Bowling Green’s hockey team is rolling, and it put on a show Friday night against Findlay.
On a night where the Bobcats hosted more than 60 alumni from each decade of the hockey team’s existence, the current edition of the team flourished.
Bowling Green walloped Findlay 9-3 in the Slater Family Ice Arena, skating to its ninth win in 10 games before the biggest crowd coach Eddie Powers can remember.
“I don’t know what the crowd was tonight but it was certainly one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen in years out here,” said Powers, whose team scored twice in the opening 45 seconds. “For the community to come out and support us meant a lot to our seniors as well as our team.”
The sixth-ranked Bobcats are 20-7-0 overall and 6-2-0 in the Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division.
Bowling Green had split a pair of games with Findlay prior to Friday, losing 3-0 on Nov. 25 and winning 7-1 on Jan. 20.
“I knew that Findlay was going to come out with a lot more pressure than when we played the game at Findlay,” said Powers, the first-year coach.
Jackson Hollister opened the scoring on a shot from the left circle that beat Findlay goaltender Nick Kuhlman above his right shoulder at the 42 second mark of the first period. Adam Furnas followed, scoring his first of three goals, when he took the faceoff and raced down ice before snapping a wrister from the left circle, beating Kuhlman in the same spot.
“To have a start like that, you can’t ask for anything better,” Powers said. “It certainly put (Findlay) on their heels and set the tone for the game.”
Furnas finished with six points, adding three assists, and Logan Bergeron scored twice and had three assists.
The Bobcats scored five goals in the second — four coming in the final five minutes of the period.
Devon Dohanos tipped a puck into the back of the net out of mid air at 11:11 in the second, and Bergeron scored 37 seconds later with Bowling Green on a 5-on-3 power play.
Furnas added a power-play goal at 13:36 on a snipe from the left circle, and he scored again 15 seconds later to put the Bobcats ahead 8-1.
“He’s got great hands so he kind of teases them with the puck a little bit,” Powers said of Furnas, “and because of his stride and his reach he can get around a guy. If he gets an opening and has a shot, he rarely misses.”
The line of Furnas, Bergeron and Blake Powers has been Bowling Green’s most productive this season. The trio accounted for 13 points Friday night with Blake Powers also recording a goal and assist.
“We made plays. You look at all those goals down there, they weren’t really individual plays,” Eddie Powers said of the goals late in the second, all scored by the Furnas, Bergeron, Powers line. “They were guys with their heads up, looking for the guy to make a hockey play. That line can do that and that line has done that for us all year.
“Their hockey IQ is high,” he added of the three. “And you can see that they’re thinking the plays as the game is going on. That’s certainly been evident in what they’ve given us this year.”
Brett Rich was strong in goal for Bowling Green, recording 39 saves. He allowed two power-play goals in the third period, both with Findlay on the 5-on-3 advantage.
The Bobcats were a man or more short for the majority of the third period, where they were called for 10 penalties.
“We were just undisciplined. ... When you take that many penalties ... you cannot keep going back to the well and expect that Brett is going to bail you out,” Eddie Powers said. “Obviously getting two power-play goals scored on is not the way we want to end that game and it’s something that will be addressed.”
BGHS 9, FINDLAY 3
FINDLAY 1 0 2 —3
BGHS 3 5 1 —9
GOALS BY PERIOD
Scoring: 1, BG, Hollister (Bergeron) 0:42; 2, BG, Furnas (unassisted) 0:45; 3, FHS, C. Armstrong (Rider, Frost) 10:34; 4, BG, Bergeron (unassisted) 13:33.
Scoring: 5, BG, Powers (Furnas, Bergeron) 0:09; 6, BG, Dohanos (Gavarone, Kramer) 11:11; 7, BG, Bergeron (Messenger, Furnas) (pp 5 on 3) 11:48; 8, BG, Furnas (Bergeron) (pp 5 on 4) 13:36; 9, BG, Furnas (Powers) 13:51.
Scoring: 10, BG, Messenger (Furnas) 6:45; 11, FHS, C. Armstrong (unassisted) (pp 5 on 3) 12:42; 12, FHS, C. Armstrong (Rider, Perry) (pp 5 on 3) 13:54.
Kuhlman, FHS 28
Rich, BGHS 39
Penalties-Minutes: BG 13-29, FHS 7-14; Power play: BG 2-4, FHS 2-6.