Still flying high: Falcons tie Tommies, get shootout win

St. Thomas’ Matthew Gleason chases the puck to the rear boards as Bowling Green’s Tommy Pasanen defends during a game Feb. 16 in Mendota Heights. (Photo by Ryan Stieg)

By Ryan Stieg 

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — After a rough start to the season, the Bowling Green hockey team came into this weekend on a four-game winning streak and it kept rolling on Friday night against St. Thomas.

The Falcons rallied to tie the Tommies in the second period and Ben Doran scored the game-winner in the shootout to force a 3-3 tie and earn the extra point in the CCHA standings. With the two points, the Falcons are now in sole possession of fourth place and the last home ice spot. 

“We do it every week and Ben’s been hurt, but he’s been playing really good and he’s confident,” Falcons head coach Ty Eigner said. “Part of the deal when you get into the shootout is ‘Are you confident enough in yourself to do it?’ and there’s a little bit of pressure there. Ethan Scardina was like ‘Put Doran out there’ and it was good to see he did that and I’m really happy for him.” 

Bowling Green’s Tommy Pasanen tries to poke the puck away from St. Thomas’ Luke Manning during a game Feb. 16 in Mendota Heights. (Photo by Ryan Stieg)

When asked what the big reason for the team’s late season surge has been, Eigner said the players deserved all the credit for Falcons’ current success.  

“They’re just a really fun group of kids and they genuinely care about each other and genuinely want to see the other guy do well,” he said. “Ethan, a four-year guy, I was thinking about him, Ethan says ‘Put Doran in.’ That’s just the kind of group we have. They care about each other, they stick to our core values and we’re getting better because we’re young and everybody’s dinged up at this time of year, but this is probably where we hoped we would’ve been earlier in the year.” 

For the Tommies, it was a tough night all-around. Already plagued by injuries, UST had Mack Byers go down and during the third period, Cooper Gay got taken off the ice on a stretcher with a leg injury. Despite those hardships, Tommies head coach Rico Blasi found some positives in the night.  

“I thought it was a good hockey game,” he said. “We had a couple chances in the second period to take a two-goal lead. Their goalie made a huge save on the power play. It was a good hockey game. They executed when they needed to, and I thought it went back and forth.” 

The majority of the first period was evenly played with both teams keeping the other from generating quality scoring chances. Eventually, the Tommies found their way onto the scoreboard as Gay fed a cross ice pass to Byers on a rush and the forward fired the puck past BG goalie Christian Stoever to make it 1-0 at the 16:16 mark.  

The Falcons answered back quickly though, taking advantage of a costly Tommies turnover. BG’s Brett Pfoh intercepted a UST pass at the blue line, skated up the slot and beat goalie Aaron Trotter to tie the game at 1-1. However, the Tommies weren’t deterred as Ryan O’Neill flipped the puck up the ice to a streaking Gay, who flung the puck at the end as he was being taken down by a BG defender and somehow the puck got past Stoever with 55 seconds left to give UST a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.  

Bowling Green players celebrate Brett Pfoh’s first period goal during a game against St. Thomas on Feb. 16 in Mendota Heights (Photo by Ryan Stieg)

BG tied things up again quickly after Brandon Santa Juana deked out Trotter and backhanded a shot into the back of the net just 53 seconds into the second period. However, UST took the lead 35 seconds later when Luc Laylin blasted a puck past Stoever on the power play to make it 3-2. Stoever was then pulled and replaced by Cole Moore, who finished with 32 saves.  

Laylin appeared to score again later in the period, but after a review, the officials said the puck never crossed the line. The Falcons, on the other hand, did get their goal on the board as Eric Parker sent a one-timer from the point past Trotter on the power play at the 16:57 mark, and it was 3-3 going into the third.

2 thoughts on “Still flying high: Falcons tie Tommies, get shootout win”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *