|Updated 11:50 p.m., Falcon hockey earns split with Northern Michigan (2-23-13)|
|Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 23 February 2013 22:35|
The Falcons moved one step closer to earning home ice in the first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs with a 5-3 win Saturday over Northern Michigan. PHOTO GALLERY
Bobby Shea’s short-handed goal with 4:20 remaining snapped a 3-3 tie and Brett Mohler’s empty-net goal with one second left enabled the Falcons to climb into seventh-place in the CCHA.
BG has 34 points, followed by eighth-place Lake Superior with 32, ninth-place Michigan with 31 and 10th-place NMU with 29. The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place teams host first-round series.
The Falcons were coming off a poor performance Friday in a 5-2 loss to NMU, which could have passed BG with a sweep. BOX SCORE CCHA STANDINGS CCHA SCORES
“These points are huge,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “It was a great response.”
Shea’s goal came as his shot from the top of the right circle hit the boards behind the net and bounced back in front, caroming into the net off NMU goalie Jared Coreau. Shea was attempting to make a play down low to teammate Dan DeSalvo.
“It was a funny goal,” Shea said. “You’re happy to get them.”
NMU rallied from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game on goals from C.J. Ludwig on the power play at 18:43 of the second period and Brian Nugent at 12:41 of the third period, just 2:59 before Shea scored.
NMU then had the chance to take the lead on the power play, but Shea scored BG’s first short-handed goal of the season.
BG was aided by an enthusiastic crowd of 3,872, its largest of the season, on senior night.
BG’s veterans led the way after not playing well Friday. Among the players praised by Bergeron were senior Marc Rodriguez, and juniors Andrew Wallace and Cam Wojtala.
Shea and Rodriguez were BG’s only seniors in the lineup. Andrew Hammond missed his sixth straight game with a knee injury and Ryan Peltoma was a healthy scratch.
BG was down to 10 forwards for the first half of the game. Bryce Williamson received a major for checking from behind and a game-misconduct penalty just 22 seconds into the game and Adam Berkle missed a good part of the first 30 minutes after he was cut.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of purpose to what we did last night,” Bergeron said. “We needed to play with more purpose tonight and I thought we did.”
“I thought we were going to win the game, and then we can have another game at home and this wouldn’t be my last one,” Shea said. “We came out differently and we knew we had to.”
Tommy Burke made 17 saves for BG, which held a 30-20 edge in shots during a physical and fiercely-fought game.
Falcon freshman defenseman Ralfs Freibergs also had a good debut and helped the BG power play, which scored once and had another goal just three seconds after an NMU penalty ended. He was sitting out a 33-game NCAA suspension for playing in what the NCAA deemed was a professional league in his native Latvia.
|Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 15:18|
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