|Falcon hockey ends winless streak (12-7-12)|
|Written by Sentinel Sports Staff|
|Saturday, 08 December 2012 03:14|
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Andrew Hammond made sure Bowling Green’s winless streak came to an end Friday night.
The senior stopped 39 shots to lead the Falcons to a 3-2 victory over the University of Alaska in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association game.
Hammond’s goaltending enabled the Falcons to win on a night they were out-shot by a 41-16 margin, including a 22-4 margin in the third period.
But Hammond was sharp for the second straight game to protect the lead. He made a point-blank save with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation and stopped a breakaway with just under four minutes left. BOX SCORE
Hammond was coming off an outstanding 35-save performance in a 3-1 loss at Michigan Nov. 21.
The victory was the first for the Falcons since Nov. 2 when they posted a 1-0 victory at Michigan State. BG was 0-5-1 since that victory.
“It’s nice to get a win,” said BG coach Chris Bergeron, whose team had been idle since the Michigan loss. “Wins don’t come easy for us. We’ll take it.
“It was a really solid road game through two periods and Andrew Hammond did what you hope a senior does in the third period. He led the way and played like an All-American in the third period. He basically won the game for us.”
Brett Mohler gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead with 5:48 left in the second period and Mark Cooper increased the lead to two goals just 2:26 later. BG held off Alaska after that.
Alaska closed to within 3-2 on Chad Gehon’s goal with 13:10 to play in the game, but the Nanooks couldn’t tie the game.
“Our level went down and their level went up,” Bergeron said. “We tried to warn our guys that their level was going to go up, down two goals at home. (Alaska) was not going to stop playing.”
The Falcons had a chance to make it 4-1 in the third period, but they failed to get a shot off during a 3-on-1 rush.
“That was our third period in a nutshell,” Bergeron said. “We needed some of our leaders to lead the way and bring some calm, bring some poise and bring some finish and we didn’t get it. We had to rely on Andrew and Andrew came through. He made some big-time saves. They had a couple of unbelievable chances that he made saves on.”
The Falcons, 3-9-3 overall and 2-6-2-1 in the CCHA, go for a sweep of the series Saturday night at 11:05.
Alaska, 0-5-1 in its last six games, fell to 6-8-3, 4-7-2.
“The bottom line is it’s a win,” Bergeron said. “We’ve been on the receiving end of losses when we’ve out-shot and out-played teams. For two periods tonight, it was an even game, if not a little bit in our favor. But we need to find a way to finish games strong, not just hold on.”
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead on Bryce Williamson’s goal at 9:19 of the first period, but Alaska tied the game on Max Dumond’s goal at 4:08 of the second period.
Bobby Shea had two assists for the Falcons, who scored at three goals in a game for just the fifth time this season. BG entered the game with just 24 goals in 14 games.
“We had chances to create offense and we did,” Bergeron said. “We missed the net a ton, but we had chances to score.”
Neither team scored on the power play as BG was 0-of-4 and Alaska was 0-of-2.
“We’re not getting the results on the power play,” Bergeron said. “We’re not executing on the power play where it’s resulting in goals. We’re getting decent (offensive) zone time and we’re getting decent looks, but it’s not enough.”
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