KALAMAZOO, MICH. – The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team lost to Western Michigan Friday night, falling to the Broncos, 3-1, in the first game of their home-and-home series. Junior Bryce Williamson scored the lone Falcon goal, while senior Andrew Hammond stopped 29-of-32 shots in the loss.
The Orange and Brown were held scoreless on the power play for the seventh-straight game, going 0-for-5 with the man advantage. Western Michigan was 1-for-5 on the night, marking the second straight game that the Falcons have allowed a power play goal.
Western Michigan dominated the first period of play, outshooting the Falcons 13-1 in the opening frame. The Broncos made the most of their chances, scoring the game's first goal at 14:02 of the first, taking an early 1-0 lead.
Western Michigan defenseman Dennis Brown collected the puck near the top of the Falcons' zone, and fired a shot at the Bowling Green cage. Hammond stopped the initial shot, but lost track of the puck in his pads. Bronco Dane Walters swooped towards the net, batting in the loose puck for his third goal of the season.
Both goalies stood strong for the remainder of the opening frame, giving Western Michigan a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Falcons and Broncos exchanged goals in the middle frame, despite Bowling Green once again being heavily outshot (10-5) in the period.
Western Michigan struck first, scoring a short-handed marker just 1:16 into the period. Walters collected a Falcon turnover in the neutral zone, and fed junior Chase Balisy rushing into the Bowling Green end. Balisy broke towards the cage, and fired a wrist shot past Hammond to give WMU the 2-0 lead.
The Falcons would answer right back, however, netting their first goal of the game just under four minutes into the middle frame.
Bowling Green rushed into the offensive zone, working the puck around the Western Michigan net. Sophomore Ryan Carpenter took possession, and fired a shot on Bronco netminder Frank Slubowski. The shot deflected to the right of the net, where Williamson was waiting to redirect it into the cage. The goal marked Williamson's first of the year, and cut the Bronco lead to 2-1 heading into the final frame.
Both teams shared some quality scoring chances in the third, but the Broncos were the only ones to light the lamp in the frame. Kenney Morrison scored a power-play goal at 12:40 to give WMU a 3-1 lead. The Falcons were unable to solve Slubowski for the remainder of the contest, giving the Broncos a 3-1 win.
Williamson's tally marks his first goal of the season, and his first goal since March 3, 2012, a 5-3 win against Northern Michigan in the CCHA Playoffs.
The Falcons allowed their fourth short-handed goal of the season Friday night. Bowling Green allowed three short-handed goals total last season.
The loss drops Bowling Green's overall record to 2-6-2, with a record of 1-3-1-1 in CCHA action. The win improves Western Michigan's record to 5-2-0, with a record of 2-1-1 in conference play.