Bowling Green, OH – The Falcons’ execution was lacking Friday night, but a timely goal by Niko Coffman late in the game sent the Falcons past the Beavers, 3-1.
Eric Dop started in net for the Falcons, stopping 24 of 25 shots faced. Michael Bitzer had 24 saves on 26 Falcons chances.
Neither team found the net in the first period despite a pair of power plays for both sides.
The Falcons had 11 shots on net in the first period while the Beavers had 9 chances.
The Beavers were the recipient of a lengthy five-minute power play just a couple minutes into the second period. Lukas Craggs was whistled for a major penalty and game-misconduct for contact to the head on a hit to Brendan Harris. But, the Falcons penalty kill didn’t allow any goals on the Beavers’ man-advantage.
The Falcons finally broke the game’s stalemate at 10:41 of the second period. Mitch McLain fed the puck to Brandon Kruse who began a rush. Kruse skated down the left wing then wristed a quick shot from the face-off dot between Bitzer’s pads, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Stephen Baylis had the second assist on the goal.
Bowling Green had 11 shots in the middle frame while Bemidji State had six chances.
The Beavers finally scored their first goal at 6:19 of the third period. Jordan Heller forced a turnover in the corner of the Falcons’ zone and passed to Mike Soucier in front of the net. Soucier’s wrist shot beat Dop high over his right shoulder.
The Falcons retook the lead at 18:48 of the third period. Niko Coffman ripped a shot from the point, beating Bitzer over his glove for the sophomore’s first collegiate goal. The goal ended up being the game’s winner and was assisted by Connor Ford and Stephen Baylis.
Michael Bitzer was pulled with just over a minute to play in the game, but Bowling Green sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 28.5 seconds to play as Mitch McLain scored his sixth goal of the season. Matt Meier had the second assist on the play.
With the win the Falcons improve to 7-5-4, 6-2-3-2 on the season while the Beavers fall to 5-6-2, 2-4-1-1. The teams will conclude their weekend series Saturday at 7:07 PM.
- Niko Coffman (BGSU) – GWG
- Mitch McLain (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
- Eric Dop (BGSU) – 24 saves
Photos by Jessi Renner//BGSUHockey.com