Bemidji, MN – The Falcons spent most of Friday’s game tied with, or chasing Bemidji State in Game 1 of the WCHA Semifinal. But, the Falcons were finally able to re-take the lead in the form of an overtime game-winning goal by Kevin Dufour to give Bowling Green a 4-3 win over Bemidji State.
Chris Nell started in net for the Falcons and made 45 saves on 48 shots faced. Michael Bitzer had 30 saves on 34 chances.
Kevin Dufour picked up the game’s first goal at 9:08 of the first period. Alec Rauhauser pinched-in from the point, forcing a turnover along the boards. He collected the puck and skated in towards the slot, wristed a shot on net, and forced Bitzer to make a save. Bitzer’s save became a rebound, finding Kevin Dufour. The senior forward found the net high on Bitzer’s blocker side. The goal was Dufour’s 15th of the season.
The Beavers picked up their first goal of the game at 14:09 of the first period. Phillip Marinaccio attempted a shot from just behind the goal line. The shot managed to cross up Nell, crossing the goal line for the tying goal.
The Falcons finished the first period with eight shots on net, while the Beavers had 11 chances in the opening frame.
Bemidji State scored their second goal at 4:45 of the second period on the power play. Myles Fitzgerald broke out on the rush, beating Nell high with the backhand.
The Falcons struggled to get their offensive game going in the middle frame, managing just five shots on Bitzer. The Beavers had 14 shots in the second period.
Matt Pohlkamp gave the Falcons their second goal just 32 seconds into the third period. Pohlkamp peeled up the far half-boards before spinning around and beating Bitzer with a wrist shot. The goal was Pohlkamp’s 11th of the season, and assisted by Tyler Spezia.
Nate Arentz gave Bemidji State the lead again at 1:45 of the first period. Nate Arentz went low, beating Nell five-hole for the Beavers’ third goal of the game.
The Falcons again tied the game at 13:30 of the third period. Jacob Dalton shot a wrist shot from the blue line that tied up Bitzer, beating the Beavers goaltender. The puck sat on the goal line for Kevin Dufour to poke it in for his second of the game and 16th of the season. Matt Pohlkamp picked up his second point of the night with the secondary assist on the play.
Dufour’s goal was the final marker of regulation and the game went to an overtime period.
The Falcons had 10 shots in the third period while the Beavers had 16 attempts.
Kevin Dufour capped off his night with a hat trick goal at 17:23 of the overtime period. Adam Smith fired a hard shot that went wide of the net. But, Dufour collected the errant shot and beat Bitzer for the game-winning goal.
The Falcons carried play in the overtime period, firing 11 shots on Michael Bitzer. The Beavers had seven attempts in the extra period.
With the win the Falcons move to 20-17-2, while the Beavers fall to 22-15-3. The teams will continue their best-of-3 series Saturday at 8:07(e).
- Kevin Dufour (BGSU) – 3 G
- Kyle Bauman (BSU) – 2 A
- Myles Fitzgerald (BSU) – 1 G, 1 A
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Post Game Interviews
Head Coach Chris Bergeron
Senior Forward Kevin Dufour