January 26, 2010
With a solid week of practice after two disappointing losses, the Western Michigan University hockey team entered Ohio to take on Bowling Green University on Friday and Saturday with a new attitude.
On Friday night, the Broncos battled back from being down two goals to force overtime and eventually a 4-4 tie by the night’s end in front of 2,121 rowdy fans at the Green Ice Arena. On Saturday evening, WMU wasn’t as lucky as they fell, 3-2, to Bowling Green in front of 2,195 of their loyal fans.
Although the Broncos did have to overcome a two-goal deficit at one point in the game on Friday night, they struck first in the contest as they wasted no time taking a 1-0 lead at just the 1:26 mark in the first period.
WMU forward J.J. Crew passed the puck to Max Campbell as the Brown and Gold bombarded the BGSU zone. Campbell fired a shot from the right circle with BGSU goalie Nick Eno making the initial save. The puck bounced out to the fold, which led Dane Walters to fire in just his second goal of the season while Campbell picked up his sixth assist on the season.
From then on, the Bowling Green Falcons began to take advantage as their first goal came from a penalty shot by Brennan Vargas with 2:41 remaining in the first period. This was the first penalty shot given up against WMU since a shot by Ferris State’s Mike Kinnie on Nov. 16, 2002.
In the second period, the Falcons took a 3-1 lead as captain Kyle Page scored early in the period from the point on BGSU’s third power play of the game. Cameron Sinclair also scored just 21 seconds later on an unassisted goal at the 3:51 mark.
WMU finally began to march back when Tyler Ludwig scored his second goal on the season which was assisted by Greg Squires and Max Campbell as WMU cut the lead to 3-2. BGSU responded by taking a 4-2 lead after a power play goal by David Solway 6:54 into the third period.
WMU’s Matt Tennyson brought the Broncos within one goal on a delayed-penalty goal with 4:09 remaining in the third period.
Down 4-3 as time was beginning to expire, the Broncos could feel the momentum in their favor with less than one minute remaining in regulation. The Broncos then pulled goalie Riley Gill from the net to get an extra attacker. Campbell controlled the puck as they once again charged deep in the Bowling Green zone and dished it to Crew, and Crew fired it from the left circle.
BGSU goalie Nick Eno made the initial save but the puck bounced to his left and Greg Squires was there to pop in the rebound for his third of the season.
In overtime, no team was able to take advantage as the score remained knotted at 4-4 when the final buzzer sounded.
Spirits were high when the Western Michigan University hockey team stepped back onto the ice Saturday evening to pick back up the action against the Bowling Green Falcons once again on their home turf.
After knotting the previous night at 4-4 apiece, the Broncos felt good about their chances of being able to defeat them.
The Falcons wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as BGSU scored on a power play at the 9:32 mark in the first period. James Perkin managed to squeeze the puck past WMU goalie Riley Gill which bounced back off the boards and on to the stick of James McIntosh. McIntosh nailed the puck past Gill for his first goal in his college tenure.
WMU retaliated fairly quickly as they tied the game just minutes later at 1-1 after a goal by Kyle O’Kane following a BGSU turnover. The Falcons took the lead once again in the second period at the 5:51 mark when Ian Ruel shot the puck from the left point which was stopped in front by McIntosh. McIntosh then tried to spin and make the save, but it only ended up floating to his teammate, Josh Boyd, who connected on the goal to push BGSU back ahead, 2-1.
The Broncos quickly responded yet again as they tied the game at 2-2. Senior assistant captain Chris Clackson scored his sixth goal of the season after being assisted by Ian Slater on a shot that went between the legs of BGSU goalie Nick Eno. The assist marked Slater’s fourth of the season.
Despite the Broncos’ efforts that night, the Falcons would deliver the final blow when Jordan Samuels-Thomas netted the game-winning goal with 5:08 remaining in the third period. The goal pushed the Falcons ahead 3-2 and the Broncos would never recover as their overall record has fallen to 6-12-4.
The schedule will not be much easier for Western Michigan as they pick back up next weekend when they face Miami. The games will be televised with Friday’s on Comcast and Saturday’s on Fox Sports Detroit.