Bemidji, MN – The Falcons fought off some suspect ice and a re-surging Bemidji State squad as they picked up a 4-1 win Friday. Bemidji, MN has seen some above average warm weather and the Sanford Center ice proved to be an additional opponent for the teams as they fought bouncing pucks all game long.
Chris Nell started in net for the Falcons and made 13 saves on 14 chances. Michael Bitzer started in net for the Beavers and stopped 15 of 18 Falcon attempts.
Minnesota native Mitch McLain opened the scoring at 3:51 of the first period. Connor McDonald forced a turnover in the defensive zone and the puck came to Mark Friedman. The sophomore defenseman found McLain who skated into the Beaver zone on a breakaway. The sophomore forward picked his spot and buried his third goal of the season past Bitzer.
The Falcons extended their lead to 2-0 at 19:21 of the opening period. Stephen Baylis forced another turnover in the Falcon zone and found Brandon Hawkins. The sophomore forward took the puck the length of the ice and buried a breakaway goal of his own for his third marker of the season.
The Falcons had seven shots in the opening period while the Beavers only had three chances.
The Beavers were able to get on the board at 1:39 of the second period. A nice forecheck by Brendan Harms forced a turnover by Braden Pears. Harms found Charlie O’Connor who connected with a pass to Cory Ward. Ward found the net for his third goal of the season.
The Falcons finished the second period with only three shots on net. The Beavers had more success with six shots on Nell.
Stephen Baylis picked up his first career goal as a Falcon at 14:47 of the third period. Mark Cooper had an initial shot on Bitzer that came to Baylis’ stick. The freshman forward buried the rebound, however, to push the Falcon lead to 3-1.
The Falcons were gifted an insurance shorthanded goal at 19:06 of the third period. Mark Friedman was awarded the goal after an attempted Bemidji State pass bounced over the defenseman’s stick and trickled into the open net. Falcon goaltender Chris Nell was awarded an assist on the play as well.
Chris Nell faced four shots in the third period while Michael Bitzer had eight shots to face in the final period.
The Falcons move to 10-3-5, 7-2-4 on the season. The Beavers fall to 5-8-3, 4-7-2. The teams will conclude their series Saturday at 8:07 PM (Eastern).
- Stephen Baylis (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Mark Friedman (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Cory Ward (BSU) – 1 G, 5 shots