ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Bowling Green
failed to protect another lead in the third period Saturday.
Now, the Falcons will have to scramble to earn home ice for the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
And even making the league playoffs isn’t guaranteed.
Alaska-Anchorage scored four times in a six-minute span of the third period to earn a 5-2 victory over BG.
The Falcons carried a 2-1 lead into the third period after Mike Sullivan’s power-play goal snapped a 1-1 tie at 13:11 of the second period.
Falcon goalie Tommy Burke then preserved the lead when he stopped a penalty shot with just 2:28 left in the middle period.
But the third period was all Seawolves, who out-shot the Falcons by a 12-8 margin. BOX SCORE
The Seawolves moved into sole possession of third place in the WCHA with 26 points — two points ahead of BG, Alaska and Michigan Tech. All four teams have four league games remaining.
The Falcons played well during the first two periods, but only held the one-goal lead. BG had 18 shots over the first 40 minutes to just 10 for UAA. WCHA SCORES WCHA STANDINGS
BG is 13-13-6 overall and 10-10-4 in the WCHA, including a 1-4-1 record in its last six games. UAA, ninth in the WCHA coaches poll, is 15-11-4, 11-9-4.
“I really liked our first two periods, but games are three periods long,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said.
The Falcons are only 11-6-2 when leading after two periods and only 9-8-4 when scoring first this season.
BG settled for a 2-2 tie Friday in the series opener, despite holding a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes to go in regulation.
The Falcons had a chance on the power play to extend the lead to 3-1 to start the third period, but they failed to generate any sustained pressure with the extra man.
The Seawolves rallied for their four goals in a span of 5:31 — the first two coming just 64 seconds apart.
Zack Russell tied the game at 4:49 and Matt Bailey gave UAA its first lead in the series at 5:53.
UAA received insurance goals from Allen at 7:15 and Jordan Kwas at 10:20.
Russell’s goal came on the power play, while Allen and Kwas scored 4-on-4.
Prior to Russell’s goal, the Falcons had the puck on their stick, but couldn’t clear their defensive zone.
“The third period cost us the game,” Bergeron said. “We didn’t start the third period well with the power play and, unfortunately, it carried on through the rest of the period.”
BG also held a 1-0 lead, thanks to Marcus Perrier’s goal at 15:06 of the first period.
But UAA tied the game when Allen scored at 5:17 of the second period.
BG held a 26-22 edge in shots for the game. Burke had 16 saves, while UAA’s Rob Gunderson stopped 24 shots.
BG was 1-of-4 on the power play, while UAA was 1-of-3.
The top four teams in the 10-team WCHA host first-round series, with the top eight making the playoffs.
Bemidji State is seventh with 22 points, followed by Northern Michigan with 21 and Lake Superior with 20.
Bemidji has four games left, and NMU and Lake Superior each have six.
The Falcons finish league play at NMU Feb. 28-March 1 and at home against Bemidji March 7-8.
“It’s a huge loss in terms of the standings, but there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Bergeron said. “All we can do is prepare for our next two games at Northern and that’s what we’ll do.”