Hockey defeated by Minnesota Duluth in first round of NCAA Tournament

NCAA+Tournament

NCAA Tournament

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

The Falcon hockey team was defeated by the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 2-1 in sudden death overtime on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Regionals, eliminating the team from the tournament.

“They’ve got really good players at all three positions,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said of Minnesota Duluth. “Their experience made them very difficult to play against. Unfortunately, we were three minutes away from finishing the game the way we wanted to finish it, but their experience made it very difficult for us.”

The first period saw both teams go scoreless through the first 20 minutes, despite two Minnesota Duluth power plays and one power play opportunity for the Falcons, albeit a short one at only 10 seconds. However, the teams remained fairly even in the first period shot totals, with Minnesota Duluth getting 11 shots and the Falcons getting 10 shots on net.

Most of the second period went scoreless; however, at the 16:23 mark, the Falcons were first to get on the board with sophomore forward Brandon Kruse hitting the back of the net on a pass across the goal crease from fellow sophomore forward Max Johnson. The teams went into the locker room with the team still holding the 1-0 advantage going into the third.

“We just transitioned well off the rush,” Kruse said. “Lukas (Craggs) made a really good play to Johnson, and luckily he found me back door and I was able to finish it.”

In the third, the teams went scoreless for most of the period once again with both teams locked in a fierce goaltenders duel. But this time, it would be Minnesota Duluth scoring late in the period as senior forward Parker Mackay scored with just over three minutes remaining in regulation time to tie it up 1-1 at the 16:59 mark. 

However, neither team would be able to break through in the final minutes of regulation, sending the game into a sudden death overtime.

In the overtime period, neither team was able to get on the board throughout the first half of the period; however, at the 11:45 mark, Mackay scored his second goal of the game to give Minnesota Duluth the 2-1 overtime victory and knock the Falcons out of further competition in the tournament.

Minnesota Duluth junior goaltender Hunter Shepard got the win, as he made 30 saves on 31 Bowling Green shots, while Falcons junior goaltender Ryan Bednard took the loss, despite making 40 saves on 42 Minnesota Duluth chances.

“When he’s covering pucks, to me that’s when he’s at his best,” Bergeron said of Bednard. “Both of their goals were second opportunities.”

The Falcons will head into the offseason and will next play beginning in the 2019-20 hockey season, likely starting around early October.

“It was a really good year,” Bergeron said. “But we define ‘great’ as winning a championship and making it to the national tournament and winning 20 games, that’s what we define as great. Unfortunately, we fell short.”

The Falcon hockey team was defeated by the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs 2-1 in sudden death overtime on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Regionals, eliminating the team from the tournament.

“They’ve got really good players at all three positions,” Falcons head coach Chris Bergeron said of Minnesota Duluth. “Their experience made them very difficult to play against. Unfortunately, we were three minutes away from finishing the game the way we wanted to finish it, but their experience made it very difficult for us.”

The first period saw both teams go scoreless through the first 20 minutes, despite two Minnesota Duluth power plays and one power play opportunity for the Falcons, albeit a short one at only 10 seconds. However, the teams remained fairly even in the first period shot totals, with Minnesota Duluth getting 11 shots and the Falcons getting 10 shots on net.

Most of the second period went scoreless; however, at the 16:23 mark, the Falcons were first to get on the board with sophomore forward Brandon Kruse hitting the back of the net on a pass across the goal crease from fellow sophomore forward Max Johnson. The teams went into the locker room with the team still holding the 1-0 advantage going into the third.

“We just transitioned well off the rush,” Kruse said. “Lukas (Craggs) made a really good play to Johnson, and luckily he found me back door and I was able to finish it.”

In the third, the teams went scoreless for most of the period once again with both teams locked in a fierce goaltenders duel. But this time, it would be Minnesota Duluth scoring late in the period as senior forward Parker Mackay scored with just over three minutes remaining in regulation time to tie it up 1-1 at the 16:59 mark.

However, neither team would be able to break through in the final minutes of regulation, sending the game into a sudden death overtime.

In the overtime period, neither team was able to get on the board throughout the first half of the period; however, at the 11:45 mark, Mackay scored his second goal of the game to give Minnesota Duluth the 2-1 overtime victory and knock the Falcons out of further competition in the tournament.

Minnesota Duluth junior goaltender Hunter Shepard got the win, as he made 30 saves on 31 Bowling Green shots, while Falcons junior goaltender Ryan Bednard took the loss, despite making 40 saves on 42 Minnesota Duluth chances.

“When he’s covering pucks, to me that’s when he’s at his best,” Bergeron said of Bednard. “Both of their goals were second opportunities.”

The Falcons will head into the offseason and will next play beginning in the 2019-20 hockey season, likely starting around early October.

“It was a really good year,” Bergeron said. “But we define ‘great’ as winning a championship and making it to the national tournament and winning 20 games, that’s what we define as great. Unfortunately, we fell short.”