KALAMAZOO - The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team lost to Western Michigan Saturday night, falling to the Broncos by a score of 2-1 at Lawson Ice Arena. Sophomore Ryan Carpenter scored the lone goal for the Falcons, while senior netminder Andrew Hammond turned away 33-of-35 shots in the contest. The loss snapped the Falcon's six-game unbeaten streak, their longest since 2005-06. Bowling Green was 0-for-5 with the man advantage, while Western Michigan was 1-for-6.
Physical play carried over from Friday's contest, following both teams to Kalamazoo for the opening frame Saturday night. With both team's flying, Bowling Green scored the game's first goal, netting an even-strength marker at 12:35 of the first period.
Dajon Mingo started the play, feeding defenseman Rusty Hafner at the far point. Hafner accepted the pass, and fired a shot through a maze of sticks at the Bronco cage. Western Michigan netminder Frank Slubowskl made the initial save, deflecting the puck off the post on a tip from Mark Cooper in front. The puck banked off the iron, landing in the Bronco crease where Carpenter was waiting to bang home the rebound. Carpenter's tally marked his eighth consecutive game with a point, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
The Broncos did not respond until the second period, netting a power-play goal with just over four minutes remaining in the frame. Western Michigan's Luke Witkowski accepted a cross-zone pass from Mike Cichy, firing a shot low glove for his second goal of the season to tie the contest.
Tied, 1-1, at the 12:52 mark of the third period, the Broncos scored their second goal of the game. Western Michigan's Mike Leone took possession of the puck behind the Bowling Green net, eventually fighting towards the front on a wrap around. Leone's backhand shot snuck behind Hammond, giving Leone his fifth goal of the season for a 2-1 Bronco lead.
The Falcons had several chances to tie the game, including a shot off the crossbar from Bryce Williamson in the final two minutes of play. However, the Falcons were unable to solve Slubowski for the remainder of the contest, giving Western Michigan the 2-1 win.
Carpenter's goal in the first period pushed his point streak to eight games, the longest streak for a Falcon since Jonathon Matsumoto scored in nine-straight contests during the 2005-06 campaign.
Hafner's assist on Carpenter's tally marked his third game in a row with a helper, the longest point streak of his career.
The 2-1 loss marks the Falcons first loss since Dec. 15, dropping their overall record to 8-11-5, with a record of 5-8-3-1 in conference play. Western Michigan moves to 14-6-4 overall, including a record of 10-4-2-1 in the CCHA.
Bowling Green is back on the ice Friday, Jan. 25, hitting the road for a two-game set with Miami. Friday night's contest is scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. puck drop, while Saturday is set to start at 7:05 p.m.