Bowling Green State University hockey (4-7-0, 3-4-0 CCHA) used an efficient power play performance and spectacular goaltending to earn a 3-2 win over conference foe St. Thomas (2-9-0, 1-4-0 CCHA).
Ethan Scardina and Ryan O’Hara each scored while the Falcons had the man advantage, then Jaden Grant scored the eventual game-winner in the final frame. Christian Stoever put on another impressive performance in the crease, stopping 31-of-33 shots to earn his second win of the season. Bowling Green won the special teams battle, going 2-for-3 on the power play while holding the Tommies without a power play goal in both of their opportunities.
The Falcons had a power play chance with less than four minutes in the first and capitalized with an Scardina goal. After a sequence of shots were saved or blocked, the puck trickled to Ben Wozney between the circles. He passed it forward to O’Hara, who passed it to Austen Swankler at the right dot. His shot was redirected by Scardina, who gave the Falcons the lead with a tip from the left crease. O’Hara and Swankler had the assists.
In the final seconds of the opening frame, the Tommies evened the score. Jake Braccini attacked the left side and had his shot saved by Stoever. Braccini collected the rebound and skated behind the net, finding a crashing Mack Byers who connected for the game-tying goal. Braccini and Ryan O’Neill were credited with the assists.
Like the first period, Bowling Green had a power play chance with less than five minutes left in the second. After working the puck around the perimeter of the zone, Wozney sent it left-to-right along the blue line, connecting with Chase Gresock. He fired a shot at the net, which was redirected by Ryan O’Hara for the go-ahead score. Gresock and Wozney earned the assists.
BGSU added to the lead in the early minutes of the third. An effective offensive attack saw the Falcons move the puck from the bottom of the zone to the top, where Max Coyle passed it from the blue line to the right circle, finding Brett Pfoh. The freshman brought it back to the blue line then sent the puck at the net, where it was collected by Jaden Grant. He turned to his right and sent a quick shot by the netminder, giving the Falcons a 3-1 lead.
During a 4-on-4 session in the middle of the frame, a rush by the Tommies resulted in a goal. Nolan Sawchuck led the attack, skating to the blue line before dumping it back to Josh Eernisse. His wrist shot snuck in the top corner, bringing St. Thomas within one.
Ryan O’Hara recorded a goal and assist for his second multi-point performance of the season. The sophomore has five goals and three assists this season. He has 16 points in his career.
Scardina netted a power play goal as well, pushing his goal total for the year to five. This ranks second on the team, with his power play goal total of three ranking first. The junior, who has 20 career points, has scored a goal in the last three games.
Jaden Grant scored for the second-straight game, pushing his point total to four. It was the game-winning goal, marking the freshman’s first.
Austen Swankler tallied his third assist of the year to give him a team-high nine points. The sophomore has 35 career points in 46 games.
Chase Gresock’s assist was his sixth of the season, giving him sole possession of the team lead. The senior has eight points this season and 81 in his career.
Max Coyle notched his fifth assist of the season, giving him six points on the year. The assistant captain has 14 assists and 16 points in his collegiate career.
Wozney earned an assist for the third consecutive game, bringing his career total to seven.
Brett Pfoh registered his first collegiate point with an assist on the Grant goal.
Stoever made 31 saves on the night, his third-straight game with more than 30 saves.
“We’re not going to apologize for how Christian Stoever played and winning the game, but we need to clean things up tomorrow if we want to have the same opportunity to win,” said head coach Ty Eigner.
The Falcons and Tommies complete the series Saturday at 7:07 p.m. It is Youth Hockey Night, with the first 100 kids receiving an autographed puck at the marketing table. After the game, kids are invited to skate with the Falcons. Bring skates or rent a pair from the Newlove Pro Shop for $2.