|Falcon hockey falls to Michigan in 2OT (3-16-12)|
|Saturday, 17 March 2012 00:06|
But it took almost 82 minutes to beat the Falcons.
Luke Moffatt scored 64 seconds into the second 20-minute overtime to give third-ranked Michigan a 3-2 victory in the CCHA semifinals at Joe Louis Arena.
Moffatt poked in a loose puck from the center of the crease after BG turned the puck over just inside its own blueline. PHOTO GALLERY
Luke Glendening, whose dad, Tom, played college football at BG, centered the puck into the crease from deep on the right side. The puck stayed in the crease and Moffatt, a sophomore left wing and Columbus Blue Jackets’ draft pick, came in to score.
BG goalie Andrew Hammond had no chance to make the save as the play came during a wild goalmouth scramble.
Michigan, 24-11-4 overall, will play No. 14 Western Michigan (20-13-6) for the CCHA playoff title tonight at 7:35.
“We were fortunate to get a bounce,” Moffatt said.
The Falcons (13-25-5) will play No. 7 Miami (23-1-4-2) in the third-place game this afternoon at 3:35 p.m.
Western was a 6-2 winner over Miami in Friday’s first game.
“I’m extremely proud of our players,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “They’ve shown this resiliency all year. We’re going to be back here and we’re going to be more ready for it. But I couldn’t be more proud of them. It just wasn’t meant to be for us tonight.”
BG, after finishing last in the CCHA during the regular season, bounced back to win its first two playoff series, at No. 2 and league regular-season champion Ferris in the quarterfinals and at No. 17 Northern Michigan in the first round.
The Falcons were closing in on their first berth in the CCHA championship game since 1988 when Michigan’s David Wohlberg tied the game with just 2:15 remaining in regulation.
Wohlberg was in front to fire in Derek DeBlois’ sweet between-the-legs backhand pass from over Hammond’s right shoulder. The goal came after the Falcons turned the puck over behind their own net.
The Wolverines, who spotted the Falcons a 2-0 lead in the first 26 minutes, closed to within 2-1 with just 9.6 seconds left in the second period on Jon Merrill’s wrist shot from the right point.
Moffat’s goal capped a thrilling goaltending duel between Hammond and Michigan’s Shawn Hunwick.
The Wolverines finished with a 58-37 edge in shots, but Hammond’s work provided the Falcons with a chance to win.
Hammond finished with 55 saves, including two point-blank stops late in regulation and 13 difficult saves in the first 20-minute overtime against the league’s highest-scoring offense at 3.29 goals per game.
His 55 saves were one shy of the school record.
Hunwick also was terrific with 35 saves. He made two point-blank saves during a wild scramble in front in the third period with the Falcons holding a 2-1 lead. The senior then made 11 stops in the first OT.
Each team drilled a shot off the post in first OT, Ted Pletsch for BG from the left circle at 2:09 and Chris Brown for Michigan at 15:26.
The first OT was in stark contrast to the rest of the game. That OT was literally an end-to-end rush.
“You’re just taking it one shot a time and worrying about the next shot,” Hammond said. “You’re just worrying about the next shot, not how many shots. You take each shot as it comes.”
The Falcons built their 2-0 lead on goals from Ryan Carpenter on the power play at 9:59 of the first period and Marc Rodriguez at 5:58 of the second period.
Carpenter’s goal came on the deflection of Cam Wojtala’s shot from the right-wing boards. Carpenter was on the right side of the crease, the puck hitting the shaft of his stick and trickling under the left pad of Hunwick.
The Falcons then capitalized on a Michigan turnover behind the Wolverine net to double their lead.
Andrew Wallace, from the right circle, led Rodriguez with a slick back-hand pass. Rodriguez then beat Hunwick with a shot to the top right corner of the net from the inside of the circle.
But the Wolverines finally solved Hammond on Merrill’s goal late in the second period.
After the Falcons twice failed to clear their defensive zone, Merrill’s bouncing puck went in on the right side, just inside the right post and past a screened Hammond.
“That was a huge goal,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
All three Michigan goals came after BG turnovers.
“It just wasn’t the type of execution we wanted to have,” Bergeron said. “We had dodged a few chances to that point and during the last (media) timeout before that goal, we were stressing that we had to do a better job of taking care of the puck.
“You can’t give a team like that opportunities because they’ll take advantage. I don’t think that was the play that beat us, but it was one of the reasons we lost.”
MICHIGAN 3, BGSU 2, 2OT
GOALS BY PERIOD
Scoring: 5, UM Moffatt 6 (Glendening, Treais) 1:04.
SAVES BY PERIOD
|Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2012 06:59|
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