Mercyhurst senior graduate transfer goalie Hank Johnson never faced Bowling Green in his three seasons playing in the WCHA at Bemidji State. But he made up for lost time in getting acquainted with the Falcons, stopping 38 shots and making Mercyhurst’s two power play goals stand for a 2-1 victory over Bowling Green in the first game of a weekend series at Bowling Green.
Here was the final scoring:
4:11 Justin Cmunt from Steven Ipri and Austin Heidemann (power play) 1-0 Mercyhurst
Off a scramble situation, Heidemann took a slap shot from the right point that missed the net wide and caromed off the backboards to Ipri at the left circle. Ipri tried to deflect the puck and it bounced to Cmunt in the slot, who one-timed a shot that beat the goalie.
Mercyhurst leads Bowling Green 1-0 after one period of play on this power play goal by Justin Cmunt. pic.twitter.com/Idy8Uxpoat— Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) December 5, 2020
1:01 Cade Townend from Josh McDougall (5x3 power play) 2-0 Mercyhurst
On the two-man advantage, Townend skated the puck from the right point to the left point, switching spots with McDougall and setting up McDougall on his off-hand side. Townend made the pass over to McDougall and he blasted a one-timer that beat the goalie cleanly for the goal.
18:27 Evan Dougherty from Gavin Gould and T.J. Lloyd (extra attacker goal) 2-1 Mercyhurst
Gould circled around the Mercyhurst net with the puck and fed the puck out to a streaking Dougherty. Dougherty one-timed the pass with a slap shot that beat Johnson for the goal.
Notes and Thoughts:
-This was the type of nightmare game every top-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament facing an Atlantic Hockey autoqualifier dreads. Bowling Green dominated this game. Final shots ended up 39-13 in favor of Bowling Green, including 21-2 in the second period, but they just couldn’t get anything through. Give Mercyhurst credit for clogging up the middle of the ice in the defensive zone and blocking a lot of shots. Hank—formerly Henry, but new team, new name, I guess—Johnson was rock solid all night. Bowling Green also missed the net on too many quality opportunities. It’s a recipe for an extremely frustrating afternoon.
-While Mercyhurst got almost nothing at even strength—I think I had them at two good chances, both off the rush, with nothing sustained—they were extremely efficient going 2/4 on the man advantage.
Mercyhurst’s second goal came on a two-man advantage. With Bowling Green on the power play late in the second period, the Falcons were whistled for an interference penalty in the neutral zone. The stream didn’t have a good view of the penalty, but it felt like a call the officials make because the last three penalties had gone against Mercyhurst—and not without reason, see the 21-2 second period shot advantage—and they try to keep penalties even, even if possession is extremely lopsided.
As seems to happen frequently, while BG was down a man due to the soft penalty, they committed a more obvious infraction and ended up down 5-on-3 and gave up what would end up being the game-winning goal.
-That said, as also happens frequently in those situations, the officials gave Bowling Green a couple chances to even things up on the man advantage after that, but Bowling Green could not convert. Their power play ended the night 0-7.
-Bowling Green finally got a goal with the goalie pulled with 1:33 left in the game, and came extremely close to tying up the game in the game’s final seconds. Alex Barber had what looked like an open net off a shot rebound late, but just didn’t have the right angle to get the puck into the open net and tie the game. Like I said, just a frustrating afternoon all around for Bowling Green.