SYLVANIA — Bowling Green played well in building a 4-2 lead entering the third period Tuesday night.
But every time the Bobcats built the momentum, they took a penalty.
In the end, they also had too many defensive lapses and missed scoring chances.
Findlay scored the final three goals — the last being Mason Williams’ goal just 92 seconds into overtime — for a 5-4 victory in the quarterfinals of the district high school hockey playoffs at Tam-O-Shanter.
Williams was wide open was on the right side of the crease to tip in Brandon Armstrong’s shot from the left circle off a 2-on-1 rush. Armstrong’s shot was about a foot off the ice, and Williams’ back-door tip was into an empty net.
The Trojans tied the game on goals from Armstrong with 11:24 left and Connor Curlis on the power play with 3:08 to go in regulation.
Armstrong scored from the deep slot after BG turned the puck over three times at its own blueline. Curlis scored from the left-wing boards, just above the hashmarks.
The Bobcats, ranked eighth in the state, finished 17-13-2 overall. No. 7 Findlay (20-13-2) advanced to play No. 5 Toledo St. John’s (19-12-4) in the semifinals Saturday night at 7.
BG finished with a 43-28 edge in shots, including four point-blank chances in the overtime.
But Findlay’s Joe Longo made 39 saves, 35 in regulation. Three of BG’s goals came on the power play.
BG was penalized 10 times (all minors) and Findlay capitalized on two of its eight-power play chances. Findlay had eight penalties (all minors), with BG scoring on three of its six chances with the extra man.
“Too many defensive mistakes and too many penalties,” BG coach Dan DeWitt said.
BG dominated the first period, but settled for a 1-1 tie. They controlled the play 5 on 5 and opened the scoring on Adam Furnas’ goal from the left circle just 58 seconds into the game.
But the momentum was short-lived as BG took three minor penalties near the midway point of the period. Findlay took advantage to tie the game on Armstrong’s power-play goal at 7:22, just nine seconds after a BG penalty.
The Bobcats had 17 shots in the first period to just 10 for Findlay.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” DeWitt said.
The Trojans took a 2-1 lead on Justan May’s goal 56 seconds into the second period, but BG answered with its three straight power-play goals for a 4-2 lead.
Grant DeWitt’s rebound goal tied the game at 3:05, Ryan Emans’ rebound goal gave BG the lead at 5:23 and Connor Senn’s shot from the left circle increased BG’s lead to two goals at 11:46.
The teams combined for 10 penalties — five on each team — in the second period. Each team had three power-play attempts in the period.
But BG couldn’t hold the lead in the third period.
“Penalties took us out of any momentum and it steam rolled on us,” coach DeWitt said. “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties throughout the game.”
The Bobcats entered Tuesday with a six-game winning streak, including wins over No. 2 St. Francis and Findlay. The winning streak came after BG went 0-8-2 from Dec. 27 to Jan. 23.
BG finished 3-3-2 in the Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division, good for a tie with Findlay and Northview for second-place in the five-team division. The wins over St. Francis and Findlay gave BG its .500 record in the NHC.
“We had our ups and downs,” coach DeWitt said. “We went through a rough stretch, but somehow we found a way to gather ourselves and got on a nice to run to get us to this point. But it’s disappointing to lose and it’s disappointing to lose in the fashion we did”.
But BG — which returned 16 lettermen and had nine seniors — had high expectations this season. It expected to contend for the NHC championship, and a berth in the state semifinals for the first time since 2004.
But the Bobcats fell far short of those expectations.
“I’m disappointed whenever we lose,” coach DeWitt said. “It is what it is.”
FINDLAY 5, BGHS 4, OT
GOALS BY PERIOD
BGHS 1 3 0 0 —4
FINDLAY 1 1 2 1 —5
Scoring: 1, BG Furnas (Shilling, Chambers) 0:58. 2, FI B. Armstrong (Curlis, Bennett) 7:31 (5-4 pp).
Scoring: 3, FI Justan May (C. Armstrong, Williams) 0:56. 4, BG DeWitt (Emans, Mayberry) 3:05 (5-4 pp). 5, BG Emans (Senn) 5:23 (5-4 pp). 6, BG Senn (Emans, Furnas) 11:46 (5-4 pp).
Scoring: 7, FI B. Armstrong (unassisted) 3:36. 8, FI Curlis (C. Armstrong) 11:52 (5-4 pp).
Scoring: 9, FI Williams (B. Armstrong) 1:32.
SAVES BY PERIOD
Fausnaugh, BG 9 8 6 0 —23
Longo, FI 16 8 11 4 —39
Goalie statistics (goals against/minutes played): (BG) Fausnaugh 5/46:32; (FI) Longo 4/46:32.
Penalties-Minutes: BG 10-20, FI 8-16.
Power plays: BG 3-6, FI 2-8.