Hockey 12/6

Sam Craggs (left) and Taylor Schneider (right) celebrate a goal against Alabama Huntsville. 

Bowling Green hockey scored nine consecutive goals on 52 shots in 9-3 victory over Alabama Huntsville, after trailing 3-0 in the second period.

In a game that quite possibly looked finished after the first period, was this one of the strangest game players and staff have been a part of?

“I’m trying to think of a unique game in the last nine years,” first-year head coach and longtime assistant Ty Eigner said after his 11th career win. “To our guys’ credit, I told them that was a strange game. One that we’ve not seen here in a while, but you battled and hung in there.”

“Pretty easily one of the strangest games (I’ve been in). Not often do you drop three goals quick and then you end up winning by six,” sophomore forward Alex Barber said.

“Not a normal game for sure,” junior forward Brandon Kruse said. “If someone came for the first period and left, I don’t think that really reflected how we played.”

The Falcons were all over the Chargers in the opening frame but failed to score. At the other end of the ice, a turnover behind the net led to an Adrian Danchenko goal—the first of his career—and Daneel Lategan deposited a stoppable shot behind Eric Dop. 

Despite some flashes of clear dominance, BGSU trailed UAH 2-0 after the end of the first period. Bowling Green attempted 22 shots in the first, with Huntsville only registering six attempted shots. 

“Having been on that side of it before nine years ago,” Eigner said, “once you start going it can get away from you easily.”

Before Falcon faithful could blink, the Chargers pushed their lead to three goals. Tyr Thompson acted as the trailing forward on a three-on-two rush and put home a rebound. With a little help from special teams, the Falcons would keep pushing. 

Alabama Huntsville would rack up a total of 30 penalty minutes in the second period, including two 10-minute misconducts from Thompson and Max Coyle. Will Cullen got the first marker of the game for BG after a terrific effort pass from Cameron Wright to keep the puck out of reach from the UAH defender. 

Then it was Barber, scoring his third and fourth goals of the year on the power play. His first came off a rebound that he used to split the legs of Mark Sinclair, and then he squeezed a shot just under the crossbar with 1:07 left in the second period. Heading into the final frame, the game was back to where it started: tied.

“We knew we could score goals quickly—we’ve done it before this year,” Barber said. “We moved me from down low (on the power play) to the middle and we just talked about calming down.”

From there Bowling Green put a vice grip on a game that was already in their grasp. Six straight goals in the third period cemented a 9-3 victory for the Falcons. 

“Now we’re playing on our toes and they’re having to defend a little bit. Hopefully, this is something that will continue,” Eigner said. 

Kruse started the onslaught under two minutes into the frame with a one-timer, finishing off a feed from Cullen. Despite taking a penalty seconds later, Casey Linkenheld and Freddy Letourneau dominated while shorthanded and Letourneau was rewarded with a rebound goal. Sam Craggs backhanded in another rebound goal from a Tim Theocharidis shot and Taylor Schneider stole a breakout pass in the offensive zone and finished the play with an outstanding one-man effort. 

Kruse would add his second of the night and Cameron Wright would score his 11th of the year later, wrapping up a downright dominant period. In total, eight different Falcons had multi-point games in Cullen, Barber, Kruse, Letourneau, Craggs, Wright, Alec Rauhauser and Connor Ford.

The last time the Falcons scored more than five goals in a period was also against Alabama Huntsville, in a 7-1 win last year. 

“All we can do is look at this and figure out how we want to play,” Eigner said. “Going into the third period we talked about simplifying if anything. If we just simplify and play our way we’re going to be fine.”

After the second half of the series against Huntsville, the Falcons move on to Sault Ste. Marie to play Lake Superior State Dec. 13 and 14.

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