The Falcons looked to bounce back after three straight losses, including one to the Lakers just the night before. Lake Superior State proved too much for Bowling Green, however, and the Lakers ultimately came out on top with a final score of 5-2.
In a pregame ceremony, the Falcons celebrated senior night by honoring their class of ten seniors (Musser, Johnson, Gould, Wells, Wright, Ford, Kraggs, Kruse, Dop, and Rich), each of them soon to graduate from BGSU. Additionally, Gavin Gould and Cameron Wright, the two Canadians of this senior class, had their national anthem, O Canada, played alongside The Star Spangled Banner.
The seniors were emotional about senior night, which is always a special night at the Slater. Unfortunately, it would be a tough loss for the Falcons on what is usually a celebration. After the game, head coach Ty Eigner acknowledged this.
“It was not the way we wanted to have our 2021 version of our senior night,” he said. “Those guys have done a lot for this program. We wanted them to have a great senior night and unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”
Once the puck dropped on the first period, both teams wasted no time continuing the slow-but-steady pace of Friday’s contest. Momentum swung back and forth in a first period that saw no penalties to either team.
Both goaltenders looked sharp in the initial stages of the period, with Eric Dop and Mareks Mitens both quashing a number of scoring chances.
Scoring chances, which, began to favor the Falcons. Despite outshooting and outskating the Lakers in the first period, none of their chances managed to make it past Latvian goaltender Mitens.
In fact, Lake Superior would ultimately be the ones to open up the scoring, with senior Hampus Eriksson getting past Dop on a zone entry that split BG’s defense.
The Lakers continued their momentum into the second period, as they pressed their advantage on the offense. This was helped by a bit of roughhousing that took place after the whistle, in which Sam Craggs and Brandon Puricelli got a bit too heated for the liking of the officials.
Both players would sit for roughing, and the teams played two minutes of 4-on-4 hockey.
The extra space on the ice proved advantageous not once, but twice for Lake Superior. First, was Junior Pete Viellett, who found the back of the net after a great effort breezed past the Falcons’ defense. Shortly after, on the same 4-on-4, a 2-on-1 rush connected from Louis Boudon and Will Riedell, putting the Lakers up 3-0.
Although the Falcons were trying to put up a good fight, Lake Superior were skating fast and hitting hard, clearly jazzed from their widening lead.
Some of that speed was broken up with a pair of penalties, once again sending the teams to a 4-on-4. Once again, the open ice was all that Lake State needed to put one in, this time from Michigan native Ashton Carter. Although, the goal would be counted as even strength, since the penalty had just expired. In fact, it was a botched line change as Seth Fyten rushed to get to his bench that gave the Lakers an odd man rush, and then their fourth goal so far.
The period would not end without more penalty drama, however. On a dump-and-chase into Lake Superior’s zone, Kruse lost his balance and went down against the boards. As he tried to get back up, Benito Posa, a Lakers’ freshman, held him down against the ice. The officials yelled for him to let Kruse up, and Posa did not relent. Realizing the situation, more players gathered near the glass, the whistle was blown, and it turned into a do-si-do. Players from both teams began pushing and shoving, some nearly full-on fighting as the Falcons stood up for their Alternate Captain. It took the officials multiple minutes to separate the players and sort out the penalties, which ultimately saw one Falcon and two Lakers sit for roughing.
The Falcons did finally manage to put a few past Mitens in the third period, with one going in via Cameron Wright to put Bowling Green on the board.
As the game wound down, Lake Superior put up their fifth of the night from Dustin Manz, catching Eric Dop off guard and giving his team a comfortable lead.
The Falcons would score again with yet another from Wright on an odd man rush, but it proved to be too little too late, as the clock ran out and the Lakers completed their sweep with this 5-2 victory on the road.
Bowling Green will look to bounce back next week in a road series against Northern Michigan next Saturday and Sunday.