Tonight was a spotlight for both team’s goaltenders as the Falcons and Nanooks skated to a 1-1 tie and Bowling Green earned a pivotal three points on the weekend in the WCHA standings.
John Keeney, who sat for Friday’s game, stopped 26 of 27 attempts while Tommy Burke continued his hot streak with 31 saves. Burke, who made his fourth straight start, got the nod from Coach Bergeron after last night’s shutout: “Tommy has proven he can go back-to-back nights. He deserved to play tonight and he did a good job.” Burke has been strong at home earning a 5-0-2 record in the BGSU Ice Arena.
The game’s first goal came on a bizarre play just 1:52 into the first period. Ralfs Freibergs shot the puck into the Alaska zone for a dump. The puck was stopped just within the zone unintentionally as it struck one of the linesman. Keeney had gone behind the puck to play it and left the net wide open. Mark Cooper gathered the loose puck and slapped it into the wide open net.
During the first intermission we interviewed Cooper as he came off the ice. Here is that interview:
Bowling Green and Alaska played a shutout second period as neither team found the net. The Falcons spent most of the second period in the penalty box as they were called for three penalties in the period. In total, the Falcons shut down all six power play opportunities from the Nanooks. “That was probably the most positive thing of the game: the penalty kill,” Bergeron said after the game. “There were some big kills all night long.” Burke turned aside seven shots while Keeney faced four, stopping them all.
Ryan Carpenter took a minute after the second period to talk about the first 40 minutes of the game. Here’s what he had to say:
Alaska scored their first goal on the weekend at 7:44 of the third period. Colton Beck left the puck on a nice passing play for Marcus Basara who lifted the puck over Burke’s shoulder, stick side. “The goal was a great shot,” is what Bergeron saw. “We lost the battle on the wall.”
Neither team was able to find the net for the rest of the period and the game went to overtime.
With just a minute left in OT Tommy Burke made a game saving stop as he turned away a breakaway chance by Garrick Parry, splitting from post to post. Burke talked through the save in his post game remarks: “I saw it developing. They’ve been stretching all weekend…I was a little behind the play but stuck my leg out and was able to get my pad on it.”
The game ended in a tie and both teams took a point in the WCHA standings. Despite earning just one point, the Falcon head coach was happy with what he saw after the game from his players. “Our guys are upset. They feel they left something out there. That talks about where our program is now and where we’re heading.”
The Falcon goal scorer, Mark Cooper, spoke about the difficulty getting momentum with so many penalty kills: “I thought we were getting going then would get a penalty. It would take all the momentum away from us.”
The Falcons (12-9-5, 9-6-3) are idle next weekend. Alaska (8-10-4, 5-9-2) will travel to Marquette, MI to face Northern Michigan.
Post Game Audio
Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Sophomore Goaltender Tommy Burke
Sophomore Forward Mark Cooper