Junior forward Roger Leonard notched a pair of goals and Jordan Sigalet made 26 saves as the Bowling Green Falcons completed their first sweep of an opponent in two seasons by downing Northern Michigan, 5-3 at the BG Ice Arena.
“I’m extremely pleased with our team,” said BG coach Scott Paluch. “Tonight’s game was similar to last night’s hockey game. It was a good series — quick pace, not a lot of penalties, good plays, and good saves on both sides.”
For Bowling Green (5-13-2, 3-10-2 CCHA), it was it’s first sweep of an opponent since March 1st and 2nd of 2001 when it swept Ferris State at the Ice Arena. BG had to win the game in come-from behind fashion, however.
The Falcons trailed 1-0 and 3-1 in the game, but it was the power play of Bowling Green that drew them even with, and eventually ahead of their foes from Marquette.
“We had really good movement on the power play to get the puck to the net,” said Paluch. “We had to make corrections from yesterday to get the puck up the ice. We had some skill guys make plays and get some good scoring chances.”
The Falcons finished 3-4 on their power play, the best totals of the year for a team that was only clicking at 15 percent for the season. Bowling Green saw effort from everyone in the win, as three lines racked up points against NMU (10-9-1, 8-6-0 CCHA).
“This was a tremendous team effort,” continued Paluch. “Not just on the scoresheet, either. We had a lot of blocked shots, good saves out of Jordan [Sigalet]. It was pretty impressive for [Sigalet] to give us a chance to win like that.”
NMU jumped out to a 1-0 lead early in the opening period. Freshman Jamie Milam blasted a shot past goalie Jordan Sigalet from the point for a power play tally. It was Milam’s 2nd goal of the year.
After an NMU penalty to Terry Harrison, BG’s Brian Escobedo tied the game at 1-1 with his 2nd goal of the season, a rebound off the stick of Craig Kowalski from Steve Brudzewski. The power-play goal, coming with 7 seconds left in the opening period, gave the Falcons some momentum going into the locker room.
The BG momentum was short-lived, however. The Cats retook the lead at 2-1 just 1:11 into the second stanza. Junior winger Alex Sawruk put the puck past Sigalet for his 4th goal of the season.
Sawruk picked up his 2nd goal of the night, a shot from the left circle, at 6:48 of the period, to give the Cats a 3-1 edge.
Sigalet didn’t allow anything else to get past him the rest of the night, stopping 14 consecutive shots to blank the Wildcats for the final 33 minutes of the game.
BG cut the lead to 3-2 with 4:08 left in the period. After an NMU hooking penalty, senior right winger Roger Leonard notched his 2nd goal of the season, beating Kowalksi at the doorstep.
The 3rd period belonged to Bowling Green. Kevin Bieksa knotted the game at 3 at the 6:18 mark. Bieksa’s goal came on the power play, BG’s third power play goal of the night.