In a game that featured 49 penalty minutes it’s not a shock that special teams was the deciding factor in a Falcon win over Bemidji State.
Chris Nell made his fourth appearance of the season stopping 35 of 37 shots for the Falcons while Bemidji started Andrew Walsh made 23 saves on 25 shots.
The Falcon’s penalty killing was put to the task early as Adam Berkle was called for a five minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head. The Falcons managed to kill the long penalty and after a couple penalties by Bemidji the Falcons got their own five on three opportunity.
Mitch McLain gave the Falcon’s their first goal of the game while on that two man advantage. Mark Friedman passed across the the top of the slot to Brandon Hawkins. Hawkins wristed a shot that trickled past Walsh. McLain made sure there was no doubt and finished the play at 16:06.
The Falcons would score their first shorthanded goal of the season at 17:52 of the first as Nolan Valleau made a good effort to dump the puck back in to Matt Pohlkamp. The red-hot sophomore skated across the crease and backhanded a goal high on Walsh.
Nell stopped all nine shots he faced while Walsh stonewalled nine of 11 attempts.
Todd spoke to Mitch McLain after the first period. Here’s what the freshman forward had to say:
The Beavers were finally able to crack the scoreboard at 4:39 of the second period. Senior forward Mitch Cain skated in on the wing and wristed a hard shot that hit the near goal post and found net.
The second period was more of the same as the teams skated ruts to the penalty boxes.
Bowling Green challenged Andrew Walsh six times in the second frame with no goals scored. Bemidji State had 13 shots against Nell who turned all but one of them aside.
The Falcons scored an empty net goal at 19:04 of the third period as Sean Walker backhanded a clearing attempt off the glass.
Bemidji threatened at 19:18 as Brendan Harms cleaned up a rebound by Nate Arentz and beat Nell who had sprawled out.
The Beavers had another late chance to tie the game but Nell turned aside the final few attempts and the Falcons took the weekend sweep.
– With the win the Falcons move to 10-3-1, 7-1-0 in the WCHA. They are currently tied for second in the conference with Minnesota State at 14 points while Michigan Tech is first at 16 points. Bemidji State drops to 3-9-0, 2-6-0 in the WCHA. They are seventh at 4 points and tied with Alabama-Huntsville.
– Chris Nell moves to 2-0 against WCHA opponents on the season. This includes a .965 save percentage and 1.00 GAA.
– The Beavers gave up their sixth shorthanded goal of the season, the highest in the nation.