Hockey season ends with loss

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BG goaltender defends the net against Michigan Tech as ice goes flying in a game earlier this season at the BG Ice Arena.

Corey Krupa and Corey Krupa

On Friday afternoon, the BG hockey team lost 4-0 to Minnesota State in the semifinal round of the WCHA Final Five in Grand Rapids, Mich.

With the loss, the 2013-14 season ends for the Falcons. BG finished with an overall record of 18-15-6.

“We put ourselves in a situation where we were competing for a championship, and we didn’t play well,” said head coach Chris Bergeron.

BG failed to score a goal for the third time all season, while goaltender Tommy Burke made 23 saves in the playoff loss.

In a defensive battle, the Falcons and Mavericks remained scoreless at the end of the first period. Burke made 14 saves to keep the score at 0-0 going into the second period.

The Mavericks broke the scoreless drought 3:52 into the second period from a goal by Chase Grant.

Later in the period, the Mavericks doubled their lead with a shorthanded goal at the 12:24 mark from a goal scored by Bryce Gervais.

Minnesota State scored two more goals in the third period to put the game away. A short-handed goal by Johnny McInnis at the 10:47 mark gave Minnesota State a 3-0 lead. MSU then added an empty-net goal at the 18:28 mark when the Falcons added an extra attacker in the final two minutes.

The Mavericks went on to defeat the Ferris State Bulldogs 4-1 in the WCHA championship game to win the Broadmoor Trophy. After the championship game, both Minnesota State and Ferris State were selected to compete in the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The Falcons finished the year with their first winning season since the 1996-97 season. The Falcons also won their fourth consecutive opening round playoff series and hosted a first round playoff series for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

“It felt like we were starting to peak at the right time, here at the end. It just shows how important the whole season is,” BG captain Ryan Carpenter said.

The opening round sweep over Michigan Tech was the first time the Falcons swept a playoff series at home. The Falcons also had their best offensive season under Bergeron, finishing the season with 119 total goals and averaging 3.13 goals-per-game.

Friday’s game was the final game for BG seniors Brett Mohler, Jake Sloat, Chad Sumsion, Andrew Wallace, Bryce Williamson, Camden Wojtala, Ryan Viselli and Scott Zacharias.

“When we got to the CCHA Finals, I don’t think people thought we were going there to win,” Bergeron said. “When we got on the bus to come to Grand Rapids, our intent was to win this thing and get to the national tournament.”