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Northern Michigan University hockey team blown out early by Bowling Green, 5-1

Vincent de Mey

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Penalties and poor starts have been burning the Northern Michigan University hockey team and it couldn’t afford either of them if the Wildcats wanted to keep up with No. 8 Bowling Green State.

The ‘Cats avoided the former for the most part, but the latter was a different story as the Falcons fired four goals into the back of the net in the first period on their way to a 5-1 win.

It took a matter of minutes before it looked like it wasn’t going to be NMU’s night. Starting goalie Connor Ryckman dodged a bullet early as T.J. Lloyd rang a shot off the pipe and rolled just outside of the net.

Shortly after, the Falcons’ Max Johnson deflected a shot from the point past Ryckman to make it 1-0 at the 6:59 mark. Chrys Collin padded BGSU’s lead to 2-0 at the 13:18 mark when he collected a loose puck by the left post and tucked it under Ryckman’s pad, and less than two minutes later Evan Dougherty sent a sweeping shot through Ryckman’s five-hole to make it 3-0 Falcons.

Ryckman was replaced in net by John Hawthorne, who made his first appearance of the season. However, the goalie change didn’t help the Wildcats as Brandon Kruse beat Hawthorne to the right post to give BGSU a commanding lead heading into the second period.

It looked as if things were going to get worse for Northern in the second as Collin and Sam Craggs both got good shots on net, but they were stopped by Hawthorne.

Around the midway point in the period, Hawthorne got some offensive help. With the Falcons’ Will Cullen in the box for hooking, Wildcats forward Vincent de Mey snapped a shot past BGSU goalie Eric Dop’s blocker to cut the deficit to three. Northern almost picked up another goal with 6:09 left as Mikey Colella deked around a Falcons defenseman in the BGSU zone, but Dop made a nice sliding save.

Just when NMU appeared to have some momentum going, the Falcons cut it off. After the Wildcats killed off a Colby Enns penalty, Cullen made up for his earlier infraction by firing a shot over Hawthorne’s shoulder to push BGSU’s lead back to four goals going into the third.

After Hawthorne made a few more key stops, it looked as if Northern got a goal back with 10:34 left. The Wildcats’ Rylan Van Unen sent a pass backwards by the right post into the crease where it went off Dop’s pad and to Garrett Klee who tapped it into the net. Klee and the Wildcats celebrated, but the goal was waved off. A video replay was performed, but the call stood.

The two teams will tangle again today as Northern tries to end a five-game losing streak.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Ryan Stieg. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.

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