Bemidji, MN – The Falcons picked an opportune time to pick up their first two wins at the Sanford Center as they finished the sweep of Bemidji State Saturday, 2-0.
Chris Nell received the start in net for the Falcons and earned the shutout with 28 saves. Tom Serratore played Michael Bitzer again at goaltender and got 19 saves on 21 Falcon attempts.
The Beavers came out in the first period with a much better effort than Friday’s contest. They challenged Nell with seven shots in the opening period but were unable to find the net. Despite a power play chance at 10:38 of the first period, the Falcons struggled mightily to generate offense in the first period as they finished the period with only two shots on Bitzer.
Pierre-Luc Mercier opened the game’s scoring at 10:01 of the second period. The play was started after Braden Pears managed to keep the puck in the Beaver zone at the blue line. Jakob Reichert fed the puck to Mercier across the blue line. The junior forward skated in and fired a slapper that caught the bottom of Bitzer’s pads but still found it’s way across the line for Mercier’s third goal of the season.
The Beavers had back-to-back power play opportunities at 12:29 and 14:42 after Mark Friedman (interference) and Mitch McLain (hooking) were penalized. But, the Falcon penalty kill and Nell didn’t allow a man advantage goal.
Bowling Green pushed the lead to 2-0 at 2:28 of the second period. Ben Murphy started the play with a hard slap shot from the face-off circle. The puck deflected off of Bitzer’s shoulder and came to John Schilling, who buried the puck for his third goal of the season. Sean Walker had the secondary assist on the goal.
The Falcons skated much stronger in the second stanza as they challenged Bitzer with 13 shots. The Beavers had eight shots in the second period with Nell stopping each chance.
The Beavers continued to have problems beating Nell through the third before pulling Bitzer with just over three minutes to play. But, the Falcon defense and Nell played strong as Nell picked up his third shutout of the season and sixth of his career.
The Beavers finished the period with 13 shots in the third period while the Falcons had just six chances on Bitzer.
With the win the Falcons move to 11-3-5, 8-2-4 on the season. The Beavers fall to 5-9-3, 4-8-2 on the year.
Bowling Green will head to the break in sole possession of second place in the WCHA, two points behind Minnesota State and one point ahead of Michigan Tech. The Falcons will play next on December 30 at the Huntington Center against Western Michigan.
- Pierre-Luc Mercier (BGSU) – GWG
- John Schilling (BGSU) – 1 G
- Chris Nell (BGSU) – 28 saves, SO