Bowling Green gave the home opener crowd of 3,211 a reason to get raucous after three first period goals. Stephen Baylis, Frederic Letourneau, and Cameron Wright all scored within 1:41 of each other to help pace the Falcons to an early 3-0 lead. While Taro Hirose pulled Michigan State back to within two goals in the second period, Connor Ford sealed the 4-1 win at 8:44 of the third period with a power-play goal.
In total, five freshmen found the score sheet while ten different Falcons notched points in Friday’s win.
They Said It
Special Teams Battle
The Falcons ran up their perfect mark on the penalty kill to 10 straight kills before Hirose’s goal at 3:58 of the second period. Michigan State ended their night 1-for-4 on the power play with eight shots. The Falcons sit at 91% (10-for-11) on the penalty kill through two games.
Bowling Green was 2-for-7 on the power play Friday with 10 shots. Their season mark sits at 25% (3-for-12).
Dopp Does It
Freshman Eric Dop made his first official collegiate start Friday night, stopping 27 of 28 shots faced to also earn his first collegiate win. Dop seemed exceedingly confident in his debut, with his lone goal allowed coming on the power play to Hirose–Michigan State’s leading scorer from a season ago. Coach Bergeron admitted to being hesitant to start Dop at home in front of the big crowd, but felt his young netminder “wrapped his arms around the moment.”
A Night of Firsts
Along with Dop’s first collegiate start and win in net, Brandon Kruse and Sam Craggs picked up their first collegiate assists Friday. Craggs’ assist was also his first collegiate point. Connor Ford’s third-period goal was his first collegiate goal and point.
Carson Musser played in his first collegiate game Friday, slotting in for fellow freshman Justin Wells.
Stephen Baylis was hoping for a bounce-back season after a trying sophomore year. He took a large step towards that hope with a goal and assist Friday, along with a team-leading five shots. The effort earned Baylis “first star” honors.
Around the League
The WCHA posted a pair of upsets Friday with Minnesota State upsetting #2 Boston University (6-3), while Bemidji State downed #5 Minnesota-Duluth (5-2). The rest of the league didn’t fare so well in their non-conference games as #6 St. Cloud State held off an early scare to beat Alaska, 6-3, and Colorado College shelled Alaska-Anchorage, 6-1.
In conference action, Northern Michigan beat Ferris State, 3-2, while #15 Michigan Tech spoiled Lake Superior’s Great Lake State Weekend opener with a 4-3 win.
Bowling Green will look to earn their first weekend sweep of Michigan State since the 1990-1991 season Saturday in East Lansing. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM.