Western Michigan and overtime certainly were the worst of friends this past weekend, as the Broncos lost both games in sudden death to Bowling Green in their CCHA opener.
Before 2,700 fans at the Lawson Arena in Kalamazoo on Friday night, the first period went almost scoreless until forward Cam Watson fired a power-play goal with 11 seconds remaining.
After Bowling Green added a goal of their own in the following period, the Broncos regained the lead less than halfway through the final stanza. Freshman center Max Campbell tallied his second goal of the season, with Kevin O’ Connor and Patrick Galivan earning the assists.
The Falcons negated their opponents lead, as Mike Nesdill scored the equalizer with just over two minutes left in the game.
Western Michigan defenseman Chris Frank was slapped with a slashing penalty at 1:32 in the extra period, which later proved to be a costly mistake.
Just 25 seconds later, Bowling Green used the power play to their advantage, as David Solway scored the game-winning goal.
Broncos goaltender Riley Gill stopped 27 of 30 shots, dropping to 2-3-0 as a starter.
Saturday’s game was nothing short on excitement and provided fans with momentum shifts on both sides.
Penalties proved to be a key storyline in this contest, as the Falcons scored three of their first four goals on the power play.
Sophomore Jordan Collins was sent to the locker room at 8:25 in the opening period, earning a game misconduct for hitting a Bowling Green player from behind.
The 4-0 lead by the Falcons came to a screeching halt, as Western Michigan worked aggressively to get pucks to the net in the third period.
Tyler Ludwig helped the cause by shooting one to the back of the net just 22 seconds in, with Campbell and Jeff LoVecchio chipping in on the power-play goal.
Senior right-winger Jeff Pierce added one of his own a minute later, thanks to Galivan and Campbell providing the set-up passes.
At the 7:35 mark, Chris Clackson and Adam Flink fed the puck to Jonathan Lupa from the point, who netted his first goal of the season.
Western Michigan head coach Jim Culhane pulled his goaltender in the final minute of play, hoping to force sudden death. His plan worked to perfection, as LoVecchio chipped in the equalizer with just 10 seconds remaining.
Any chance of the Broncos stealing a win were put to rest at the 3:45 mark, as Kevin Schmidt scored his second goal of the night to help complete a weekend sweep for Bowling Green.
After allowing four goals on 24 shots, Culhane yanked Gill in favor of back-up Jerry Kuhn. A freshman, Kuhn stopped 19 shots in his debut.
Western Michigan (2-4-0) is now on a four-game losing streak and travel to Marquette for a two game series with CCHA foe Northern Michigan University this Friday and Saturday.