Bowling Green State University hockey points leader Austen Swankler made milestones on Saturday by ranking second for most points by a college hockey player this season.
For him, it’s more about Falcon hockey than individual statistics.
“At the end of the day, it’s more important to get the six points over the weekend for the team,” Swankler said.
The Bowling Green men’s hockey team (12-12 overall, 9-7 Central Collegiate Hockey Association) won 5-3 against the Lake Superior State Lakers (3-17-2, 2-11-1 CCHA) at the Slater Family Ice Arena to sweep the two-game series.
Alongside Swankler, Falcon defenseman Ben Wozney also had a hot series with two goals over the weekend.
The puck dropped with BG sophomore Christian Stoever replacing freshman Salvatore Evola between the pipes to face off against LSSU’s Ethan Langenegger.
Halfway through the first, tensions were high as the Falcons got hot in the offensive zone during a delayed penalty. Lots of shots came Langenegger’s way, forcing him to make critical saves.
With eight minutes to go, Falcon fifth-year senior Evan Dougherty smacked the puck in on the power play to give them the 1-0 lead. The rest of the period was fairly tame, with just a handful of penalties exchanged.
Less than a minute into the second, LSSU senior Arvid Henrikson crosschecked BG forward Ryan O’Hara into the boards, giving the Falcons another man advantage.
The Slater crowd roared as senior Nathan Burke was able to convert on the power play with a corner shot to make it 2-0 BG.
Nearing the halfway point, penalties plagued both teams as players got chippy on the ice. After a penalty on BG senior Chase Gresock, Wozney drove the puck in to extend the lead 3-0 BG.
Right after the goal, the Falcons were plagued with 5-on-3 hockey and Harrison Roy got his third of the series for the Lakers to make it 3-1 BG.
The halfway mark was filled with even more action as Ryan O’Hara buried the puck in the net to make it 4-1 BG.
Things started to settle for the last minutes of the game until LSSU center Timo Bakos strikes back for the Lakers to make it 4-2. A handful of penalties later, the hectic period came to a close with BGSU still in the lead.
The Falcons came into the third confident with a shot differential of 38-16. However, the Lakers were forcing Bowling Green to spend a lot of time playing defensive hockey.
For most of the second half, the Falcons had control of the ice against a frustrated LSSU team. With three minutes to play, senior Jared Kucharek put the Lakers within one goal to make it 4-3 BGSU.
Lake Superior decided to pull Langenegger for the extra skater to try to tie up the game, but Swankler got his fourth point of the night for a 5-3 lead at the buzzer.
Special teams have been on the rise for the Falcons, and BGSU coach Ty Eigner applauds his units for their recent performances.
“The nice thing is that we have two units that are dangerous,” Eigner said.
The Falcons are back for more home CCHA action against the Bemidji State Beavers on Friday and Saturday. Puck drop on Friday is at 7:07 p.m.