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Falcon hockey wins, forces Game 3 against Northern Michigan (3-4-12) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel Sports Staff   
Sunday, 04 March 2012 10:16
MARQUETTE, Mich. — Bowling Green’s resiliency paid off again Saturday night.
The Falcons scored the game’s final four goals to erase a two-goal deficit and earn a 5-3 win over 17th-ranked Northern Michigan in Game 2 of their Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoff series.
The win evened the best-of-3 first-round series at 1-1, forcing a deciding game Sunday night at 7:35.
The Falcons rallied for a 4-3 lead in the second period on goals from Marcus Perrier with the teams 4-on-4 at 3:54, Mike Sullivan on the power play at 8:47 and Dan DeSalvo at 19:12.
BG clinched the win on Bryce Williamson’s empty-net goal with just seven seconds remaining in the game.
The 11th-seeded Falcons, who played well Friday in a 4-2 loss in Game 1, are 11-22-5 overall. Sixth-seeded NMU is 17-13-6.
“It’s not the first time we’ve seen it,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said of his team’s resiliency. “We put ourselves in a bind early. I didn’t get after the team after the first period, but we were disappointed with that period.
“All in all, a pretty gutsy effort. We can improve on the Xs and Os, the execution part of it, and, hopefully, put forth another good effort (Sunday).”
The Falcons are hoping for a repeat of last season’s first-round win at NMU. BG won that series in three games after dropping the opener, with Williamson scoring in double overtime.
“We’ve had so many opportunities to just quit on the season,” Bergeron said. “But (the players) don’t quit and they just continue to prove to ourselves and to each other that that’s not what we’re all about.”
After taking the lead, the Falcons received an additional lift with just 4.5 seconds left in the second period when NMU’s Stephan Vigier failed to score on a penalty shot.
Vigier had been hooked on a breakaway just 43 seconds after DeSalvo’s go-ahead goal. The sophomore forward has 13 goals and 12 assists this season.
The missed penalty shot enabled BG to keep its 4-3 lead entering third period.
“Andrew Hammond stood up to the challenge and made a big save on the penalty shot to give us the momentum going into third period,” Bergeron said of his junior goalie.
BG, after taking three of the game’s first four penalties, was aided by six straight NMU penalties in a 10-minute span of the second period. The Wildcats held a 3-1 lead when their penalty problems began.
Although BG scored just once on the power play, it had the extra man for 9:05 in the second period.
“We were able to take advantage of that, not necessarily with power-play goals, but with just time on the power play, taking momentum from their game,” Bergeron said.
The Falcon power play was 1-of-7 and had 11 shots.
“Our power play was better,” said Bergeron, whose team has scored just 16 power-play goals this season. “We got a bunch of pucks towards the net. It’s coming. We had zone time and, for the most, we did a good job.”
NMU’s power play was 2-of-6, but BG killed off the Wildcats’ final two chances in the third period. Each team had eight penalties, all minors.
“Those were two big kills,” Bergeron said.
Hammond, one of just six upperclassmen who played for BG, had 30 saves.
NMU held a 33-29 edge in shots, but the Falcons out-shot the Wildcats by a 21-15 margin over the final two periods.
The Wildcats took a  2-1 lead after the first period when it had 18 shots to BG’s eight.
“To see Andrew Hammond come back and have a second period like he did is the type of leadership we’re looking for from our older guys,” Bergeron said.
DeSalvo’s first goal of the game gave BG a 1-0 lead just 32 seconds into the contest, but NMU rallied for a 3-1 lead with two goals in the first period and one in the second period.
Vigier tied the game at 4:07 and Justin Florek’s power-play goal at 18:48 gave the Wildcats the lead. Matt Thurber added another power-play goal, just 1:53 into the second period, to hand NMU its 3-1 lead.
In addition to DeSalvo’s two goals, Sullivan and Perrier each had one goal and one assist, and Adam Berkle had two assists.
Berkle’s on-ice rating was plus-4, while Carpenter was plus-3 and DeSalvo was plus-2.
Sullivan’s goal was the first for the freshman defenseman.
The freshmen line of DeSalvo, Berkle and Carpenter played well.
DeSalvo has three goals in the series, while Berkle has a goal and three assists. Berkle has three goals and three assists in the last five games.
“They’re making hockey plays all over the ice and they’re being determined,” Bergeron said. “They’re competing at a high level and they’re guys who are good enough hockey players they can make plays at that same level as they’re competing. Because of that. they’re going to be difference-makers as they’ve been this weekend so far.”
Freshmen defensemen Sullivan, Perrier and Connor Kucera also have played in the series, and BG has received support from its juniors and seniors.
The freshmen defensemen were a combined plus-5 in Game 2.
BG played seven freshmen and six sophomores in Game 2.
“When you have that many sophomores and freshmen, your young guys are going to contribute and that’s what happened,” Bergeron said.
Reid Ellingson had 24 saves for NMU, which lost at home for just the third time this season. The Wildcats are 12-3-5 at home. BG is 6-13-1 on the road.

BGSU    1    3    1    —5
NORTHERN MICHIGAN    2    1    0    —3
Scoring: 1, BG DeSalvo 6 (Berkle, Perrier) 0:32. 2, NMU Vigier 13 (Epp, Cherniwchan) 4:27. 3, NMU Florek 17 (Vigier, Jones) 18:48 (4-3 pp).
Penalties: Perrier, BG, interference, 16:59; Seckel, NMU, roughing, 17:29; Berkle, BG, goalie interference, 17:51.
Scoring: 4, BG Thurber 11 (Daugherty, Seckel) 1:53 (5-4 pp).  5, BG Perrier 3 (Sullivan) 3:54 (4-4 es). 6, BG Sullivan 1 (Burkle) 8:47 (5-4 pp). 7, BG DeSalvo 6 (Grover, Hammond) 19:12.
Penalties: DeSalvo, BG, elbowing, 0:25; Shea, BG, cross-checking, 3:07; Nugent, NMU, unsportsmanlike conduct after the whistle,  3:07; Follmer, NMU, tripping, 3:54; Thurber, NMU, hooking, 6:44; Ludwig,  NMU, slashing, 7:56; Nugent, NMU, slashing, 10:05; Epp. NMU, boarding, 12:20; Thurber, NMU, tripping, 15:59; DeSalvo, BG, holding, 17:01; Perrier, BG, tripping, 19:55.
Scoring: 8, BG Williamson (unassisted) 19:53 (5-6 en).
Penalties: Shea, BG, cross-checking, 2:26; Rodriguez, BG, tripping, 12:07.
Hammond, BG    16    3    11    —30
Ellingson, NMU    7    13    4    —24
Goalie statistics (goals against/minutes played): (BG) Hammond 3/60. (NMU) Ellingson 4/59:16, Empty net 1/0:44.
Penalties-Minutes: BG 8-16, NMU 8-16. Power plays: BG 1-7, NMU 2-6. Attendance: 1,557.
Last Updated on Sunday, 04 March 2012 10:22

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