BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team shut out No. 17 Niagara Saturday night, defeating the Purple Eagles, 3-0, at the BGSU Ice Arena. Juniors Bryce Williamson, Cam Wojtala and sophomore Dajon Mingo scored for the Falcons, while senior netminder Andrew Hammond (3-7-2) turned away all 38 of Niagara's shots in the contest. Bowling Green dominated the special teams in the game, going 2-for-5 with the man advantage while holding Niagara scoreless on two power-play chances.
The Orange and Brown scored the game's first goal just over seven minutes into the opening period, coming off the stick of Williamson on the power play. The Falcons moved the puck around the top of the Purple Eagle's zone with the man advantage, eventually finding Mingo on the right circle. Mingo fired the puck into a crowd in front, where Williamson was waiting to tip home his fourth goal of the season for a 1-0 Bowling Green lead.
The Falcons' 1-0 lead stood for the remainder of the first period, and carried over into the middle frame. Both Hammond and Niagara's Carsen Chubak were sensational in the second period, turning away 15 and 11 shots, respectively, for a scoreless middle stanza.
Bowling Green continued to press Niagara in the third period, outshooting the Purple Eagles by a 17-12 margin. The Falcons finally cashed in again with just over three minutes remaining in the game, when Wojtala tipped home a shot from sophomore Mike Sullivan for Bowling Green's second power-play goal of the game.
The Falcons capped off the scoring with their third goal of the contest, netting an even strength tally at 18:07 of the third period. Sophomore Ryan Carpenter fired a shot on the Niagara cage, where Chubak was waiting to deflect in over the net. Carpenter swooped in behind the Niagara goal line, and battled for possession. The puck found its way over the top of the Niagara net, before it trickled back in front of the crease. Mingo took advantage, firing home his third goal of the season, giving Bowling Green the 3-0 lead.
Niagara was unable to solve Hammond in the final two minutes, giving him his second shutout of the season (Nov. 3 vs. MSU) and sixth of his career.
The Falcons are now 4-10-4 overall with the non-conference win, while the loss drops Niagara's overall record to 10-3-4.
The victory marks Bowling Green's first home win of the season, putting the Falcons' home record at 1-7-2 in 2012-13. Bowling Green's last home win came on Feb. 24, 2012, a 4-3 win over Michigan.
Hammond's shut out win puts him only one away from tying Tyler Masters (99-03) as Bowling Green's all-time leader in career shutouts. Bowling Green's 3-0 win also marks the first time since Feb. 3, 2006 (Jon Horrell )that the Falcons shut out a non-conference opponent at home.
Bowling Green's win against No. 17 Niagara marks the first ranked opponent that the Falcons have defeated this year. Bowling Green's last win against a ranked opponent came in the CCHA Playoffs last season, when the Falcons defeated No. 2 Ferris State, 4-3, on March 11, 2012.
The Falcons' two power-play goals in the contest marks the first time this season that they have scored multiple power-play goals in the same game. The last time the Orange and Brown scored two power-play goals in a game was back on Nov. 19, 2011, when the Falcons skated to a 4-4 tie(SOW) against Miami.
Bowling Green is back in action on Jan. 5, in another out of conference matchup against Canisius on the road. The puck is set to drop against the Golden Griffins at a special 12:05 p.m. start time.