone.
David Wohlberg opened the scoring from the top of the left circle at 5:07, while Kevin Lynch scored on a scramble in front at 8:12. Mac Bennett’s empty-net goal at 17:51 clinched the win.
But long before Michigan scored, BG lost the game on the power play. It had seven of its nine power plays during the first two periods, and played 16:15 of the 60-minute game with the extra man.
“I was happy we created nine opportunities when Michigan had to take a penalty,” Bergeron said. “There were opportunities to really get the crowd into it and really get the momentum early, and we weren’t able to do it.”
The Falcons had nine shots with the extra man. Michigan’s power play was 0-of-5.
“I’m not unhappy with the process,” Bergeron said. “The process wasn’t bad. We had zone time. We had chances. For the most part, this was a pretty even game. We executed almost enough. Around their net, we weren’t able to make that one more play.”
The teams treated the loud and enthusiastic crowd to an action-packed game, filled with scoring chances and hard hits. Both goalies faced a number of odd-man rushes and breakaways, too.
The previous record crowd was 5,021 on Dec. 2, 1995, also against Michigan. The atmosphere felt like the glory days of the BG program in the late 1970s and early 80s.
“Shawn Hunwick came up to me at the end and said, ‘this is what Bowling Green should be every night,’” Bergeron said. “I can’t thank everybody enough, on behalf of this program. I know the results weren’t what they wanted and they weren’t what we wanted. But we feel we’re making progress. If we can have crowds like this, this will truly become a home-ice advantage.”
“It’s awesome,” Hammond said. “It’s special. It’s fun playing in front of a full house.”
MICHIGAN 3, BGSU 0
GOALS BY PERIOD
MICHIGAN 0 0 3 —3
BGSU 0 0 0 —0
Penalties: Sparks, UM, elbowing, 2:28; Brown, UM, elbowing, 10:40; Sinclair, BG, tripping, 12:39; Bennett, UM, tripping, 13:59;T. Lynch, UM, hooking, 17:44; Pateryn, UM, holding, 19:40.
Penalties: Glendening, UM, slashing, 5:07; Viselli, BG, hooking, 6:06; Pletsch, BG, tripping, 9:09; T. Lynch, UM, roughing, 11:42; Shea, BG, roughing, 15:26.
Scoring: 1, UM Wohlberg 13 (Guptill) 5:07. 2, UM K. Lynch 7 (Moffet) 8:17. 3, UM Bennett 4 (Di Giuseppe) 17:51 (5-6 en).
Penalties: Kucera, BG, tripping, 2:18; Brown, UM, slashing, 9:00; Guptill, UM, cross-checking, 12:52.
SAVES BY PERIOD
Hunwick, UM 7 8 7 —22
Hammond, BG 12 19 15 —46
Goalie statistics (goals against/minutes played): (UM) Hunwick 0/60; (BG) Hammond 2/59:19, Empty net 1/0:41.
Penalties-Minutes: UM 9-18, BG 5-10. Power plays: UM 0-5, BG 0-9. Attendance: 5,031.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 25 February 2012 23:40|
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