Bowling Green goalie Brett Rich, right, blocks a shot by Northview's Yaseen Mustapha during Friday’s game. Rich had 28 saves. THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
With the district tournament fast approaching, Bowling Green got a good gauge on where it stands with a convincing 6-0 win Friday against Northview.
In a measuring stick game at the Bowling Green State University Ice Arena, sixth-ranked Bowling Green (18-7-0) scored three goals in the final 7:55 of the second period to seize control.
IN PICTURES: Bowling Green 6, Northview 0
Junior Blake Powers tallied a hat trick, senior Adam Furnas scored two goals, and senior goalie Brett Rich earned the shutout with 28 saves.
“Tonight we took a step in the right direction in being ready for the playoffs,” BG coach Eddie Powers said. “We go over the things we do well and what we need to improve upon. We checked all those boxes tonight, so we're happy as a team.”
The Bobcats led 1-0 after one period before adding five in the final two periods. They scored two power-play goals to take a 2-0 lead.
On Senior Night, Rich finished with five saves in the first, 15 in the second, and eight in the third.
“It means a lot,” Rich said of the shutout. “In high school hockey, shutouts are rare. So they’re nice to get and to get it on Senior Night is pretty special.”
Powers had three goals and an assist. Logan Bergeron had three assists and Jackson Hollister had two assists.
BG scored two goals less than a minute apart in the late stages of the second to take a 4-0 lead. Powers scored his second of the middle period and freshman Jackson Bevins then scored unassisted on a breakaway.
Furnas got the Bobcats going with a power play goal 5:27 into the game, nine seconds into the man advantage to make it 1-0. Furnas skated from the side of the Northview net and lifted a quick, nifty backhander that snuck in past Northview goalie Johnny Rady’s right shoulder.
The Bobcats got a second power-play goal from Powers at 7:55 of the second, as he scored on a rebound 33 seconds into the man advantage. Powers added his second goal about four minutes later on assists from Alex Messenger and Bergeron for a 3-0 cushion.
Bevins, a freshman forward, then finished a breakaway nicely, beating Rady (26 saves) up high for a 4-0 lead with 3:25 left in the second period.
Furnas then made it 5-0 with good stick-handling 3:01 into the third. Powers then tallied his third of the night on a scramble in front of the Northview net for the final margin with 9:36 left.
Northview had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 1 when the Wildcats had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:34 midway through the first. But the Wildcats did not generate many quality chances.
“That kill [was big],” Powers said. “We've only given up four or five power-play goals all year. Our kids have bought into our systems. We weren't chasing pucks and guarded the middle real well.”
The Wildcats came out with energy to start the second with five shots in the first three minutes and Rich protected the one-goal lead. Powers said Rich has been the strength of the team all year.
“He really understands the position,” Powers said. “He’s a student of the game. He didn’t play goalie until he was a pee wee, so he’s made unbelievable strides.”
Rady kept it scoreless 4:15 into the game as he stopped Furnas twice from in close.
The Bobcats reached the district title game last season with a win against Northview in the district semifinals. The Wildcats (9-12-2) are looking to return to the district championship for the first time since 2014. The tournament draw will be Feb. 8 and competition begins Feb. 13.
The Bobcats downed the Wildcats 6-3 at Tam-O-Shanter on Dec. 10. The teams are both chasing No. 1 ranked St. Francis de Sales in the Northwest Hockey Conference. Bowling Green improved to 5-2-0 in the Red Division, while Northview fell to 3-3-0. The Knights are 6-0-0.
Northview's Brad Crandall, right, moves the puck past Bowling Green's Adam Furnas during Friday’s game. THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
Sylvania Northview's Brandon Clark (7) chases the puck during Friday's game with Bowling Green. THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH