MEN’S HOCKEY: No. 19 Beavers strike late, sweep Bowling Green
Ross Armour scored the game-winning goal as Bemidji State capped a six-point weekend to solidify its second-place standing in the WCHA.
BEMIDJI -- Alex Adams nearly had his back to the glass when he flung a shot toward the Bowling Green net. Ross Armour’s stick was in the right place at the right time to direct home the game-winning goal late in the third period of a 4-2 victory for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team.
The win capped a WCHA series sweep as the Beavers (16-8-4, 16-4-2-1 WCHA) departed the Sanford Center Saturday night with a hard-fought six points in the league standings.
“It was the most physical game we probably played in all year,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “And we knew they were going to respond that way. They played with a lot of desperation.”
Goals from Adams and Tommy Muck handed Bemidji State a 2-0 lead by the 6:40 mark of the second period. The Falcons (13-13-2, 8-10-2-2 WCHA) responded by knotting it up at 2-all early in the third.
“After we had the 2-0 lead, I felt we got a little complacent,” Serratore said. “I thought we got a little sloppy for a little stretch right there. We’ve got to rectify that, but once it was 2-2, it could have went either way. We got the last bounce. That’s just the way it goes in these games. ”
With the team now 8-1-1 since New Year’s, BSU has more than earned its second-place standing in the conference, though a little luck doesn’t hurt.
“Honestly, you just like to think that if you play the game the right way, good things could happen,” Adams said. “It seemed to work out tonight and (we) came out with a big sweep.”
Adams first-period goal played out in much the same way as his game-winning assist to Armour.
Netminder Zack Rose was hindered by his own teammate, tumbling to the ice after being tripped by defenseman Carson Musser.
The miscue provided a wide-open net for Adams to shoot into from near the top of the right circle at the midpoint of the opening frame.
“It was just a good play by the D-man (Brad Johnson) to hit me in the slot there and I kind of got a lucky shot through,” Adams said. “The last goal there was just a lucky shot that got through again and (Armour) got a stick on it.”
The lead ballooned to 2-0 early in the second period when Muck showed off his puck-handling skills. The senior defenseman skated in on net and shoveled a shot stickside past Rose.
Later in the stanza, Freddy Letourneau’s persistence paid off as he put the Falcons on the board. The senior buried his own rebound, cutting the lead to 2-1 with 7:03 to go.
BGSU capitalized on its lone power-play chance of the night at 2:44 of the third. Cameron Wright fired to the far side past Zach Driscoll for the tying goal.
The Beavers weathered the early-period push, which left the door open for Armour’s redirect goal that struck the roof inside the cage with 2:29 left in regulation. Owen Sillinger’s empty-netter in the final minute sealed the victory.
Bemidji State will have next weekend off before returning to action Feb. 14-15 for a pivotal series at Northern Michigan. The Wildcats, who trail BSU by seven points for second place, have two games in hand on BSU, but those contests will come next weekend at league-leading Minnesota State.
“It’s a battle, and we’ve got six more (games) before the playoffs start,” Serratore said. “It’s just a nice week to kind of recharge our batteries, take a step back, work on some skill development, play some small games, short practices and get ready.”
No. 19 Bemidji State 4, Bowling Green 2
BGSU 0 1 1 -- 2
BSU 1 1 2 -- 4
First period -- 1, BSU, Adams (B. Johnson), 8:33.
Second period -- 2, BSU, Muck (Rosen, Somoza), 6:40, 4v4; 3, BGSU, Letourneau (Cullen, Dalton), 12:57.
Third period -- 4, BGSU, Wright (Rauhauser, Rose), 2:44, PP; 5, BSU, Armour (Adams, Brady), 17:31; 6, BSU, Sillinger (Zmolek), 19:02, EN.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Driscoll (27-29); BGSU, Rose (35-38).