BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Bowling Green State University goaltender Chris Nell made 28 saves to backstop the No. 14 Falcons to a 2-0 victory over the Bemidji State University men's hockey team Saturday at Sanford Center. The victory allowed BGSU to complete the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series sweep following a 4-1 decision Friday.
After a scoreless first 20 minutes of play, BSU got back-to-back power-play opportunities midway through the second period, but it was the Falcons who drew first blood. Jakob Reichert picked off a pass in the neutral zone and found Pierre-Luc Mercier in the slot for a tally at the 10:01 mark. BGSU built a two-goal lead at the 17:32 mark when Ben Murphy fired a shot form the right faceoff dot and BSU goaltender Michael Bitzer kicked the puck to the stick of John Schilling on the left post, who buried his third goal of the season.
Down 2-0 with 3:50 to play, BSU rolled the dice and pulled Bitzer to clear space for an extra attacker. The Beavers manage to generate some scoring opportunities, but were unable to solve Nell.
The Beavers bounced back form a 15-shot performance Friday to out shoot the Falcons 28-21 in the game, which included a 13-shot third period, but were unable to find the back of the net.
The BSU penalty-kill unit continued to cruise snuffing out all three of BGSU's power-play opportunities, but its power-play unit was 0-for-2, marking the extension of a seven-game, 0-for-22 drought.
Bitzer finished the night with 19 saves, but surrendered both Falcon goals and was tagged with the loss.
Bemidji State, now 5-8-3 overall and 4-7-2 in WCHA play will now break for the holidays. The Beavers will return to action Saturday, Jan. 2 when it travels to the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Alaska for a 10:07 p.m. (CT) match up with University of Alaska. The series will conclude with a 8:07 p.m. (CT) opening faceoff Sunday, Jan. 3.
Beaver Hockey faithful are encouraged to bring winter hats, mittens, gloves and/or other cold weather gear to contribute to at the ticket office as they enter Sanford Center. Fans are also encouraged to bring new, or gently used, stuffed animals. Following BSU’s first goal, those in attendance will have an opportunity to toss their teddy bear donation(s) onto the Sanford Center ice. All items collected will be distributed to residents in the Bemidji area in need this holiday season.
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.