TOLEDO — Bowling Green goalie Chris Nell suffered what was believed to be a head injury during Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Western Michigan at the Huntington Center.
The sophomore appeared to be hit in the head by the skate of Frederik Tiffels as the Bronco forward was crashing the net from the right wing. Tiffels went over Nell and clipped him with his skate.
Nell left the game with 17:51 remaining in the second period and did not return to the bench. He skated off the ice under his own power.
BG coach Chris Bergeron didn’t have an official update on Nell’s injury immediately after the game. Nell stopped nine shots he faced in 22:09, eight of the saves coming during the first period.
“I was told it was something with his head, so now we’re talking, if you’re going to mention that (the head), we’re talking a week minimum, I guess,” Bergeron said.
When asked if Nell was taken to the hospital, Bergeron said: “As far as I know, he did not, but I’m not sure.”
Nell ranks fourth nationally with a 1.42 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage. He has an 8-2-5 record in 17 games. Nell leads the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in both categories.
The Broncos later scored the game’s only goal in the second period.
The Falcons didn’t defend very well in the period as Western carried the play. BG was out-shot by a 15-11 margin in the period.
Tommy Burke finished the game, stopping 14 shots in 36:06.
“Chris has played so well,” Bergeron said. “Whether it’s fear or not, it’s a confidence thing when you lose your number one guy like that. (Burke) went in and did fine.
“I don’t know if it was a momentum thing. I don’t think our guys totally showed it. But Chris has been our guy and when he goes down, it matters.”
The Falcons came back to dominate the third period by a 16-1 margin.
“He’s our starter and he’s been playing well for us, so you don’t want to see your teammate get hurt,” BG sophomore forward Mitch McLain said. “I don’t think it changed our game. We rallied around it, played a hard game.”