The Bowling Green State University hockey team lost, 6-3, to the U-18 United States National Development Team at the Slater Family Ice Arena on Friday.

“It was a good hockey game,” BGSU coach Ty Eigner said. “It was clean, it wasn’t a bunch of garbage. We were making plays, they were making plays, so we’ll take that. It was definitely a good exhibition game for us.”

BG freshman Salvatore Evola and 17-year-old Trey Augustine started between the pipes for the exhibition game.

The first period was tumultuous, with both teams attacking back and forth across the ice. With six minutes to go, USNDT forward Ryan Leonard blasted the puck past Evola for the first lead of the game.

A minute later, center Danny Nelson stole the puck and extended USA’s lead to 2-0. The scoring didn’t end for the U-18 team as Harvard commit Ryan Fine shot from a sharp angle and added yet another goal.

With 1:10 left on the clock, Bowling Green got a late power play opportunity to get on the board. Falcon fifth-year Taylor Schneider scored a late goal for the Falcons on the advantage to cut the opposition’s lead to 3-1.

“That was a big goal for us,” Eigner said. “Now its 3-0 to 3-1, and that is a pretty big difference and now we start going.”

After a shaky first period, the Falcons came out hot as junior Seth Fyten scored a one-timer to make it 3-2.

“It’s good to see Seth fighting back in there and playing hard,” Eigner said. “He gets a goal right away in the second and now, you’re starting to play.”

Three minutes into the period, Bowling Green got another chance on the man advantage to tire up the game. The Falcons capitalized on the power play again as Ryan O’Hara tied up the game 3-3.

“They had a really good shot advantage the first half of the first period and then we started to go a little bit,” Eigner said.

Despite a rowdy crowd supporting the Falcons, the tie score did not last long.

Halfway through the frame, the puck trickled in past Evola and USA snatched the lead back, 4-3.

For the rest of the period, the Falcons were fighting to get the lead back, but the period closed at 4-3.

“We had some chances on the power play,” Eigner said. “We felt safe a little bit late there in the first and they got the lead.

“We had a real good second period and its unfortunate we gave up the goal, so it is a real good hockey game going into the third.”

The chaotic energy of the Slater benches set the tone of the third. Less than five minutes into the period, a long goal call review halted the action. The Slater waited anxiously for the potential tying goal, but the officials waved it off.

At the halfway mark, the U-18 team looked more dominant on the ice with a 39-27 shot differential.

With five to go, the Falcons were starting to have the upper hand, putting their shot count to 30.

However, USNDT sealed the deal with a late goal past backup netminder Pete Eigner to make it 5-3. In the last minute, another USA goal was added, and the Falcons lost 6-3.

“All the way through the third, we had some chances, they had some chances, but we fell asleep a little bit there late,” Eigner said. “We were just getting ready to put together a group and pull the goalie.

“It’s a 4-3 hockey game with a couple minutes left, and unfortunately they were able to take advantage of some errors there.”

Despite the loss, BGSU junior Seth Fyten saw ice time for the first time this season, scoring the second BG goal of the night.

In post-game, Eigner expressed how Fyten served as an important piece to the team’s effort.

“He’s a strong, physical kid that brings everything to the ice,” said Eigner. “It’s good to see him play.”

Eigner said the exhibition game was a good experience for his players.

“All-in-all, we’ll take the positives out of this,” Eigner said. “A lot of guys got to play significant minutes who maybe are not used to playing that much.

“Some different guys got to play on the power play, we had different goaltenders. All-in-all, a positive experience for us.”

In addition, USNDT presented challenges scoring in transition off the Falcons’ mistakes that can only make the Falcons better by learning to not make mistakes in their defensive zone.

“They’re talented and they are going to create offense on their own,” Eigner said. “You don’t have to give it to them.

“It was a really good opportunity for us to play against talented players who put you into situations that are stressful,” Eigner continued. “We felt like our guys handled that pretty well.”

The Falcons are going back to conference action with an upcoming series against the Ferris State Bulldogs. The series will take place at the Slater Family Ice Arena on Feb. 3 and 4, both games starting at 7:07 p.m.