TOLEDO, Ohio — In its first outdoor hockey game, No. 13 Bowling Green battled No. 19 Robert Morris to a 2-2 tie Saturday afternoon at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
Matt Pohlkamp and Adam Berkle scored for the Falcons, but a two-goal third period for Robert Morris sent the game into overtime. Freshman goaltender Chris Nell — who is 5-0-1 through his first six career games — turned away 34-of-36 shots.
“It was a great experience. It was a positive experience and to be part of something like this big for our program,” head coach Chris Bergeron said.
Greg Gibson scored with 11:02 remaining in the third to pull Robert Morris within a single goal at 2-1, before Brady Ferguson knotted the game for good just 1:55 later. Dan DeSalvo set up Adam Berkle in the slot for a point-blank shot attempt in overtime, but the puck sailed wide. Nell made a sprawling save moments later on a 2-on-1 rush to secure the tie for the Orange and Brown.
The Bowling Green penalty kill unit — which came into the game ranked second in the country — killed off all seven of the Colonials’ power play chances, and opened the game’s scoring with a short-handed tally. Pierre-Luc Mercier won a battle in his own defensive zone, and eventually started a rush. After carrying it into the offensive zone, Mercier dished it over to a wide open Pohlkamp, who fired a shot past Terry Shafer. Shafer made 24 saves in the contest.
“I absolutely loved the experience playing in the outdoor game today, Pohlkamp said. “It will be one of those game you look back on when I am older.”
In the second period, Bowling Green continued to kill off penalties. The Colonials would out-shoot the Falcons in the second, 12-9, but Nell was always up to the task. The freshman made a kick save with 7:25 left in the frame after a scramble in front of the cage. Nell then made a pair of breakaway saves within minutes of each other late in the period. The goaltender’s heroics led way to Bowling Green’s final goal of the hockey game.
“It was a great experience and I’ve never played in a game like this before,” Nell said. “I felt like a kid again on the pond and it was a lot of fun competing with my teammates.”