After their most successful weekend of the year, the Bowling Green Falcons had their toughest weekend of the year, getting swept by the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks.
The series marks continued struggles in conference play for Bowling Green. Despite their 3-5 record, they sit at 0-4 in CCHA play. They are also the only team still without a point in the CCHA standings.
Special teams were once again a black mark for the Falcons, as they were 0-10 on the power play in the series, and they allowed four power play goals in 11 opportunities.
“Overall our special teams were not good at all, and Alaska’s were very good,” said Falcons’ coach Chris Bergeron. “We’re not a team that can afford to not compete at a high level for 30 minutes of a 60 minute hockey game.”
The score was 4-1 each night, with Bowling Green goalies Nick Eno and Andrew Hammond not getting much support from their teammates. The Nanooks also put three goals on the board each night before the Falcons could put up their first.
On Friday, Alaska jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on goals by Cody Kunyk and Kevin Petovello. The score remained the same until the third period when Jarret Granberg made it 3-0 for the Nanooks. Mid-way through the third, David Solway made it 3-1 on his third goal of the year, but it was not enough to spark the Falcons.
Nick Eno gave up four goals for the third straight start, stopping 23-27 shots, although he made several key saves.
“Nick had to make some big saves just for it to be a 4-1 game,” Bergeron said.
Things weren’t much better for BG on Saturday, as they played poorly from start to finish. The Falcons were out-shot 48-13 in the game, including a 25-2 shot deficit in the first period.
Despite giving up four goals, Hammond still had a pretty good night, stopping 44 of 48 shots faced.
“If it wasn’t for Andrew Hammond, it would’ve been 10-0 (after the first period),” Bergeron said. “Completely unacceptable effort and things are going to have to change for us to have any success at all.”
The Nanooks had a 3-0 lead just 15 minutes into the game, led by reigning CCHA rookie of the year Andy Taranto, who had two goals on the night.
Cam Wojtala scored his first collegiate goal five minutes into the second period to make it 3-1, but the Falcons were unable to capitalize on other opportunities to make the score closer.
“We had a power play there at 3-1 that really could have gotten us some momentum, but we weren’t ready to compete at a high level tonight, just like we weren’t last night,” Bergeron said. “Alaska was and they sure proved it.
“The scoreboard may not have shown it but the shots surely did.”
The Falcons return to home ice this weekend to play No. 11 Notre Dame, while the Nanooks host No. 4 Michigan.