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Updated 12:25 a.m., Falcon hockey shuts out Alaska (1-10-14) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor   
Friday, 10 January 2014 22:26
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BG’s Matt Pohlkamp (20) attempts to get past Alaska’s Josh Atkinson. (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Preventing goals was a major problem for Bowling Green during the first half of the season.
Hard work in practice following the team’s holiday’s break is enabling the Falcons to become a difficult team to score against.
BG played well again defensively Friday, allowing just 16 shots en route to a 3-0 win over the University of Alaska in the Ice Arena.  BOX SCORE
Tommy Burke was in goal for the shutout, and the defense corps of Mike Sullivan, Sean Walker, Marcus Perrier, Connor Kucera, Ralfs Freibergs and Rusty Hafner played well.
The Falcons received goals from Bryce Williamson in the second period, and Ryan Carpenter and Adam Berkle in the third period to record their fourth straight win.
Carpenter, one of the best players in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, played in a game for the first time this season after missing the first 24 games with a broken finger and a broken foot.
“I’m really happy with the way we defended,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said.
The Falcons allowed five goals to fifth-ranked Boston College Dec. 27 in their first game back from break, but they’ve allowed only three goals in their last four games.
Friday’s defensive performance was even more impressive because Alaska is second in the league in scoring at 3.0 goals per game. The Nanooks’ Cody Kunyk entered the game tied for the league lead with 22 points on 12 goals and 10 assists. His linemates, Colton Beck and Marcus Basara, have combined for 15 goals and 17 assists.
Forwards Berkle, Cam Wojtala and Matt Pohlkamp were matched against Beck’s line and all three played well.
The shutout was BG’s fifth of the season and the third by Burke.
BG improved to 12-9-4 overall and 9-6-2 in the WCHA. UA is 8-10-3, 5-9-1.
“We defended hard,” Bergeron said. “When there was a breakdown, Burke was there.”
The Falcons allowed 53 goals in their first 19 games, an average of 2.78 per game.
“We’re doing a better job of taking away time and space, and we’re making better plays with the puck,” Bergeron said. “In the first half, we worked to get (the puck) and then we gave it back and it cost us.”
The teams played a hard-fought, close-checking first period that each team total four shots on goal before BG pulled away over the final 30 minutes.
Williamson scored on a one-timer from the right side of the slot with 2:46 left in the second period. The play was set up by Pohlkamp’s centering pass.
Carpenter cut across the front of the net to score on a forehand tip of Hafner’s low shot from the left point for a 2-0 lead at 11:36 of the third period.
UA had a chance to close within 2-1 when it went on the power play at 13:34. But Dan DeSalvo forced a turnover behind the UA net, and fed Berkle in front for a short-handed goal and a 3-0 lead at 14:17.
“The second goal was big and the third goal was huge,” Bergeron said.
The Falcons generated their momentum in the second period with three power plays in the final 10 minutes of the period.
“We didn’t cash in on them, but they weren’t a complete write off,” Bergeron said. “They were pretty productive in terms of zone time, in terms of chances, and building that momentum.”
BG held a 30-12 edge in shots over the final two periods and a 34-16 margin in the game.
“We talked about getting off to a better start in the second period,” said DeSalvo, who had two assists. “We knew we had another level, and we came out in the second period and proved it.”
Last Updated on Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:54
 

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