HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Bowling Green State University hockey team (15-14-2, 12-9-2 CCHA) defeated the No. 12 Michigan Tech Huskies (20-8-4, 13-6-4 CCHA), 5-2, on the road Friday.
The upset puts Bowling Green at 44 conference points, ranking third in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.
Falcon junior Seth Fyten scored two goals against the Huskies, proving to be an important asset for the team as they get closer to the playoffs.
As the pivotal CCHA game in Houghton was underway, BGSU sophomore Christian Stoever and MTU senior Blake Pietila were between the pipes.The Huskies dominated the first half of the frame, throwing shots at Stoever.
However, 12 minutes into the first, Falcon forward Nathan Burke tipped the puck in past Pietila to make it 1-0 BG.
In the last five minutes, penalties became more frequent and 4-on-4 hockey looked like the norm. With less than two minutes left, Huskies freshman Kyle Kukkonen tied it up 1-1.
At the end of the first, Michigan Tech had a shot advantage of 16-8, but the Falcons were just starting.
It was the Falcons’ turn for a fast start as Fyten scored on a one-timer to make it 2-1 BG.
Six minutes left in the second, more 4-on-4 came when MTU forward Tristan Ashbrook and BGSU defenseman Ben Wozney each went to the sin bin for roughing.
As soon as both teams went back to full strength, Fyten outplayed Pietila to make it 3-1 BG.
When the period came to a close, the fans at John Macinnes Student Ice Arena went silent as the Falcons dominated the ice. The third period began, and Bowling Green did not want to stop their offensive streak.
At the 8:30 mark, sophomore Ryan O’Hara chipped the puck in to extend BGSU’s lead to 4-1. Seconds later, Burke sat in the box for holding for a crucial Huskies power play.
However, with just a second left for the man advantage, Falcon captain Alex Barber stole the puck and scored a shorthanded goal to make it 5-1, BGSU.
Six minutes left in the third, BG freshman Brett Pfoh sat for slashing and Michigan Tech was looking to get some desperate goals.
Kukkonen got his second of the night to make it 5-2, but that was the last effort push for the Huskies.
After a heartbreaking series loss against Ferris State last weekend, BGSU coach Ty Eigner expressed how pleased he was with the team’s effort.
“We’re really proud of our guys tonight,” he said. “We had a bunch of guys that played really well.”
Stoever made 37 saves, his fourth-highest total of the year. The sophomore now has 20 wins in his career. He was spectacular, saving 37-of-39 shots, combining for 31 saves in the first and third periods.
The Bowling Green penalty kill was perfect for the fifth straight game, extending their streak to 18 consecutive successful kills. The Falcons scored their seventh shorthanded goal of the season, tying for second in the nation.
The Falcons look to finish out the series at the Mac as they take on the Huskies on Saturday. The final road game of the season will start at 5:07 p.m.