Bowling Green, OH – Facing elimination the Falcons showed their hallmark, bouncing back with a 7-2 win over Bemidji State.
Chris Nell received the starting nod again for the Falcons, stopping 37 shots on 39 attempts. Michael Bitzer started in net, stopping 18 of 24 shots faced.
Sean Walker opened the scoring for the Falcons at 11:08 of the first period while on the power play. Brent Tate found Walker from the near face-off circle, feeding him to the far point. Walker fired a shot that caught Bitzer’s pads but still found net. The goal was Walker’s fifth of the season.
The Falcons pushed their lead to 2-0 at 11:33 of the first period, also on the power play. Stephen Baylis found Brandon Hawkins in an almost identical spot to Walker’s goal. Hawkins one-timed a strong slap shot, ringing off the rear cross bar for his 13th goal of the season.
Bemidji State pulled back within one goal at 13:34 with a power play marker for themselves. Gerry Fitzgerald skated around the net, eventually settling in the far face-off circle. He wristed a shot past Nell, who was trying to fight off a screen.
The Falcons pushed their lead back to two goals at 17:03 of the first period, again, while on the power play. Brent Tate had an initial shot from the side of the crease. The rebound came to the backdoor where Kevin Dufour was waiting. Dufour scored on the open net, picking up his 14th goal of the season.
The Falcons finished the opening period with 10 shots on Bitzer. The Beavers had 13 opportunities.
The Beavers pushed the score to 3-2 on a penalty shot. Kyle Bauman was hauled down on a breakaway chance, awarding Bauman the unopposed scoring chance. Bauman went forehand to backhand, beating Nell with the clock stopped 6:04 into the period.
The Falcons finished the second period with just six shots on Bitzer. The Beavers controlled play in the middle frame, attempting 12 shots on Nell.
The Falcons picked up their fourth goal at :27 of the third period. The Beavers were serving the final seconds of a penalty kill. Stephen Baylis skated in on Bitzer before deciding to pass pack to Mark Friedman at the point. Friedman sent a slapper that beat Bitzer high for his fifth goal of the season.
Mark Cooper pushed the Falcon lead to 5-2 as he skated in on Bitzer and wristed a snipe far-side for his 15th goal of the season. The goal came at 14:23 and was the game’s first even-strength marker.
After a poor penalty was called on Kevin Dufour tripping, despite no contact being made with a Bemidji State player, the Falcons went on the penalty kill with 4:55 to play. Mark Friedman scored an empty net goal from around 175 feet to push the Falcon lead to 6-2 at 17:15.
Jacob Reichert followed that up with a goal as he scored on centering pass from Shane Bednard at 17:24. That would end up being the game’s final goal as the Falcons tied up the best-of-three series 1-1.
The Falcons finished the third period with nine shots on Bitzer. The Beavers had 14 shots on Nell.
With the win the Falcons improve to 21-13-6 on the season. The Beavers fall to 17-15-6. The team’s will conclude the series Sunday at 7:07 PM.
- Kevin Dufour (BGSU) – GWG, 1 A
- Stephen Baylis (BGSU) – 3 A
- Chris Nell (BGSU) – 37 saves
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