Bowling Green, OH – The 17th-ranked Falcons fought off a resilient Bulldogs squad to take a 5-2 win Saturday and advance to the WCHA Playoffs semifinal.
Ryan Bednard started in net for the Falcons, making 33 saves on 35 shots faced. Darren Smith had 32 saves on 37 shots faced.
Sam Craggs opened the game’s scoring at 5:25 of the first period. A shot on the Bulldogs’ net was deflected high and bounced off the rear glass. The puck rebounded towards the goal mouth where Craggs swung “baseball” style, beating Smith for his third goal of the season. The scoring play was assisted by Jakob Reichert and Max Johnson.
Bowling Green extended their lead to 2-0 at 14:22 of the first period. Alec Rauhauser found Stephen Baylis who skated in down the wing towards the back of the net. He sent a centering shot that appeared to be bound for Mitch McLain. But, Max Johnson instead was the recipient of the pass, beating Smith high over his blocker for the freshman’s 11th goal of the season.
Alec Rauhauser pushed the Falcons’ lead to 3-0 at 4:10 of the second period. With the teams skating four-on-four Chris Pohlkamp pushed a pass up the ice to Alec Rauhauser. The sophomore defenseman skated down the wing and wristed a high wrist-shot from an obtuse angle, beating Smith high over his glove. The goal was Rauhauser’s ninth of the season with Connor Ford receiving the second assist.
Ferris State picked up their first goal of the game at 7:44 of the second period. Jason Tackett finished a centering pass from the corner on the power play to cut the Falcons’ lead to 3-1.
The Bulldogs struck again at 14:08 of the middle frame when Jasen Fernsler beat Bednard to draw Ferris State to within one goal.
Ferris State had 15 shots in the second period while Bowling Green had 13 chances.
Brett D’Andrea scored a backhanded chance at 2:25 of the third period for a 4-2 Falcon lead. Cam Wright’s attempted shot on Smith was poke-checked but D’Andrea was on the doorstop to finish the play regardless. Stephen Baylis had the second assist on the play.
Mitch McLain scored the game’s final goal 15:55 to seal the win for the Falcons. Skating on the power play, Bowling Green completed a quick passing play as Stephen Baylis fed a pass to Max Johnson who found McLain on the backdoor. McLain’s goal was his 17th of the season and 99th collegiate point.
Ferris State had 11 chances in the final period while Bowling Green had eight.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 22-10-6, 17-6-5-2. The Bulldogs’ season ends with a 14-23-1, 11-16-1-0 mark.
Bowling Green will either travel to Marquette, Michigan to face Northern Michigan next week. Or, they’ll welcome Michigan Tech to Bowling Green in the semifinals.
- Max Johnson (BGSU) – 1 G, 2 A
- Alec Rauhauser (BGSU) – GWG, 1 A
- Mitch McLain (BGSU) – 1 G
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