Bowling Green only needed two points to clinch a WCHA playoff berth. A 5-3 win over Bemidji State did just that and will extend the Falcon season.
Tommy Burke made his 23rd start of the season for the Falcons in net while Jesse Wilkins got the starting nod for the Beavers.
Bemidji State cracked the scoreboard first at 4:50 of the opening period. Markus Gerbrandt shot on Burke who made the initial glove save. But the puck popped out and sat on the doorstop for Brendan Harms who backhanded the puck between Burke’s pads.
The Falcons struck back just two minutes later at 6:50, as Pierre-Luc Mercier fed a pass to Ben Murphy who fired a snipe past Wilkins from the point. Mark Cooper doubled the falcon lead at 11:08 as he re-directed a Bryce Williamson pass past the freshman net minder.
Tommy Burke settled down after the early goal and turned aside nine of ten attempts. Wilkins saved six of the eight shots he faced.
Evan Pivnick talked to Mark Cooper during the first intermission. Here’s his interview.
The Beavers pulled the game back to a tie at 2:38 of the second period. James Hansen found John Parker who had just enough of the net on the backside to beat Burke. But, the pesky Falcons tallied their third goal of the games as Kevin Dufour re-directed a Sean Walker pass for the score.
Bowling Green scored their fourth marker of the game at 8:34 while on the power play. Mike Sullivan fed Sean Walker who skated to the far face-off circle. Walker wristed a laser that beat Wilkins. Ryan Carpenter scored his sixth goal of the season at 10:40. Pierre-Luc Mercier shot on to Wilkins who made the initial save but a rebound came to the Captain who pushed the Falcon lead to 5-2. Jesse Wilkins would be pulled after this goal as Reid Minnick came in to relieve.
The Beavers pushed back late in the third as Markus Gerbrandt gave the Beavers their third of the game, cutting the BG lead to 5-3.
The Falcons fired ten shots on net in the second period. Reid Minnick stopped the five shots he faced while Wilkins made two saves on the five attempts faced. The Beavers tested Burke three times who stopped one of those chances.
Evan spoke to Ryan Carpenter during the second intermission. Here’s what the junior captain had to say:
Neither team was able to score in the third period and the Falcons took the 5-3 win. Tommy Burke stopped six shots in the third for 16 total saves. Reid Mimmack stopped attempts in the third for a game total of 14.
Coach Bergeron was happy to see his team clinch a playoff spot but was hesitant to look past Saturday’s game: “There’s probably a little bit of a relief…Now we have one game to give us at least a chance to play at home.”
The Falcons will conclude their regular season Saturday at 7:07pm. It’s also Senior Night as the Falcon’s seven seniors will be honored during a pre game ceremony.
Attention will now turn to the rest of the WCHA as the Falcons still hold a small chance to host a home playoff series.
Here’s the current WCHA scoreboard (as of 10:05pm):
Lake Superior 1 | Ferris State 2 (F)
Northern Michigan 4 | Alabama-Huntsville 1 (F)
Michigan Tech 0 | Minnesota State 3 (F)
Alaska-Anchorage 0 | Alaska 0 (11:07pm)
With the Falcon win, Bowling Green can finish no lower than 6th place.
Post Game Audio
Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Freshman Defenseman Sean Walker