Bobcat Anthony Wayne Hockey 2022

BG's Bryce Ebersbach advances the puck Sunday against Anthony Wayne.

Bowling Green High School hockey could not have asked for a better weekend.

The Bobcats, ranked eighth in the MYHockey (MHR) state rankings and ninth in the state coaches’ poll, swept three Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division opponents to improve to 18-5 overall and 5-1 in the league.

“We had a good weekend of practice, and we knew we had to be ready to go this weekend — we had three hard league opponents,” BG senior forward and team captain Nick Powers said. “I’m glad we took care of business and ended 3-0 on the weekend. It was a good weekend for us and big week for Bobcat hockey.”

The three-game sweep puts the Bobcats one game behind No. 2 ranked and defending state champion Toledo St. Francis (14-3-1, 6-0) — the only team to beat the Bobcats in league play.

On Friday and Saturday at Tam-O-Shanter in Sylvania, the Bobcats defeated Sylvania Northview (5-13-2, 1-4), 5-1, and St. John’s (4-15-1, 1-4), 5-2.

On Sunday at BGSU’s Slater Family Ice Arena, the Bobcats closed the deal as BG senior goaltender Gavin Sudlow and the Bobcats shut out Anthony Wayne (8-10-2, 0-5), 6-0.

“It’s been a great weekend,” BG coach Connor Rogowski said. “Day in and day out it is tough to win in this league and we came out and put together three really good games this weekend.

“Six huge points in the league and it feels good. We’re starting to put it together. We’ve started to have our full roster of players back a little bit,” Rogowski continued.

“I give all the props to the players. They played hard and they continued to work and never gave up throughout any of the games. We kept going and we had a great weekend.”

You must remember that, despite Northview’s record, the Wildcats beat the consensus No. 1 team in the state, Cleveland St. Ignatius, 2-0 on Sunday morning.

So, beating a perennial powerhouse like Northview was even more special.

“We expect to win every game. That is our mindset. I think if we take care of business. we’ll have a shot to win every game,” Powers said.

That is how good the NHC Red looks this year, 38-26-9 against teams from other top conferences in Ohio.

In Friday’s win over Northview, the Bobcats and Wildcats were tied at one goal each after the first period, but BG scored in the second and added three in the third period to put the game away.

BG was outshot 33-30, but Sudlow made 32 saves and five different Bobcats scored.

Sophomore Matthew Brinkman got BG on the board, assisted by junior forward Camden McIntosh just over three minutes after the opening faceoff.

Less than three minutes later, Benny Seals scored for the Wildcats, assisted by Mike Burton and Austin Nowak to tie the game. That would be the Wildcats’ final goal as Sudlow was like a brick wall.

BG sophomore forward Cooper Feehan scored, assisted by sophomore defenseman Braden Loomis with less than four minutes remaining in the second to put the Bobcats up, 2-1.

In the third, Loomis, BG freshman forward Rhett Winger and senior forward Shane Cassin scored.

On his power play goal, Winger was assisted by senior forwards Brayden Clauson and Luke Johnson, and Loomis and Cassin scored unassisted.

On Sunday, most of the game was played in AW’s defensive zone as Sudlow needed to stop just 15 shots to preserve the shutout, while the Bobcats sent 43 shots at AW goalie Jacob Lucente.

Eight different Bobcats got points, led by Cassin and Feehan, who scored two goals apiece and Cassin also had two assists.

Junior defenseman Easton Schick contributed two assists and Powers, Clauson and Johnson had one assist each.

Cassin scored the first period’s lone goal on a 20-foot shot just over five minutes into the game.

Just 52 seconds after the second period faceoff, Cassin’s pass from the left side was met by Feehan, who scored to put BG up 2-0.

Feehan scored the third goal unassisted, but he had plenty of help from his teammates, but also got help when the puck was kicked into the net with 5:50 remaining in the second.

Junior defenseman Caden Wisniewski put BG up 4-0 just over a minute later, scoring on a 40-foot shot that was slightly deflected then soared over Lucente’s right shoulder.

Less than four minutes into the third, BG scored two four-on-four goals less than 30 seconds apart. Off Cassin’s pass left, Loomis scored on a 15-foot slapshot, and Cassin scored seconds later, assisted by Shick.

In the win over St. John’s, Rogowski said the Bobcats had a strategy, and it paid dividends.

“We just outworked them. That is what is going to win league games is outworking the other team, and we came, and we got to the point, and we really worked on net, crashing the net, and we did that really well,” Rogowski said.

“What it came down to is we worked them down low, and we pressured them in the defensive zone, and we were able to get turnovers and run with the puck. That was the deciding factor of the game.”