After uncertainty about the start of hockey at BGSU, the Falcons came out with a triumphant 6-2 win over the Adrian Bulldogs to kick off their season.
Following rules regarding attendance, the crowd at Slater Family Ice Arena was sparse. It was mostly limited to the families of both teams.
However, the players more than delivered with an exciting game that contained some spectacular highlights, notably Max Johnson’s 100th collegiate point.
With the win, the Falcons move to 1-0 on the season while Division III opponent Adrian falls to 0-1.
From the first puck drop, the pace of this game could not be slowed down. Both teams were determined to play a fast and physical style, which the Falcons dominated at early on.
Penalties became a theme of the night, with eleven in total, five for the Falcons and six for the Bulldogs.
Head Coach Ty Eigner wasn’t too upset though.
“We got a bunch of power play opportunities so now we have some video that our guys can see and work on, and same on the penalty kill,” Eigner said.
Sophomore forward Chase Dunol opened the scoring in the first period with his first career goal. Shortly after the goal, Adrian took a slashing penalty, allowing Bowling Green to pressure in the offensive end. But Adrian’s goaltender Cameron Gray bailed out his team on the penalty kill.
Not to be outdone, Bowling Green’s goaltender Eric Dop made a series of spectacular saves on the Falcon’s own penalty which followed shortly.
In the second period, the Falcons tore the scoring wide open. Just 50 seconds into the period, senior forward Brandon Kruse demonstrated patience by baiting Gray out of the crease and sending it top shelf to make the game 2-0.
A slew of penalties seemed as though they would slow the game down, until the Falcons got a set of fresh legs on the ice in Max Johnson, who scored with a right circle wrist-shot.
Seventeen seconds later, junior forward Taylor Schneider made it 4-0. Schneider’s goal, The Bulldogs took three more penalties in the second, but solid blocking and goaltending held the Falcons at bay. They were able to draw themselves a holding penalty from Bowling Green defender Justin Wells, which gave them momentum going into the third period.
In the third, Bowling Green held off the power play of Adrian, but let up after returning to even strength. Freshman forward Ryan Butler capitalized on some tired defense to make the game 4-1.
The teams continued to trade penalties and a few goals, eventually sounding the buzzer with a final score of 6-2, a win for Bowling Green to start their season.
After the game, Johnson expressed happiness that Bowling Green hockey is finally back on the ice.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “Adrian is one of the top Division III teams in the nation. We got to see how our team reacts and we got to see the resilience that we have.”
Eigner agreed with Johnson regarding their return to play.
“It was really good to see our guys in game uniforms, and have referees out there, and playing against somebody else, make adjustments out there, and get back to that,” he said.
And even though Johnson reached triple digits in collegiate points, he credited his teammates for the accomplishment.
“I’ve got a great set of players around me that could help me do this, reach this goal. So all the credit to them,” he said.
The Falcons will be in action again on Nov. 24, when they travel to Moon Township, Pennsylvania to take on Robert Morris.