|March 10, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||Final|
|1||09:08||BGSU||DUFOUR, Kevin (RAUHAUSER, Alec )|
|1||14:09||BSU||Marinaccio, Phillip (Bauman, Kyle , O'Connor, Charlie)|
|2||04:45||BSU||Fitzgerald, Myles (Bauman, Kyle )|
|3||00:32||BGSU||POHLKAMP, Matt (SPEZIA, Tyler )|
|3||01:45||BSU||Arentz, Nate (Fitzgerald, Myles , Struthers, Carter)|
|3||13:30||BGSU||DUFOUR, Kevin (DALTON, Jacob , POHLKAMP, Matt)|
|4||17:23||BGSU||DUFOUR, Kevin (SMITH, Adam , SCHILLING, John)|
|Shots on Goal||34||48|
BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – Kevin Dufour completed a hat trick at the 17:23 mark of the first overtime period to give Bowling Green State University a 4-3 victory over Bemidji State University in its Western Collegiate Hockey Association semifinal playoff series.
A break is all it takes to sway momentum in hockey and in the playoffs, those bounces are magnified, especially in a sudden-death overtime situation. Friday, Bowling Green got the last bounce and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series when Dufour collected a rebound on the far post in the waning moments of the first overtime period.
The loss sets the Beavers up with their second elimination game of the postseason, forcing BSU to win tomorrow to live to fight another day and extend the series to Sunday.
Game two of the best-of-three series is set for a 7:07 p.m. opening face-off.
The Beavers and Falcons spent the first 10 minutes of the game getting a feel for each other. Dufour broke the scoreless tie 9:08 into the first period when he picked up a rebound off an Alec Rauhauser shot and slid it between BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer and the left post for a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later (14:09), the Beavers got a break of their own when Phil Marinaccio fired a shot from the goal line extended and the puck caught the back of the BGSU goaltender, Chris Nell, and slid into the back of the net. Kyle Bauman and Charlie O’Connor were credited with assists on the senior’s 11th goal of the season.
Bemidji State outshot BGSU 11-8 in during the first 20 minutes of play, but the teams skated into the first intermission locked in a 1-1 tie.
Myles Fitzgerald put the Beavers in front for the first time, 2-1, at the 4:45 mark of the second period. BGSU’s John Schilling was hauled to the penalty box for tripping 3:09 in, setting BSU up with its first power-play opportunity of the game and BSU took full advantage. M. Fitzgerald took the puck from Bauman behind BSU's goal and skated from end to end before flipping the a backhand past Nell.
Trailing by a goal to open the third period, it took BGSU just 32 seconds to reel in the Beavers, getting a goal from Brianerd, Minn. native Matt Pohlkamp.
The Beavers bounced back regain the lead, 3-2, 1:13 later when M. Fitzgerald tapped a pass across the front of the crease for Nate Arentz, who netted his seventh goal of the season and second of the postseason. Senior Carter Struthers was also credited with an assist on the play, giving him his first collegiate point.
Dufour scored his second tally of the night at the 13:30 mark of the third, pushing the game to a 20-minute sudden death overtime and setting the stage for his own late night heroics.
In addition to owning a 48-34 edge in shots on goal, Bemidji State won the special teams battle. The Beavers' penalty-kill unit was a perfect 2-for-2, while it was 1-for-5 on the man advantage.
BSU’s junior goaltender finished the night stopping 30 of 34 shots faced in the loss as his recorded dipped to 22-13-3 overall.
The Beavers (22-15-3) and Bowling Green (20-17-2) will hit the ice again tomorrow night in game two of this best-of-thee WCHA semifinal playoff series. Opening face-off is set for 7:07 p.m. at Sanford Center.
Tickets for the game can be purchased by visiting the Sanford Center Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window beginning at 5 p.m.
Youth tickets are priced at $9, with adult tickets beginning at $18. Reserved tickets are also available in Silver or Bronze Sections for $25; in the Gold Section $30 and seats in the Club Section are $35 with the option to buy in to the all-you-can-eat buffet area for an additional $15. All taxes and fees are included in the listed ticket price. Student tickets can be purchased at Sanford Center for $5 with a valid BSU or NTC student ID while they last.
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.