On Friday December 11th, the Bowling Green Falcons and the Ferris State Bulldogs faced off for the first time in 2020-21. The Falcons came in with a 4-1 record, while this was the first game on the schedule for the Bulldogs. The first period saw an aggressive start from the Falcons, leading shots-on-goal 6-2 early on in the opening period.
With five minutes remaining in the first, the game saw its first altercation involving two Falcons, Gavin Gould and Evan Dougherty. With just over two minutes remaining, both teams received their first penalties: Max Coyle from Bowling Green and and Hunter Wendt from the Ferris State Bulldogs. Both were handed offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The first period concluded scoreless with the Falcons ahead in shots-on-goal, 15-7.
Two minutes into the second period, Bowling Green’s Alex Barber broke open the scoring with his first of the night. Assists on the play would be credited to Taylor Schneider and Carson Musser. Shortly after, another fracas broke out, this resulting in roughing penalties to Ben Schultheis and Barber.
As the night progressed, the second goal of the evening was scored just over halfway into the game’s second period. It was forward Seth Fyten with his first career goal with assists on the play to T.J. Lloyd and Ethan Scardina. With just over two minutes remaining, the Bulldogs opted to change goaltenders, swapping Roni Salmenkangas for Carter McPhail.
In the final minute of the second periods, another altercation would ensue, this resulting in a total of five penalties distributed. Defensemen Will Cullen received an additional penalty for crosschecking. While that resulted in a Ferris State power play, the Bulldogs would take full advantage with just 10 seconds left, netting a goal of their own. After 40 minutes, Bowling Green led 2-1 while ahead in shots, 27-13.
Jumping ahead to the third period, the Falcons continued to dominate, leading in shots 34-14. As the frame progressed, another scrum broke out, this seeing another pair of penalties handed out. Garrett Daly received an offsetting roughing penalty, as did Ferris State’s Jason Brancheau.
With five minutes left on the clock, the Ferris State Bulldogs would knot the game up at two. While that saw a change in plans, an intense final minute led Max Johnson to securing the victory with the game-winning goal. The goal, scored with 12.6 seconds remaining, was assisted by Will Cullen and Tim Theocharidis. This would give the Falcons a 3-2 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs.
Speaking with the media postgame, head coach Ty Eigner said about the minimal penalties, “Being disciplined in games like this, we told the guys after the game, we’re going to get other team’s best shot. The more disciplined we are, the better opportunity we have for success.”
On Saturday December 12, the Falcons and the Bulldogs faced off again at Ferris State to wrap up their weekend series. Moving along to the first period, even after two early Bulldogs penalties, the Falcons couldn’t find their footing, this seeing the game kept tied at zero early on. Halfway through the opening frame, Max Johnson continued his tear, as he opened the scoring for the Bowling Green Falcons.
Assists on the play were credited to Max Coyle and Brandon Kruse. This was followed by another Falcons power play, however, the damage was limited as the frame came to a close. Five minutes into the second, Alex Barber scored his second of the series, with the help of Taylor Schneider to put the Falcons up 2-0. Outshooting Ferris State 21-13, this would force the Bulldogs to replace the starting goaltender.
As play resumed, Bowling Green’s hot streak continued, as Cameron Wright put the Falcons up 3-0. Assists on the play were credited to Brandon Kruse as well as Max Johnson. Bowling Green then received their first penalty with just five minutes left in the game’s second frame.
Following a check to Connor Ford, Ethan Stewart got things going for the Bulldogs, drawing them within two goals of the visiting Falcons. A Bowling Green power play would take place with left than a minute left to play in the period. With no action transpiring, the middle frame would conclude.
As the third period got underway, Cameron Wright, five minutes in, would score his second of the game against the Bulldogs. This was assisted by Brandon Kruse. Just 21 seconds later, winger Mitch Deelstra netted one of his own, this cutting the Falcons lead to two, 4-2.
Just a minute further into the frame, winger Connor Ford extended Bowling Green’s lead with a goal on assists from Gavin Gould and Justin Wells. Two minutes later, Seth Fyten put it away with his second of the weekend, assisted by Ethan Scardina. The Falcons went on to win 6-2, completing their sweep of the Ferris State Bulldogs.
Following the back-to-back victories, head coach Ty Eigner said about the two matches, “We were really excited to get a sweep. We know how difficult it is to win in college hockey, especially to do it in back-to-back nights. We played well in the first and had hoped to continue that into the second, but we got a little sloppy and got away from what we had been doing. Luckily, we came back in the third and finished the game the right way. All-in-all, it was an opportunity for a home-and-home series and we were able to get the sweep, which was great for us.” This 6-1 record to start the season is the best start for the Falcons hockey program since the 1994-1995 season.