Jan. 17, 2009

Courtesy of Bowling Green

ANN ARBOR, MICH. - The Bowling Green State University hockey team managed only 17 shots in their game Friday night in Ann Arbor against Michigan, but it only took one to earn the 3-0 upset win over the sixth-ranked Wolverines.

In a first period that saw both teams combine for seven shots on goal, the Falcons scored the only goal of the period on a quick wrist shot from between the circles by junior Tommy Dee that beat Michigan goalie Bryan Hogan to the glove side at the 9:18 mark. Dee's third goal of the season came after a good pass from junior Josh Boyd whose was below the goal line to the right of Hogan. His pass found Dee coming down the slot between circles. Senior Brandon Svendsen also had an assist on the goal.

The Falcon defense and the goaltending of senior Jimmy Spratt made that goal stand up as the game-winner as the Falcons posted their first shutout in the series with Michigan in the 107 series contests.

UM outshot the Falcons, 13-7, in the second period, but thanks to the strong play from Spratt and timely penalty-killing, the Falcons were able to keep the sixth-ranked Wolverines off the board on their three power-play opportunities in the period. The Falcons had two power-play chances in the period, but also failed to light the lamp.

In the third period, sophomore Dan Sexton backhanded home his 11th of the season at 8:54, at the end of a five minute major, to give the Falcons some breathing room. Svendsen drew his second assist of the night on Sexton's tally. Freshman defenseman Nick Bailen continued his strong play with the backbreaker picking up a loose puck at the UM blueline and skating in to score from between the circles at the 14:11 mark. It was his fourth goal of the season and fifth point in the last four games for the Falcon first-year player. His goal was unassisted.

But, the story of the night was the play of Spratt and the BG penalty killing. Spratt made 29 saves in the game, 25 in the final two periods, including several from point blank range to preserve his second shutout of the season, and in his career.

Spratt made a stick save four minutes into the third period and another stop with 4:30 remaining that maintained the Falcon shutout. He then completed a strong night's work with three sensational saves in the final 31 seconds. He had come into the game with a career 4.02 goals-against in four career starts against the Wolverines and an .877 save percentage.

Spratt posted his other shutout earlier this season (Oct. 24) in a 1-0 whitewashing of Alaska. Both his shutouts have come on the road.

With the win, BG improves to 8-12-3 overall and 5-9-1-0 in Central Collegiate Hockey Association play. The win was the first points earned by the Falcons in league play since a 2-1 win over Northern Michigan on Nov. 15. Michigan, which has now scored a total of five goals in its eight losses this season, dropped to 15-8-0 overall and 9-6-0-0 in loop action. UM has been shutout four times this season.

The win broke a nine-game winninng streak for Michigan at home in the series and ended their overall six-game winning streak.

Michigan goalie Bryan Hogan, who came into the game with a 13-1 record, was credited with 14 saves. The Falcons were one-for-six with the man-advantage while the Falcons shutout the Wolverines on five tries allowing only six shots during their power-play time.

The two teams will complete the weekend series with a contest Saturday night at the BGSU Ice Arena starting at 5:07 p.m.

BG head coach Scott Paluch(on first CCHA win since November)"It was real big, when you look back to that weekend in November, we got the sweep and we were in fourth place. We've gone a long time. You've got to earn points in this league stay up there. That's for sure."

"We were pretty solid. I thought Jimmy (Spratt) was really good in goal and our defensemen held up well. We did a good job not turning the puck over and allowing a lot of transition chances."

(on getting a goal at the end of the five minute major)"Getting the late goal was a big lift. We killed off the 4-on-4 portion of it then we got a big power-play goal. That was a separation goal that I thought was a swing play in the game."

"The first goal in this building is really big. There isn't a team in the country that plays as well, and can gain momentum in a building like this team can. You give them one, and it becomes really hard from becoming two or three."

"The penalty kills we had when it was 1-0 was real important. To hold a team like that down on the power play is real important. It kind of shortened the game for us and kept us in the lead and did not let momentum take over the game."

"Jimmy (Spratt) had four to five really good saves that you have to have. When you play Michigan, your goalie is going to have to make saves. Jimmy certainly did that."