Bowling Green, OH – The Falcons got a big boost from their special teams Friday night in a 4-1 exhibition win over the United States National Team Development Program’s Under-18 squad.
Freshman Eric Dop started in net for the Falcons, stopping all 11 shots faced. Sophomore Ryan Bednard replaced him at 9:45 of the second period and had nine saves on ten shots faced. Drew Deridder started for Team USA, making 25 saves on 29 opportunities.
The teams played an entertaining first frame, with a couple power play and breakaway opportunities. However, both goalies kept the scores at zero.
The Falcons finished the first period with 10 shots on net, while Team USA had 11 chances.
Eric Dop was pulled at 9:45 of the second period for Ryan Bednard. Dop’s night ended with 11 saves and a clean slate.
The Falcons struck first at 14:59 of the second period. Brandon Kruse scored the game’s first goal as he took a pass from Lukas Craggs, beating Deridder on the power play with a wrist shot from just inside the near face-off circle.
Bowling Green extended their lead to 2-0 at 16:57 of the second period, again on the power play. Frederic Letourneau looked to center a pass from the near face-off circle. His attempt hit the skate of a Team USA player and fluttered over Deridder’s shoulder into the net. Brett D’Andrea and Mitch McLain assisted on the scoring play.
The Falcons finished the period with nine shots on net while Team USA was held to just one shot in the middle frame.
Brett D’Andrea gave the Falcons their third goal at 1:23 of the third period. D’Andrea collected a loose puck then went backhand, forehand roofing a shot that beat Deridder. Mitch McLain and Frederic Letourneau assisted on the power play goal.
Team USA drew back to 3-1 at 2:24 as Jake Pivonka sent a one-timer high that beat Bednard. The goal was assisted by Adam Samuelsson and Bode Wilde.
Frederic Letourneau scored a more decisive goal in the third period to give the Falcons a 4-1 lead. Connor Ford fed the puck across the slot to Letourneau on a two-on-one rush, beating Deridder for his second goal of the night.
Team USA opted to pull the goalie with 3:11 to play in the game for an extra attacker.
The Falcons fought off a late surge by Team USA, sealing the 4-1 win.
Bowling Green will travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan Tuesday to open their regular season against Western Michigan.
- Frederic Letourneau (BGSU) – 2 G (GWG), 1 A
- Brett D’Andrea (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Mitch McLain (BGSU) – 2 A
Photos by Jessi Renner// BGSUhockey.com
Sophomore forward Frederic Letourneau