Hockey 2/8

(Left to right) Carson Musser, Trey Degraaf and Brandon Kruse chase after a loose puck. 

After a 4-1 win against Alaska Anchorage on Saturday, BGSU Hockey earned its first sweep since November against Notre Dame. In the process, the Falcons were able to play some of their most dominant hockey of the season.

Friday’s match up featured a more out-of-control style of play from both sides, but Bowling Green corralled itself the following night. The fluidity on offense that was missing all January returned and allowed the majority of the game to be played in the Seawolves' end. 

“What we said to the team going into the third period was this,” head coach Ty Eigner said after the game, “we believe we’re going to be in this position a lot moving forward.”

Before the final frame, the Falcons held a 3-1 lead. Casey Linkenheld cleaned up a rebound after Frederic Letourneau attempted a wraparound that hit the post and spit out to the slot. Tim Theocharidis scored from the point on the power play to give BGSU a 2-1 lead and freshman Adam Conquest extended the Falcon lead when he scored right off a face off.

Heading into the final minutes the Falcons were attempting to win their first game by two or more goals since Dec. 13, a 2-0 win over Lake Superior State. 

“I think it was good that we had to play that scenario,” Eigner said. “When you’ve had the last six weeks we’ve had, you reflect and figure out what we can do better or differently. We went over a couple of things on how we want to play and we told our guys if you don’t understand what’s going on make sure you ask.”

Theocharidis, who has worked his way through different defensive pairings during the Falcons’ slump, would add an assist to his goal when Sam Craggs tacked on another goal in the third. 

“Probably the biggest (weekend) of the year in my two years here,” he said. “I think this weekend gave us a lot of confidence. It made us feel good about ourselves.”

The Falcons led the shot share 32-11. Zack Rose’s 10 saves, while not the most impressive workload, are certainly memorable as he was able to pick up his first collegiate victory in his third start.  

“Three shots in the first period is not quite what I’m used to,” Rose said with a smile. “I had the same mindset throughout, 10 shots a period or two shots a period. I just tried to stay even-keeled.”

Rose started in consecutive weekends for the first time. He got the call in the back half of the series against Bemidji State, which he earned after weeks of practice. 

“We believe Zack was ready for this opportunity… He did not expect to start last week (against Bemidji State) and when he did he felt really good about it,” Eigner said. “Zack did exactly what we want Zack to do. So, he deserved the opportunity tonight.”

The Falcons hope the 4-1 win and the sweep act as a springboard into the final stretch of the regular season. Sixth place BGSU will be battling for fourth in the WCHA, the last seed to get home ice in the playoffs. 

Alaska-Fairbanks, the current holder of the fourth seed, will host Bowling Green next weekend, Feb. 14 and 15.

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