Mankato, MN – The Falcons had a promising start to their game Saturday, but Minnesota State tallied four straight goals over the game’s final two periods en route to a 5-3 win for the Mavericks.
Ryan Bednard started in net for the Falcons and made 22 stops on 26 shots faced. Aaron Nelson got the nod for the Mavericks, stopping 22 shots on 25 attempts.
Minnesota State found the net first at 2:16 of the first period on the power play. Ian Scheid found Daniel Brickley across the blue line. Brickley skated in and fired a wrist shot high, beating Bednard.
Bowling Green responded a couple minutes later at 4:46. Lukas Craggs started a breakout out of the Falcons’ zone. He fed the puck to Mitch McLain, who found Sean Walker. The senior captain took a slap shot, beating Nelson high for his seventh goal of the season.
The Falcons took the lead at 15:03 of the first period. Tyler Spezia took the puck to net after winning a board battle. He challenged Nelson with an initial shot that rebounded to Matt Pohlkamp. The Baxter, Minnesota, native buried the puck with a wrist shot to give the Falcons’ a 2-1 lead. Kevin Dufour had the secondary assist on the scoring play.
Bowling Green finished the first period with 14 shots on net, while Minnesota State had 11 attempts.
Sean Walker picked up his second goal of the game at 4:26 of the second period. While on a five-minute power play Tyler Spezia moved the puck up to Walker at the point. A long slap shot from the blue line appeared to deflect off a Maverick stick and found the twine behind Nelson. The goal was Walker’s eighth of the season, and Pierre-Luc Mercier got the second assist on the play.
Minnesota State cut the Falcons’ lead to 3-2 at 14:29 of the second period. C.J. Franklin finished a rebound from Zeb Knutson for the Mavericks’ second goal.
Bowling Green finished the second period with six shots on net while Minnesota State had seven chances.
Zeb Knutson picked up the Mavericks’ third goal and tied the game at 7:54 of the third period on the power play. Knutson wristed a shot from the corner goal-line that hit Bednard and deflected into the net. The Mavericks added their fourth goal at 9:20 of the third period, as C.J. Franklin scored a backhanded marker with the teams skating four-on-four.
Minnesota State tallied an empty net goal as Marc Michaelis was hauled down on a breakaway with an empty net. By rule a goal is awarded when the defending player commits a penalty to prevent the offensive player from scoring on an empty net. With the awarded goal the Mavericks secured a 5-3 win.
Bowling Green finished the third period five shots on net while Minnesota State had nine chances.
The Falcons fall to 12-13-2, 10-9-1-1. The Mavericks improve to 14-8-2, 10-6-2-0. Bowling Green will welcome the Alaska Nanooks next weekend at the Slater Family Ice Arena.
- C.J. Franklin (MSU) – 2 G, 1 A
- Zeb Knutson (MSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Zach Stepan (MSU) – 2 A
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Post Game Interviews
Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Senior Defenseman Sean Walker