Bowling Green, OH – The Falcons and Bulldogs were expected to play a tight-checking, low scoring series in the WCHA Quarterfinals. A 6-1 Bowling Green win Friday night blew up those predictions.
Chris Nell Started in net for the Falcons, stopping 27 of 28 shots faced. Justin Kapelmaster started for the Bulldogs and made 9 total saves on 11 shots faced between two appearances. Darren Smith had 18 stops on 22 Falcon shots faced in relief.
Bowling Green opened scoring at 6:46 of the first period. The Falcons struggled to get anything started on offense to begin the game, but finally were able to find the net thanks to Matt Pohlkamp. Sean Walker found Tyler Spezia on the left wing, who managed to get a shot on Kapelmaster. The Bulldog goaltender lost track of his rebound, and Pohlkamp crashed the net to pick up his ninth goal of the season.
The Falcons extended their lead to 2-0 at 9:15 of the first period. Pierre-Luc Mercier sent a shot from near the blue line that rebounded off the rear boards. Stephen Baylis one-timed the loose puck past Kapelmaster for his third goal of the season.
Kapelmaster was pulled in favor of Darren Smith after just 9:52 of play. He finished with three saves on five shots in his first segment of action, but returned for the third period.
Ferris State scored their first goal at 12:47 of the first period. Stephen Baylis was penalized for checking from behind and given a major and game misconduct on the play. The Bulldogs scored just 16 seconds into the Ferris State man-advantage when Chad McDonald beat a screened Nell from the blue line. The Falcons’ penalty kill locked down after the goal, though, and didn’t allow another Ferris State goal with the man-disadvantage.
The Bulldogs finished the first period with ten shots on net, while the Falcons had nine opportunities.
The Falcons picked up their third goal of the night at 2:58 of the second period. With the Falcons on the power play, Tyler Spezia fed the puck to Brett D’Andrea who got a shot on Smith. Matt Pohlkamp managed to wrist the shot past Smith while falling down for his second goal of the evening.
Sean Walker gave the Falcons their fourth goal of the game with a breakaway set up by Matt Pohlkamp. Walker skated in on the loose puck, wristing a shot past Smith from the slot. The goal was Walker’s 10th of the season.
Alec Rauhauser pushed the Bowling Green lead to 5-1 at 5:49 of the second period. Mitch McLain passed to Alec Rauhaser at the blue line. Rauhauser picked a spot, wristing a seeing-eye shot past Smith for his fourth goal of the season. Matt Pohlkamp had the second assist on the scoring play.
Lukas Craggs gave the Falcons a 6-1 lead at 17:47 of the second period. Craggs deked around his defender before wristing a shot past Smith for his seventh goal of the season. Sean Walker and Brett D’Andrea assisted on the play for Bowling Green.
The Falcons finished the second period with 18 shots on net while the Bulldogs challenged Nell just three times.
Justin Kapelmaster re-entered the game in net to start the third period for the Bulldogs.
Neither team scored in the final period as the Falcons downed the Bulldogs 6-1.
Bowling Green had 6 shots in the third period, while Ferris State had 15 shots on net.
With the win the Falcons improve to 18-17-2. The Bulldogs fall to 13-18-5. The teams will continue their best-of-three series Saturday at 7:07. If the Falcons win they will advance to the WCHA Semifinals. A Bowling Green loss would force a deciding Game Three Sunday.
- Matt Pohlkamp (BGSU) – 2G, 2A
- Sean Walker (BGSU) – 1G, 2A
- Chris Nell (BGSU) – (27 Saves)
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All photos are copyright of Jessi Renner// BGSUhockey.com