MARQUETTE, Mich. – The No. 17-ranked Northern Michigan hockey team scored three straight goals during the first and second periods but Bowling Green finished the game with four straight goals of its own, evening up the best-of-three CCHA Tournament series after a 5-3 Falcon’s win on Saturday (March 3) from the Berry Events Center. With the series tied at one game apiece, the series finale will be on Sunday (March 4) at 7:35 p.m.
"You have to give them (Bowling Green) a lot of credit,” NMU coach Walt Kyle said. “They came out, they played hard and did the things they needed to do. I thought we came out and again we gave them a goal right out of the hop. It kind of took some momentum, but then I thought we regrouped and played well through first. Then penalties took momentum away from us as the game went."
NMU (17-13-6) was up 3-1 early in the second period after junior forward Matt Thurber scored on the power-play for his 11th goal of the season 1:53 into the period. Freshman forward Ryan Daugherty and redshirt freshman Reed Seckel assisted on the goal.
The Wildcats then took seven straight penalties and BGSU (11-22-5) capitalized, dominating the second period with 16 shots on goal. NMU only had four shots in the second.
After a 4-on-4 goal by Marcus Perrier, Mike Sullivan tied the game at two on the power-play at 8:47. Dan DeSalvo then scored on a breakaway late in the third (19:12) to give the Falcons the 3-2 lead. Bryce Williamson added an empty-net goal to seal the win for BGSU with seven seconds left.
Like Friday night, the Falcons scored in the first period of the game. DeSalvo buried his sixth of the season 32 seconds into the game for the 1-0 lead.
Sophomore forward Stephan Vigier answered at 4:07 of the first with his 13th of the season from sophomore defenseman Wade Epp and senior forward Andrew Cherniwchan. He tipped in Epp’s shot from the blueline.
Senior forward Justin Florek scored his ninth power-play goal to give NMU the 2-1 lead late in the first (18:48). Vigier and freshman defenseman Mitch Jones assisted on Florek’s 19th of the season.
Senior goaltender Reid Ellingson finished with 24 saves and is now 5-7-4 on the season. Andrew Hammond (11-21-5) had 30 saves for the Falcons.
Vigier had a great opportunity to tie the game with a penalty shot but was denied by Hammond.
The Wildcats took eight penalties for 16 minutes. The Falcons were 1-for-7 on the man advantage.
NMU was 2-for-6 after eight penalties by the Falcons.
Tickets for Sunday's game are $16 for general admission, $5 for NMU students and $5 for 18 and under.
Game Notes: BGSU won game two in last year’s first round 2-0…Florek had 54 career goals…Vigier has 16 career goals…Attendance was 1,557 on Saturday…Michigan State (Nov. 18) and Ferris State (Feb. 4) were there only other teams to defeat NMU at home.
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