Updated: 11:58 p.m., BGSU hockey beats MSU for 3rd straight win (2-8-13)
Written by Kevin Gordon Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Friday, 08 February 2013 22:18
Bowling Green’s hockey team is starting to find ways to win even when it isn’t sharp for 60 minutes.
|Michigan State's Greg Wolfe (86), left, skates after Bowling Green's Mike Sullivan (4). (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
The Falcons were great for the first 10 minutes Friday night and only played sporadically well after that.
But Tommy Burke’s 17-save goaltending, and goals from Ben Murphy and Ryan Carpenter provided the Falcons with a 2-1 victory over Michigan State in the Ice Arena.
Carpenter’s power-play goal with 7:35 to play in the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and the Falcons held on to move into sole possession of seventh-place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
MSU’s Will Yanakeff stopped 28 shots.
BG was coming off a 7-3 win over Lake Superior Feb. 2 in a game it didn’t play well.
Friday’s game was played before a crowd of 3,436, BG’s largest of the season.
“It’s expectations, a will not to lose a game with a lead or when we’re down a goal,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “Our program is moving in the right direction. The players are taking this thing over. This is their deal. These aren’t (the coaches) expectations. These are their expectations.
“All these wins can do is help a team that didn’t have a lot of confidence come Christmas time. Now, the last little bit, we’ve had some confidence.”
BG, which has won three straight overall and six straight at home, has 28 points in the CCHA. Lake Superior is eighth with 26, while Michigan is ninth with 25.
The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place teams host first-round playoff series.
More importantly, the Falcons (9-4-2 in their last 15 games) moved eight points ahead of 10th-place Northern Michigan and 12 points ahead of last-place MSU.
Michigan has played 23 games, while Lake Superior has played 22, and BG, NMU and MSU each have played 21.
“Good teams find a way to win and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Carpenter, who extended his point streak to 13 games. “We’re still trying to get better every day, but it’s nice when the results are going your way.
“Every game right now, we have to treat like a playoff game,” Carpenter added. “The intensity is what we pride ourselves on and if we stay with that intensity and be relentless every night, hopefully the results will continue to be our way.”
Burke was an unlikely hero as he started in place of Andrew Hammond, who suffered a knee injury in practice Wednesday.
The freshman was making his first start since Jan. 6 when he made 32 saves in a 3-2 win at Canisius.
MSU took a 1-0 lead on Greg Wolfe’s short-handed breakaway goal off a BG turnover just 3:28 into the game — its first shot of the game. But MSU didn’t score again.
“I just shook it off and went from there,” Burke said.
Wolfe’s shot beat Burke through the legs. Burke said he felt the puck glance in off the inside of his right leg.
“He hung in there,” Bergeron said. “He’s a resilient kid, just like our team. He took advantage of an opportunity ... that he earned with his play. His game was very good.”
Burke only had four saves in the first, most coming in the last minute of the period. He improved his goals-against average to 2.09 and save percentage to .909.
He said his practices Wednesday and Thursday were two of his best of the season.
“I take the same approach throughout the whole week. I’m really dialed in practice,” Burke said, adding that he anticipated starting as soon as Hammond was hurt. “I felt pretty good coming into the game.”
But after MSU took the lead, the Falcons tied the game on the same power play just 53 seconds later. Murphy scored from a bad-angle shot deep on the left side, although the shot was a rocket.
“That goal was huge,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter scored the game-winner on a 2-on-1 rush from the left hashmark. Mark Cooper skated in on right wing and waited to draw the MSU defenseman to his side before firing a perfect pass across to Carpenter.
Chad Sumsion and Dajon Mingo also made good plays to set up the 2-on-1.
Carpenter has eight goals and eight assists during his point streak, while Mingo has six goals and seven assists in the last 13 games.
Last Updated on Saturday, 09 February 2013 09:05