Carpenter’s return to ice sparks Falcons to 3-0 victory


BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University hockey won twice on Friday night.

The first win was the 3-0 victory the Falcons claimed over the University of Alaska at the BG Ice Arena.

The second was getting junior forward Ryan Carpenter back in the lineup for the first time this season.

Carpenter, a preseason All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association pick, played his first game this season after suffering a broken index finger and a broken bone in his foot.

“I couldn’t nap before the game — my mind was racing,” Carpenter said. “I didn’t know for sure I was going to play until Thursday, but my foot kept progressing.

“I had gotten my hopes up so many times, I didn’t want to get my hopes up [and be disappointed].”

Carpenter had one of the Falcons’ three goals, with Bryce Williamson and Adam Berkle also finding the back of the net.

Combined with the 16-save shutout by Tommy Burke, BG has won four in a row.

Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron said that adding Carpenter to the lineup was definitely a plus for the Falcons (12-9-4 overall, 9-6-2 WCHA).

“He’s just such a positive presence,” Bergeron said of Carpenter. “He didn’t look like a guy who hadn’t played a game all year, as far as I was concerned. …

“We were adding somebody special.”

Alaska dropped to 8-10-3 (5-9-1).

Carpenter’s first game back was scoreless until BG late in the second period, when Matt Pohlkamp dug out the puck along the boards behind the Alaska goal and found Williamson, whose quick shot beat Nanooks goalie Davis Jones at 17 minutes, 14 seconds.

Carpenter got a critical goal midway through the third period when he redirected a shot from the point by Rusty Hafner past Jones at 11:36.

The Falcons got a critical short-handed goal less then three minutes later when Dan DeSalvo stole the puck along the boards in the Alaska end and found Berkle, who made no mistake burying his third short-handed goal of the season.

Berkle leads the WCHA in that category.

“We’ve had one-goal leads, and there were people in the building thinking, ‘Are they going to blow this?’ ” Bergeron said. “That’s not what we were thinking. We were thinking, ‘Let’s find a way.’ …

“That second goal was big, but the third goal was huge. After the second goal we had taken a penalty, and if they score they make it 2-1 — and it’s a different game. But that’s not what happened.”

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.