|March 13, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|2||12:36||BGSU||Cooper, Mark (McLain, Mitch , Hawkins, Brandon)|
|3||13:05||BSU||Gerbrandt, Markus (Bauman, Kyle )|
|Shots on Goal||36||28|
BOWLING GREEN, OHIO (BGSU Ice Arena) – The Bowling Green State University men’s hockey team broke a scoreless tie late in the second period and didn't look back, posting a 3-1 victory over Bemidji State University to the decisive game of a best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff series Sunday to end the Beavers' season. The Flacons advance to the semifinal round of the WCHA Final Five March 18-19 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Beavers and Falcons felt each other out through the first period of action. While Bowling Green earned a 12-5 edge in shots on goal, the teams remained locked in a scoreless tie to open the second period.
BSU looked to break the deadlock at the 7:41 mark of the second. A shot by Dan Billett made its way through traffic in front of the net, but after a review, the goal was disallowed.
Three minutes later, BSU’s Kyle Bauman was tagged with the first penalty of the game, supplying a Falcons’ power-play unit that went 4-for-6 24 hours earlier, with a man advantage opportunity. With three seconds left on the man advantage, Bowling Green got a goal from Mark Cooper to put the Falcons up 1-0.
With 5:50 left in the frame, Pierre-Luc Mercier was whistled for a five-minute major and game misconduct after sending Myles Fitzgerald into the boards head first. But the Beavers were unable to take advantage of the opportunity and Bowling Green went into the second intermission riding a wave of momentum from killing the major penalty and owning a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons put the Beavers back on the power play just 1:12 into the third. This time BSU generated some offensive push, posting four shots during the opportunity, but as Mitch McLain skated out of the box, the puck found his stick and he walked in for an unassisted, breakaway goal to put BGSU up 2-0 with 16:40 left on the clock.
With 6:55 left in the game, Bauman won an offensive zone face off to Markus Gerbrandt. The senior forward ripped a shot five hole to cut the Falcons’ lead to 2-1 and keep the Beavers’ Final Five hopes alive. But that was as close as the Beavers would get. With 2:26 left in the game, BSU pulled goaltender Michael Bitzer to get an extra attacker on the ice, but the Falcons would end BSU’s postseason run, when Matt Pohlkamp recorded an empty-net goal.
The loss brings the Beavers 2015-16 season to an end with an overall record of 17-16-6, while they posted a 11-12-5 mark in WCHA play to finish the season sixth in the league standings.
The loss also ended the collegiate careers of four BSU seniors. Graeme McCormack, Markus Gerbrandt, John Parker and Cory Ward, finished their careers as Beavers tonight. Combined, the senior class has combined for 496 games and left their mark on the Beaver Hockey program netting 223 points (103g-120a) in the green and white.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.