Bowling Green hockey is still learning how to close out their weekend series, after falling to Lake Superior State 3-1 on Saturday and splitting for a third time this year.
Much like the start of the previous game, the Falcons failed to execute and had plenty of trouble connecting on plays through the neutral zone. The Lakers controlled the pace of play throughout the first period thanks to three power play chances, but were unable to connect despite some stellar puck movement.
“They made it a game where some of our players that we need to play well didn’t want to play in,” head coach Ty Eigner said following the loss.
Lake State was physical with the Falcons for the majority of the game. Each time there was an opportunity to joust for positioning, the Lakers managed to bust through bodies and break up plays.
“It was frustrating to watch it and see it develop knowing this is a game where if we don’t play a little harder the result is going to be exactly what we got,” Eigner said, giving credit to how the Lakers prepared. “They tried to take advantage of the way we play and our aggressiveness, and we didn’t adjust.”
Halfway through the second, Pete Veillette broke the scoreless tie on a five-hole shot the beat Eric Dop. His fourth goal of the year put the Falcons behind 1-0, a position they have not been in since their series against Minnesota State at the beginning of the month.
“If you’re not ready to go it’ll cost you,” forward Connor Ford said. “Doesn’t matter who’s better, whoever the better team is that night can win.”
BGSU was quick to respond, though. On the first power play chance after giving up the goal, a tic-tac-toe play set up by Brandon Kruse allowed Ford to catch a pass from Alex Barber, step into the slot and rip a snap shot bar down behind Mareks Mitens.
At the closing minutes of the second period and into the final frame, Bowling Green again found themselves being pushed off the puck and losing one-on-one battles. 4:17 into the third period, Alex Ambrosio tipped in a point shot right off the face off to put Lake State ahead 2-1.
In an effort to spark his club, Eigner bumped Adam Pitters, Evan Dougherty and Trevor St. Jean up to rotate in who he thought was pushing the Lakers the right way.
“It was noticeable that 15 in white was involved in this game,” Eigner said. “Credit to Evan and to Trevor, but there’s not a long list of guys you can say that about tonight.”
Max Humitz potted an empty-net goal to secure the 3-1 victory for LSSU, their fifth win on the year.
BG, now 8-5-0, now heads prepares to head into South Bend, Indiana to face off against third-ranked Notre Dame, who just split against Michigan State. Their series starts Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.