Falcons defeat Huskies; take 1-0 series lead

Courtesy of MTU Athletics

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State earned a 2-1 win over Michigan Tech in tonight’s opening game of a best-of-three WCHA First Round Playoff at BGSU Ice Arena. The Falcons took a 2-1 lead after 12 minutes of play and held on through the rest of the game including 1:25 of extra attacker at the end.

“It’s disappointing, but one game does not win a series,” said Tech coach Mel Pearson. “There’s not much to choose between the teams. We created some good scoring chances and didn’t finish them tonight. “Credit Bowling Green. They’re a tested playoff team and they defended their home ice.”

Period one was an up-and-down affair. Both teams took advantage of power-play chances in the first half of the frame. Bryce Williamson walked in from the blue line off a faceoff win and wristed a shot over Pheonix Copley’s shoulder 5:55 into the action.

David Johnstone answered with a one-timer on the man advantage at the 10:12 mark. The junior scored his fifth power-play goal of the year from his patented spot on the left circle, beating Tommy Burke over his stick-side shoulder. Shane Hanna and Alex Petan each picked up assists on the marker.

Tanner Kero had a grade A chance 90 seconds later that went just wide.BGSU transitioned down the ice and scored when Ryan Carpenter put home a rebound of Matt Pohlkamp’s initial shot. Tech finished the period with a 12-7 advantage in shots on goal.

The second period featured more defensive play. The Huskies killed off a penalty midway through the frame. The Falcons had a 9-6 edge in shots in the stanza, but four of them came on the man advantage.

BGSU (17-14-7) killed off a Tech power play in the third period and withstood a late barrage by the Huskies with the extra attacker on the ice for the final 1:25.

Johnstone nearly tied the game with another shot from the left circle in the final 30 seconds. Tech (14-18-7) finished with a 25-24 advantage in shots on goal. Both teams were 1-for-2 on the power play.

Burke notched 24 saves for the Falcons while Copley had 22. The two teams, which have now evenly split the five games played between them this season at 2-2-1 apiece, will meet again tomorrow night at 7:07 p.m.