Falcons’ Doran a hero in a shootout


By Ben Shanahan

Special to the Sentinel-Tribune

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — Bowling Green State University hockey tied St.Thomas, 3-3, but thanks to Ben Doran, the Falcons won a shootout and will take away two of three points in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

“The players get all the credit,” BGSU coach Ty Eigner said. “They are a really fun group of kids, and they genuinely care for each other and want the others to succeed.

“And we are getting better because we are young, and this is probably where we hope to be earlier in the year.”

BGSU improves to 12-17-1 overall and 10-8-1 in the CCHA, while St. Thomas falls to 13-14-2 and 11-7-1.

Before the shootout, BGSU senior Ethan Scardina asked his coach to put the freshman who only has one career goal, Ben Doran, on the ice, and Doran came through, scoring the shootout winner.

“That is this team. Our first guy to shoot is a freshman defenseman,” Eigner said. “(Freshman defender Gustav) Stjernberg and (senior forward Josh) Nodler both made great moves.

“Ben’s been hurt, but he has been confident. Part of the deal when you get into a shootout is confidence. There’s pressure. Ethan Scardina told me to put Doran out there, so it was good to see that, and I am happy for him.”

The game, played in front of 894 fans, saw St. Thomas outshoot the Falcons, 40-22, but BGSU goaltender Cole Moore had 32 saves and Christian Stoever had eight saves.

The Falcons went on the penalty kill early in the game. With 15:13 remaining in the first, Doran wsd called for a trip. Bowling Green would keep the game scoreless, killing off the Doran penalty two minutes later.

St. Thomas’ Cooper Gay sent a cross-crease pass to Mack Byers and he beat a diving Stoever to make it 1-0 with 3:44 left in the opening twenty.

BG bounced back to tie the game less than a minute later when a Tommies turnover caused by BGSU sophomore Brett Pfoh found Pfoh breaking towards the net, splitting two UST defenders and making it 1-1 with 2:50 in the opening frame.

St.Thomas responded in the final minute as Gay, while being hit by Falcon defenseman Breck McKinley and parallel with the goal line in the left corner, beat Stoever to the top corner of the net.

The chaos of the second period started 57 seconds into the period as BGSU’s Brandon Santa Juana tied things up at two as he put on a beautiful deke around St. Thomas goalie Aaron Trotter.

Eighteen seconds later, BG headed back on the penalty kill as Brody Waters went to the box for elbowing. On that powerplay, St. Thomas’ Luc Laylin fire a puck from the blueline to make it 3-2, so Eigner switched goaltenders, bringing Cole Moore out in relief.

Five minutes later, Pfoh sent the Falcons into the penalty kill for a slash. On the power play, the Tommies thought they had another Mack Byers goal, but review said otherwise, and the Falcons killed the penalty with 11:08 left in the period.

Tommy Pasanen committed BG’s fourth straight penalty with 8:11 left in the middle frame as he was called for a crosscheck, but once again, the Falcons penalty kill held strong.

Behind the Tommies’ net, tempers boiled over between BGSU’s Owen Ozar and the Tommies’ Carson Peters. Both got into a grappling match and were sent to the locker rooms for a ten-minute misconduct and a hold, resulting in 4-on-4 hockey.

With 15 seconds left on that 4-on-4, the Falcons got their first power play with 4:07 remaining in the second when St. Thomas sophomore captain Lucas Wahlin was called for a high stick.

On Bowling Green’s first 5-on-4 in their favor, they capitalized when junior Eric Parker fired a cannon from the blueline, beating Trotter and tying the game at three goals apiece with 3:03 left in the second period.

A minute later, the Tommies got another man advantage with Stjernberg being called for a crosscheck and Pfoh being called for a ten-minute game misconduct. The penalty was killed, and both teams headed into period three tied at three.

There was no scoring in the third, but Gay was carted off for injury halfway through the period, and both teams headed to a 3-on-3 overtime to decide the extra point up for grabs, and then two scoreless overtimes led to the shootout.

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