KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Bowling Green State University hockey team lost 4-1 to Western Michigan at Lawson Ice Arena on Thursday.
It is the first back-to-back loss for the Falcons this season. The Falcons drop to 2-3, the No. 18-ranked Broncos are 3-1.
BG senior Zack Rose and WMU junior Cameron Rowe started in net for the game, but the first period started with mostly shots by the Broncos toward Rose’s net.
At the 4:40 mark, the strong offensive line of Chase Gresock-Austen Swankler-Nathan Burke got BGSU’s first shot of the night, but it was stopped by Rowe.
Three minutes later, Falcons newcomer Brett Pfoh goes to the penalty box for highsticking and WMU freshman Ethan Wolthers makes the Falcons pay on the power play with a wraparound goal.
The second half of the opening period was dominated by Western Michigan, as both teams stayed near Rose’s net. The Falcons had to play a mostly defensive game as zone entry was not apparent. Western Michigan seemed to put another goal on the board with 40 seconds left, but the officials waved it off.
The first period came to a close, and the shot count was at 11-1 favoring WMU. The second period saw BGSU start finding thier way into the Broncos’ offensive zone.
However, a quick turnaround transformed into another goal by the Broncos as winger Cole Gallant got one past Rose.
With a two-goal lead late in the second period, the Falcons looked to rack up more offensive power. Less than three minutes into the period, BG sophomore Austen Swankler blasted the puck into the net and cuts WMU’s lead in half.
After killing a tripping penalty seven minutes into the second, Bowling Green had a power play of their own as Broncos defenseman Jacob Bauer got sent to the box for high sticking.
The Falcons would not be able to convert shots into goals during the one-man advantage, which would be a common theme for BGSU.
Two more power plays came for the Falcons until the end of the second, yet the score stood at 2-1, WMU, although the Falcons had 16 shots in the second period.
Four minutes into the third period, the Falcons would get yet another power play, but the pattern of not scoring on with a man advantage kept repeating for BGSU as they failed to find the net.
For the second half of the period, only the Broncos would see their goal count change as linemates Max Sasson and Ryan McAllister scored just minutes apart, giving the Broncos plenty of insurance and a 4-1 lead. Another power play for BGSU near the end of the period was the catalyst for another puck in the net.
Despite the loss, netminder Zack Rose made multiple key saves on Western Michigan’s 33 shots. BGSU coach Ty Eigner credits Rose for staying on his toes while traffic covered the crease.
“Zack Rose played really well and kept us in it,” Eigner said. “Unfortunately, we got off to a slow start. Zack Rose played really well and kept us in it.
“They scored the first goal of the second period and our guys responded. We didn’t see any quit. After the first period, it was a really good hockey game. Give Western Michigan credit, they played well. It’s good for us to get the experience of playing in this type of environment.”
The Falcons will return home to the Slater Family Ice Arena to conclude the home-and-home series against the Broncos tonight. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.