FAIRBANKS – The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team tied Alaska Saturday night, scoring a late goal to earn a 3-3 regulation draw with the Nanooks in the second game of their two-game set. Junior Cam Wojtala, freshman Mark Cooper and sophomore Adam Berkle scored for the Falcons, while senior goaltender Andrew Hammond (2-6-2) stopped 41-of-44 shots. Both teams scored a single marker with the man advantage, with the Falcons going 1-for-5 and the Nanooks going 1-for-8.
The Nanooks came out flying in the opening period, scoring the game's first goal just 59 seconds into the game. Alaska's Kaare Odegard started the play, shooting the puck on net from the top of the Falcons' zone. Hammond was unable to hang on to the shot, allowing Alaska's Cody Kunyk to cash in on the rebound.
Down 1-0 after the first, Bowling Green battled back with a goal just over three minutes into the middle stanza. Sophomore Mike Sullivan moved the puck across the top of the Nanook zone, finding senior Bobby Shea at the far side. Shea sent a shot to the right of the Alaska net, banking the puck off the back wall. Wojtala was waiting on the left side doorstep, slamming home the back wall pass for his fourth goal of the season.
Alaska responded at the midway point of the second period (9:57), securing an even-strength tally from Michael Quinn on a shot from the point. The Nanooks then scored their second-straight goal in the final frame, netting a power-play goal from Tyler Morley at 3:14 of the third.
Trailing Alaska, 3-1, the Falcons applied offensive pressure, causing the Nanooks to take back-to-back penalties at 4:09 and 4:45, respectively. With a 5-on-3 man advantage, three Falcons lined the top of the circles, working the puck around the top of the Nanook zone. Sophomore Marcus Perrier took a pass from Dan DeSalvo from the slot, before firing a pass back across the zone through DeSalvo's legs. Cooper was waiting on the far side to fire a one-timer, beating Alaska's John Keeney for his fifth goal of the season.
With just under a minute remaining, Bowling Green pulled Hammond in favor of an extra attacker. Shea battled for the puck in the offensive zone, sending a pass back to DeSalvo at the point. DeSalvo fired a shot on net, handcuffing Keeney for a rebound in the slot. Berkle swooped in and took possession of the puck, sliding a shot past the sprawling netminder to tie the game at 3-3.
Both teams were scoreless in the overtime, giving Bowling Green the 3-3 regulation tie. After overtime, the game was sent to a CCHA Shootout, where the Nanooks prevailed to earn the extra conference point.
Bowling Green now has an overall record of 3-9-4, including a record of 2-6-3-1 in the CCHA. The Falcons four-point weekend gives them a tie for ninth in the conference, pulling even with Northern Michigan and Michigan State. Alaska now sits at 6-8-4 overall, with a record of 4-7-3-1 in conference play.
Bowling Green hits the ice again this coming weekend, facing off against Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 15. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 at the BGSU ice Arena.