Detroit, MI – The Falcons rode a three-goal lead through two periods to a 6-4 win over Michigan in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Invitational at Little Caesars Arena Monday.
Ryan Bednard started in net for the Falcons making 28 saves on 32 shots faced. Jack LaFontaine started for Michigan and had 32 stops on 37 chances.
Tyler Spezia opened scoring at 10:11 of the first period. Alec Rauhauser sent the puck on net from the point. Tyler Spezia collected the puck, scoring a backhand, rebound goal for his second goal of the season. The play was also assisted by a returning Chris Pohlkamp.
The Falcons extended their lead to 2-0 at 11:20 of the first period. Freshman defenseman Justin Wells skated down the left wing, wristing a shot that LaFontaine didn’t catch enough of, finding the net. The goal was Wells’ first of his collegiate career and assisted by Max Johnson and Carson Musser.
Both teams finished the opening period with nine shots on net.
Lukas Craggs scored the Falcons’ third goal just 15 seconds into the second period. Craggs skated in on the right wing and beat LaFontaine with a wrist shot high over his glove. The goal was Craggs’ fourth of the season and was assisted by Pohlkamp.
Bowling Green extended their lead to 4-0 at 3:39 of the first period. Lukas Craggs and Connor Ford each got shots on LaFontaine that were saved. But, Connor McDonald buried Ford’s rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
The Wolverines were able to stop the proverbial bleeding at 5:24 of the second period. Jake Slaker got loose on a breakaway and buried a wrist shot past Bednard to cut the Falcons’ lead to 4-1.
Bowling Green had 14 shots on net in the middle frame while Michigan had 12 chances on target.
Michigan drew back to within two goals at 5:24 of the third period. Jake Slaker scored his second goal of the game with a five-hole wrist shot to push the score to 4-2.
Max Johnson pushed the Falcons’ lead to 5-2 at 7:40 of the third period with a power-play goal. Alec Rauhauser fed the puck to Johnson who skated in on the left wing and sniped a wrist shot bar-down. The goal was Johnson’s fourth of the season and was also assisted by Ryan Bednard.
The Wolverines responded just 25 seconds later as Tony Calderone finished a rebound off the back boards to cut the Falcons’ lead to 5-3. A Jack Becker shot from the blueline that crossed-up Bednard drew the Wolverines within one goal at 12:37 of the third period.
LaFontaine was pulled with 1:40 to play in the game for an extra attacker, but a Lukas Craggs empty-net goal at 18:46 gave the Falcons a 6-4 lead and ultimately the win.
Bowling Green finished the third period with 16 shots on net while Michigan had 11.
With the win the Falcons improve to 9-6-6, 7-2-5-2 on the season. The Wolverines fall to 7-8-2, 3-5-2-1. Bowling Green will face Michigan Tech in the championship game of the Great Lakes Invitational tomorrow at 6:00 PM.
- Lukas Craggs (BGSU) – 2 G, 1 A
- Jake Slaker (UM) – 2 G
- Max Johnson (BGSU) – 1 G, 1 A
Photos by Jessi Renner// BGSUhockey.com
Bowling Green (Bergeron, L. Craggs, McDonald)
Michigan Head Coach Mel Pearson
Michigan Forwards Calderone and Slaker