For two teams who have been locked in a rivalry for decades, it’s no surprise that such an exciting tilt would open the Falcon’s home season.
The Falcons and Buckeyes came out and played shot for shot in the first period. The Falcon penalty kill would be challenged early and often. But, Bowling Green was solid with the man disadvantage throughout, “I was really happy with our penalty kill. We had a huge kill in the third” Bergeron said after the game.
Mental mistakes were the theme of the first period though as the Falcons were called for three penalties including a couple of bench minor penalties for too many men on the ice. Bowling Green would be the first to concede a goal as Buckeye freshman Schilkey buried an easy chip in as sophomore goalie Tommy Burke had skated behind the net to play the puck. The puck had been shot in around the boards and took a strange bounce right in front of the net at 17:19 of the first period. The goal came on the power play.
Mental errors continued to plague the Falcons in the second period. Ohio State doubled their lead as Justin DaSilva sent a shot from the deep slot that beat Burke. Ohio State dug in deeper with Darik Angeli extending the Buckeye lead to three as the Falcons gave up a rush after an expiring power play. With a 3-0 lead it may have seemed like the Falcons were heading towards a loss. But, the message on the bench was positive: “The message at 3-0 is we were playing better than the score indicated.”
Bryce Williamson stopped the Falcon bleeding at 8:02 of the second period when he scored unassisted and beat Matt Tomkins in the high slot to draw to 3-1. Williamson added his second point of the game with a great pass from behind the net to Ben Murphy who brought the Falcons within one goal during a power play at 17:52 in the second frame.
With momentum sitting on the home bench the Falcons completed the comeback in the third when Connor Kucera took a shot from a tough angle and managed to beat the Buckeye tender just 3:07 into the third period, tying the game at 3-3.
Ben Murphy not only got the BG lead but also wrote himself into the Falcon record books :27 later when he scored on a tip from a Ralfs Freibergs shot. The goal was number 7,000 in program history. Murphy won the faceoff and managed to tip the puck in front of the net.
Despite late penalties the Falcons managed to hold off a late attack by the Buckeyes to complete the comeback win. Coach Bergeron saw his leadership as the key to the comeback. “The fight was there, the resiliency was there. Our leadership did a good job. I take my hat off to them.”
Over 2,500 fans, including over 1,000 students witnessed tonight’s thriller. Bergeron made sure to thank the students: “I really appreciate the student section. The Bleacher Creatures…the Falcon Fanatics are doing a fantastic job getting the atmosphere in the building where we want it to be.”
The Falcons (1-1-1) will welcome the Colgate Raiders this Friday and Saturday.
Post Game Pressers
Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Sophomore Goaltender Tommy Burke
Sophomore Forward Ben Murphy
Other Media Coverage
Sentinel-Tribune: Falcon hockey edges Ohio State
Toledo Blade: Falcons storm back for victory (Paywall)
BGSU Athletic Department: Falcons Freeze Buckeyes, 4-3
Ohio State Athletic Department: Buckeyes Defeated by Bowling Green, 4-3