In the middle of a three-game losing skid, BGSU hockey wanted a shake up. A game one loss to Northern Michigan on Friday brought a lot of pressure to the group that went into the holiday break winning seven of their last 10.
Now, the Falcons hold a four-game losing streak after being swept by the Wildcats and giving up a 3-1 lead with a minute left in the third period, finally falling 4-3 in overtime.
BG Hockey had a 3-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the 3rd period. Northern Michigan pulled its goalie and scored 3 unanswered goals to win in OT.The Falcons are back home Jan 17 to face Minnesota St. pic.twitter.com/LdSyMhArGe— Chase Bachman (@ChaseBachman) January 5, 2020
Bowling Green controlled play for the most part on Saturday. Through two periods, the shot totals favored BG, but were unable to solve Nolan Kent. In these situations, leaders are expected to come through, and who else but Alec Rauhauser, who some would argue is the best defenseman in college hockey.
The senior captain came through with a goal and two assists in the third period and powered Bowling Green to that two-goal lead. But, at the end of the day, giving up the game is more important.
“It’s not acceptable,” Rauhauser said. “We need to figure out how to turn this ship around.”
Effort and engagement had been an area of concern coming into the latter half of this series. Players were asked to step up by head coach Ty Eigner. He liked their response in the loss, despite the crazy final frame.
“I think our effort was really good,” Eigner said. “The game got a little goofy there at the end. We didn’t handle it great.”
The No. 11 Falcons are now expected to take a dive in the pairwise rankings and the polls after being swept by a statistically inferior opponent. With one of the top five opponents in the nation coming into Slater Family Ice Arena at the end of the month in Minnesota State, everyone knows it is going to be an uphill battle from here on in.
“There’s not going to be any easy nights the rest of the way. People are going to work… We have leads and we have to close out a game. We’ll take a look at the video and learn from it,” Eigner said.
Bowling Green can look at this game as a hectic mess in the final minutes, but what it also serves as, is a chance for the group to calm down.
“It’s just a reset button. Everyone just takes the night off tonight and get ready to go tomorrow. We know we’re going up to a pretty hostile environment next week at Michigan Tech, so we’ll have to be ready,” Rauhauser said.
Houghton, Michigan has historically been a tough place for BGSU to play. All series on the Huskies’ ice have been split. They will travel up north for a weekend series Jan. 10 and 11.