Falcons split series with Wildcats

MARQUETTE, Mich. — The Bowling Green State University hockey team lost to the Northern Michigan Wildcats in overtime, 4-3 Sunday. With a regulation win the night prior, BGSU was able to get four out of six possible points in their first series of the season.

With BG sophomore Christian Stoever in net, the Falcons were determined to sweep the series. However, the start of the first would come with obstacles, as Falcon defenseman Hunter Lellig went to the penalty box for tripping.

Northern Michigan seized the opportunity quickly. and freshman Joey Larson quickly shot the puck past Stoever from a behind-the-net pass.

The Wildcats would keep the pucks coming towards Stoever, and captain AJ Vanderbeck would get a wrist shot in the back of the net seven minutes in.

The second half of the period would be dominated by the ‘Cats and the Falcons could not generate the offense they wanted. The period closed with a shot count of 11-8, favoring Northern Michigan.

The Falcons seemed to struggle in the first half of the second, as odd man rushes and broken passes plagued their play.

However, halfway through the period, the tables would turn when forward Austen Swankler would shoot through traffic past ‘Cats goaltender Charlie Glockner.

The trend of goals didn’t stop there, as center Ethan Scardina scored from a sharp angle to tie up the game 2-2.

The Falcons were becoming more competitive, and although the shot count would favor NMU 19-15, the back end would protect Stoever’s net to prevent a lead.

Despite starting off the third period with a slew of NMU shots and a penalty kill, BGSU would generate a 4-on-2 rush at the eight-minute mark, resulting in Swanker’s second goal of the night.

In retaliation, the Wildcats would capitalize off of a BGSU holding penalty, tieing the game at 3 with a goal by senior David Keefer at the thirteen-minute mark.

The ending minutes of the period were full of shots from both teams trying to seal the deal, but the match would have to go into overtime.

At the start of the 3-on-3 overtime, Bowling Green looked like the better team of the two. Shots kept firing towards Glockner’s way, and the game seemed to be going in their favor. However, Northern Michigan would win a foot race against Bowling Green towards the net, and Vanderbeck would win it for the Wildcats.

Despite the overtime loss to Northern Michigan, Bowling Green put up an impressive weekend performance against the second ranked team. With last year’s series record being 0-4 against NMU, things look to be on the upside with these Falcons, and the new guys are proving to be great assets for Bowling Green hockey,

The Falcons will be taking a break from CCHA hockey as a home-and-home series against Michigan State will take place Friday and Saturday. The Friday game will take place at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, and the Saturday game will be BGSU’s home opener at the Slater Family Ice Arena.