The BGSU Falcons hockey team edged the Bemidji State Beavers 3-2 on Jan. 8 at Slater Family Ice Arena. The win puts the Falcons at 998 program history wins and 12-1-0 this season.
“Bemidji plays really hard and we knew they were a team that wasn’t going to quit. They have a lot of good, older players who play really hard and they are disciplined. It was a really tough, physical, hard WCHA game,” Falcons coach Ty Eigner said after the contest.
The contest was the Falcon's first WCHA contest at their home barn in 2021 and second WCHA conference series of the year.
Senior netminder Eric Dop was the starter for the Falcons stopping 31 of 33 shots against him.
A familiar face was back in the lineup for Bowling Green too, as potentially their most dangerous scorer, senior forward Max Johnson, returned to the lineup after getting injured against Quinnipiac just before Christmas.
The Beavers took the initial lead 13:14 into the opening period on an even strength goal by Owen Sillinger who found himself alone in front of Dop.
Less than two minutes later the Falcons flew back to tie the game 1-1 as junior forward Taylor Schneider scored on a shot from the slot from sophomore defenseman T.J. Lloyd. The goal was Schneider’s fourth marker of the season.
Captain and senior forward Connor Ford put the Falcons ahead 2-1 at the 4:17 mark of the second period. Assists went to junior defenseman Carson Musser and senior forward Gavin Gould who found Ford at the top of the right circle with a shooting lane. The goal was Ford’s seventh goal this year.
Johnson’s return to the lineup paid dividends when he put the Falcons up 3-1 on a redirection from right next to the net at 12:56 of the second. The play was set up by fellow senior forward Brandon Kruse who threaded a needle through sticks and skates to Johnson, who banged it home for his seventh on the campaign.
The first penalty of the contest came with just under four minutes left in the second period as Musser took down a Beaver crossing their offensive blue line. One minute later Bemidji converted as Brendan Harris riffled a one-timer over Dop’s right shoulder to bring the score to 3-2 after two periods of play.
Thankfully for the Falcons, that is how the score would hold as they won their 12th game of the season.
“Everyone’s pulling the chain the same way and anytime you’re in an environment like that where everyone is pushing each other and wants success for the other guy it’s a lot of fun. They're having a blast,” Eigner said.
Two things additional stood out; Falcon junior defenseman Will Cullen got dumped and injured late in the third period before leaving the ice. It was then announced that Cullen was assessed a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct and is healthy enough to play going forward.
While 6-foot-4 freshman defenseman Anton Malmstrom from Sweden may not play many minutes, it is very hard to not notice when him and 6-foot-1 junior Tim Theocharidis defend the Falcons zone together.
The Falcons come right back to face Bemidji in a home contest tomorrow at 7:07 p.m.