BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team fell to Northern Michigan on Friday night by a final of 5-2. Stephen Vigier netted 2 goals for the Wildcats, while Mitch Jones, Ryan Daugherty and Erik Higby added one goal each. Sophomores Connor Kucera and Ryan Carpenter scored for the Falcons, while freshman goaltender Tommy Burke (4-6-2) stopped 16-of-21 shots on the night. Northern Michigan's Jared Coreau allowed 2 goals on the Falcons' 39 shots.
The Wildcats scored the first goal of the contest, netting an even-strength tally at 6:29 of the opening frame. Northern Michigan's Scott Macaulay started the play, intercepting a pass out of the Falcon zone. Macaulay fired a shot towards the Bowling Green net, eventually ricocheting towards the slot. Wildcat sophomore Stephen Vigier pounced on the carom, firing the puck past Burke for a 1-0 NMU lead.
Northern Michigan struck again in the closing minute of the first, netting a power-play goal with 24 seconds remaining in the frame. Wildcat forward Mitch Jones took a pass from below the far circle before sending a shot on net from the top of the blue line. Jones' long shot beat Burke for his third goal of the season, giving Northern Michigan the 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Wildcats scored two more goals to open the second period, coming at 6:07 and 10:36, respectively. Northern Michigan's first goal came with the man advantage, coming off the stick of Ryan Daugherty on another carom off the end boards. A little under four minutes later, Vigier netted his second goal of the night with a wrist shot on an offensive rush into the Falcon zone.
The Falcons finally broke their scoring drought at the 16:41 mark of the middle frame, cutting the NMU lead to 4-1. Junior Andrew Wallace battled for the puck along the far-side wall, eventually sending a pass to Kucera at the point. Kucera fired a shot towards the Wildcat net, surprising goaltender Jared Coreau. The puck flew past a group of players in front, beating Coreau high glove for Kucera's second goal of the season.
Bowling Green scored a second-straight goal with just over two minutes remaining in the second period, this time on the power play. Freshman Dajon Mingo sent a pass across the NMU zone, finding Cooper for a quick shot on goal. Coreau made the initial save, but sent a rebound out towards the near circle. Carpenter pounced on the rebound, sending several shots back on goal. Carpenter's effort paid off, as his final shot beat Coreau to cut the NMU lead to 4-2.
Although the Falcons outshot Northern Michigan, 11-7, in the final period, the Wildcats would walk away with the only goal of the frame. A final insurance marker from NMU's Erik Higby at 14:04 pushed the score to 5-2, securing the victory for the Wildcats.
The loss snaps Bowling Green's six-game home winning streak, dating back to the Falcons' 3-0 win over Niagara on Dec. 29. Bowling Green is now 12-16-5 overall with a record of 9-13-3-1 in the CCHA, ranking eighth in the conference. Northern Michigan now sits at 14-15-4 overall, ranking ninth in the CCHA with a conference record of 8-13-4-1.
The Falcons are back in action Saturday night, facing off against Northern Michigan in an encore game at the BGSU Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m.