With five minutes remaining in the third period the Falcons had a 3-0 lead and seemed to be coasting to a weekend split. But with four unanswered goals the Falcons find themselves with more questions than answers late in the season.
The Falcons started Chris Nell who made his 12th appearance of the season and stopped 18 of 22 Wildcat chances. The Wildcats countered with Michael Doan who made his 13th appearance of the season and stopped 24 of 27 shots.
The Falcons opened the scoring early at 3:31 of the first period. Matt Pohlkamkp won a board battle and found Mark Friedman. The Flyers draft pick wristed a shot from a steep angle off the half boards onto Doan. Mitch McLain was just outside the crease and deflected the puck past the junior net minder.
Bowling Green extended the lead to 2-0 on the power play at 17:28 of the first period. Pierre-Luc Mercier wristed a shot from just in front of the Bleacher Creatures that Michael Doan made a save on. The rebound fell in the crease right in front of Brent Tate who had a wide-open net to shot into.
The Falcons ended the first period with 12 shots on Doan with 10 being saved. Nell was less busy and stopped all seven shots he faced.
The Falcons converted their second power play goal at 9:19 of the second period while Northern Michigan was defending a five minute major on Jake Baker for hitting from behind. Adam Berkle fed the puck to Pierre-Luc Mercier who had the initial shot on Doan. The rebound came to Mark Cooper’s stick who buried the puck for his third marker of the season and first goal since the November 8th game at Alaska.
The Wildcats responded after the five minute major though at 14:55 with a goal of their own. Reed Seckel fed Gerard Hanson who was skating onto Nell. Hanson deflected the pass through Nell’s five-hole for his fifth goal of the season.
The Falcons ended the second period with 11 shots on Doan with 10 saves made. Nell stopped four of five chances faced.
The Wildcats drew back within one at 1:03 of the third period. Gerard Hanson found Reed Seckel who was left all alone to skate on Nell. Seckel buried a wrist shot high for his sixth goal of the season.
Northern Michigan tied the game up at 12:03 while on the power play. Reed Seckel scored his second goal of the night after burying a wrist shot that deflected off the far post and into the net.
The Wildcats took the lead at 15:38 of the third period as Justin Rose wristed a shot on Nell that hit Dan DeSalvo’s skate and directed into the net.
The Falcons pulled Nell for an extra attacker but the Falcons were unable to score the tying goal.
The Falcons fall to 18-9-5, 14-7-3 on the season and will make the long trip to Anchorage next weekend. The Wildcats move to 13-13-6, 10-10-4 on the season.
– The Falcons were 2/5 on the power play after going o-for since January 24th (27 attempts). Northern Michigan were 1/4.
– With the loss the Falcons sit at #13 in the Pairwise. Any placing after 10 is considered on the “bubble.” If the season ended today the Falcons would be a three seed.
– With the weekend sweep the Falcons were officially eliminated from the McNaughton Cup race (WCHA Regular Season Champion).