Fairbanks, AK – Bowling Green marked 10-straight seasons with a playoff series victory Saturday night as they swept the Alaska Nanooks thanks to a 3-2 win. The series win advances the Falcons to the WCHA Playoffs semifinals.
Eric Dop stopped 21 of 23 attempts for the Falcons, while Anton Martinsson turned aside 33 of 36 shots for the Nanooks.
The Falcons opened the game’s scoring at 18:55 of the opening period. Brandon Kruse found Max Johnson in the slot who buried a one-timer for his sixth goal of the season. T.J. Lloyd had the secondary assist on the scoring play.
Bowling Green had 15 shots in the opening frame while Alaska had five attempts.
Despite a pair of power-play opportunities in the middle frame, Bowling Green was unable to build on their 1-0 lead.
Alaska had 10 shots in the second period while Bowling Green had nine.
The Nanooks tied the game at 6:43. Caleb Hite finished a rebound by Kyle Marino to wipe out the Falcons’ lead.
But, BG responded with a goal at 7:37 while skating four-on-four. Brandon Kruse wheeled around the Nanooks net before finding Will Cullen crashing from the point. His one-timer from just outside the crease blew past Martinsson for his seventh goal of the season. Max Johnson picked up the second assist on the play.
The Falcons added what ended up being the game-winning goal at 8:45. It was again Kruse with the primary assist as he fed the puck to T.J. Lloyd at the point. Lloyd’s heavy blast beat Martinsson for his third goal of the season. Max Johnson was credited with the secondary assist for his 98th collegiate point.
The Nanooks struck back with a rebound goal on the power play at 11:04. Max Newton popped a shot in through a scrum to cut the Falcons’ lead to 3-2.
Bowling Green survived a late push to earn the series sweep and 3-2 win.
The Falcons had 12 shots in the final period while the Nanooks had eight chances.
With the win, Bowling Green improves to 21-13-4, 14-10-4-3. Alaska’s season ends with a 16-15-5, 14-9-5-2 mark.
The Falcons await the result of Sunday’s game three matchup between Bemidji State and Lake Superior. If the Beavers win then the Falcons will travel to Bemidji next weekend. A Lake Superior victory will give the Falcons a home series against Michigan Tech in the semifinals.