The Bowling Green State University Athletics Department is celebrating 50 years of the Slater Family Ice Arena this season, culminating on Feb. 11, 2017 to honor the 50th anniversary of the arena's grand opening on Feb. 25, 1967. The Falcons will host Mercyhurst on that date, in what will be the team's final non-conference game of the 2016-17 season.
Leading up to the anniversary, BGSU Athletics is taking a look back at some of the great moments in Slater Family Ice Arena history. This week, we look back to October 26, 1991 and one of the greatest come-from-behind wins in BGSU history.
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There have been many comeback victories for the Bowling Green State University hockey team over the years at the Slater Family Ice Arena, but it would be difficult to find one to top a Saturday night in October, 1991. That night, the Falcons stormed back from a 5-0 deficit to capture their first victory of the season against CCHA rival Ohio State.
BGSU had lost the season opener 5-3 against the Buckeyes on the previous evening in Columbus, and the first game of the 1991-92 season at the Ice Arena did not start well. The Falcons took a penalty within the first minute of the game, and OSU's Ron White took immediate advantage, scoring the first of the Buckeyes' three power play goals for a 1-0 advantage.
Ohio State scored twice more within the first ten minutes of the opening period. The first came during a four-on-four skate, then the second on another power play. The offensive onslaught stalled for the remainder of the first period and through the first 11 minutes of the second, but that ended when White scored again on the power play for a 4-0 lead.
Two minutes after White scored his second, Glenn Painter added the Buckeyes' fifth goal of the night. Fortunately for the Falcons, it would prove to be their last – but did BGSU have enough time to respond?
The answer was a resounding yes. Senior Dan Bylsma lit the lamp to put the Falcons on the board with just under 6:00 left in the second period. Before the intermission, BGSU scored again when Martin Jiranek beat OSU goaltender Mark Bales.
Sophomore Sean Pronger helped BGSU creep even closer by scoring at the 18:00 mark of the third. Jiranek then closed the gap to 5-4 with 7:00 to play in regulation.
With the Ice Arena crowd at a fever pitch, defenseman Todd Reirden sent home the equalizer with 1:48 left on the clock following a pass from Jim Solly. It was one of eight goals Reirden scored in his sophomore campaign and sent the contest to overtime.
The Falcons needed only 37 seconds of the extra frame to send their fans home happy. Jiranek slipped the puck past Bales for a hat trick on the only shot of the overtime to give BGSU an epic 6-5 victory.
The game against OSU was one of 11 overtime affairs the Falcons played during the 1991-92 season. The team went 2-4-5 in those games but finished the season only 8-21-5 and 7-20-5 in CCHA play.