SYLVANIA — Bowling Green’s hockey team may have had some added motivation going into Tuesday’s sectional tournament game against Toledo St. John’s Jesuit at Tam-O-Shanter.
Sparked by four goals from Adam Furnas and shutout goaltending by Brett Rich, the Bobcats rolled past the Titans, 8-0. BG, ranked fifth, (21-7) now faces Findlay, a 5-0 winner over Clay, on Saturday at Tam-O-Shanter starting at 7 p.m.
The Bobcats had played two very close games during the regular season against the Titans while coming away with two victories. In the tournament draw, with other opponents available, St. John’s the No. 5 seed choose the Bobcats, who are seeded No. 2. Taking a shot at Bowling Green was an interesting decision.
“They played us really well two times this year. We just knew we wanted to come out really hot and get a few in the first period and that’s what we did. And then just go from there,” Furnas said.
BG’s top line of Furnas, Logan Bergeron and Blake Powers accounted for all eight of BG’s goals. Bergeron and Powers each scored twice.
“It’s something that has been happening all year,” Furnas said. “We love the production we are having, we are averaging a lot of goals a game. Our other lines are keeping the puck out of the net (on defense).
“We hope to keep that going, going forward.”
“When they move their feet they are really hard to defend because they have so much motion,” head coach Eddie Powers said about his top line. “They know were each other is at and they really make some good hockey plays.”
The Bobcats were also unselfish Tuesday with good passing resulting in numerous goal-scoring opportunities. Bergeron assisted on four goals, Powers had three assists and Furnas added two. Defenseman Alex Messenger also had two assists.
Meanwhile Rich continued his strong play, finishing with 32 saves, including 11 in the second period and 13 in the third period. The Bobcats also killed off five St. John’s power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 1:09 of the third period.
“He’s the backbone of our team,” Furnas said about Rich. “All year he has been a solid guy. We just look to keep riding him.
“He has improved every single year. Brett didn’t start playing hockey until he was 12. So the fact that he comes out here and does what he does is really impressive,” Furnas continued. “He makes it a lot easier than it could be.”
Powers, who was a goalie for both Bowling Green High School and Bowling Green State University, says Rich is a student of the game.
“He understands where he is supposed to be. He understands the momentum and nuances of the game; when he needs to freeze the puck and when not to freeze the puck,” Powers said. “He’s plays his angles, he is such a big kid.
“He is internally motivated kid who is really a competitor,” he added.
Powers opened the scoring off a good pass from Bergeron just 2:19 into the game. Bergeron followed with a goal by going around behind the net and beating St. John’s goalie Cole Caster from close range.
Furnas then scored the next four goals for the Bobcats. He had a wide-open net on a pass from Powers to make it 3-0. Then he scored on a backhander in front of the net for a 4-0 lead after one period. The fourth goal was the only unassisted tally of the game.
Furnas scored the first of two BG power-play goals just 1:09 into the second period, with Messenger making the key pass. Then just over two minutes later, Furnas took advantage of another good pass from Bergeron to score from the left side into a wide-open net.
Bergeron scored a power play off a rebound of Powers’ shot with 9.5 seconds left in the second period to give BG a 7-0 lead.
Powers closed out the scoring with a goal from close range off a Bergeron pass in the third period.
Three Titan goalies combined for 26 saves. St. John’s finished 2-25-2.
BGHS 8, ST. JOHN’S JESUIT 0
GOALS BY PERIOD
ST. JOHN’S 0 0 0 —0
BGHS 4 3 1 —8
Scoring: 1, BG, Powers (Bergeron, Tyrrell) 2:19. 2, BG, Bergeron (Furnas) 4:07. 3, BG, Furnas (Powers, Messenger) 9:35. 4, BG, Furnas (unassisted) 12:30, PP.
Scoring: 5, BG, Furnas (Messenger, Bergeron), 1:09. 6, BG, Furnas (Bergeron, Powers) 3:16. 7, BG, Bergeron (Powers, Hollister), 14:50 PP.
Scoring: 8, BG, Powers (Bergeron, Furnas), 3:16..
SAVES BY PERIOD
Rich, BG 8 11 13 —32
Penalties-Minutes: SJ 6-12, BG 5-10. Power plays: SJ 0-5, BG 2-6.