MARQUETTE, Mich. — Bowling Green State University won 6-4 against Northern Michigan for their first win of the season, on the Wildcats’ ice Saturday.
“Winning the first game of the season is always fun,” said coach Ty Eigner. “We’re really proud of the effort, a lot of guys played well and played hard, which stuck out to our staff.
“We started well in the first and second periods and were able to stay focused and keep our composure down the stretch. Northern Michigan is a really good team that’s going to win a lot of hockey games, so it’s good to get this first win.”
The first period started off competitive as the Falcons and the Wildcats exchanged great offensive chances.
BGSU turned up the pressure as sophomore Austen Swankler passed the puck to Hobey Baker-nominee Nathan Burke for a one-timer attempt four minutes in.
The ‘Cats created numerous two-on-one opportunities on the Falcons. This caused the BG defense to scramble, and NMU scored at the eight-minute mark with a close-range shot by center Reilly Funk.
Despite the shot count, the Wildcats had the better chances in the first half.
The Falcons needed to keep the momentum and exchanged shots for most of the second half of the period. With less than three minutes to go, rookie Chase Gresock buried a wide pass from fifth-year Taylor Schneider to even up the score.
Bowling Green would have the advantage in shots 8-6 at the end of the first period, but needed to create a lead going into the second.
Bowling Green would get on the board again early in the second, as defenseman Max Coyle got one past NMU netminder Charlie Glockner.
Soon after, the Cats would have to deal with a BGSU power play. The Falcons were dominating the ice and the Wildcats’ frustration translated into penalties. Just seconds after the power play, the Falcons’ lead grew to to 3-1 with a tip-in goal by center Ethan Scardina.
The string of bad luck did not end there for Northern Michigan as the Wildcats were whistleld for another penalty within the first five minutes of the period. The ‘Cats retaliated as the penalty kill expired with a goal by junior Artem Shlainem, making it 3-2.
Northern Michigan seemed to get momentum back, throwing a slew of shots toward BG goaltender Zack Rose. The Falcons’ lead would not last much longer as winger Michael Colella tallied one on the power play.
BGSU was obviously frustrated with the lost lead, which turned into some pushing and shoving with the opposition. The period ended 3-3, with shots favoring BGSU 20-14.
The Wildcats started the third period strong. With a penalty on winger Spencer Schneider for slashing, Colella was able to get yet another point, for Northern Michigan’s first lead of the night.
Less than a minute later, BGSU forward Ryan O’Hara got a quick one in, off the faceoff and the Falcons started to gain back their stride.
Shortly after, center Austen Swankler shot the puck over Glockner’s shoulders to make it 5-4.
The Wildcats were now desperate for another puck in Rose’s net, and saw a glimmer of hope with a two-man advantage with almost two minutes left.
However, forward Taylor Schneider would seal the deal by burying one in the empty net, winning the game 6-4.
The Falcons face the Wildcats again on Sunday in Marquette, Michigan, looking for a series sweep.