The Bowling Green State University hockey team just barely missed ending the regular season on a high note.
The Falcons lost 4-2 to the Northern Michigan Wildcats at the Slater Family Ice Arena on Saturday.
The energy from the roaring Slater crowd on “Scott Hamilton Night” projected onto the ice, as both teams were fast and physical. In the first half of the period, shots were thrown back and forth, but both netminders were on their toes.
With seven minutes to go, the Falcons got the first infraction of the game and It was off to 5-on-4 hockey. The puck hit the crossbar behind BG goalie Christian Stoever, but a review confirmed no goal.
Immediately after, Bowling Green got their own man advantage to offset most of kill time. Right as the Wildcats were back to full strength, Falcon center Ethan Scardina tipped the puck in to give BG the 1-0 lead.
The rest of the frame was a battle of chances, but Bowling Green kept the lead. Seven minutes left in the second, the Wildcats got their own goal to tie up the game.
However, less than a minute later, BG senior Nathan Burke got past Northern Michigan goalie Halasz to regain the lead 2-1.
As the puck dropped for the third, the atmosphere was intense and the Falcons were not looking to get swept on the last day of the regular season.
However, two minutes into the frame, NMU alternate captain David Keefer got the equalizer.
It was 2-2, and to make matters worse, BGSU junior Seth Fyten headed to the sin bin for cross-checking. The penalty was killed off, but Northern Michigan was fighting hard.
Halfway through the period, Keefer scored again during 4-on-4 hockey to steal the Wildcats’ first lead 3-2.
The Falcons fought hard to try to get the tying goal, but penalties and missed opportunities plagued. In a last-minute effort with the goalie pulled, another Wildcats puck went in to close the game 4-2.
Although the season ended in a disappointing way, BGSU coach Ty Eigner has already prepped the team to be in playoff mindset for the first round series against the Ferris State Bulldogs. Eigner says that discipline is key.
“We’re going to have to limit the mistakes,” he said. “They’re going to force us into difficult spots.”
Bowling Green heads into playoff action at home against Ferris State on March 3-5.