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September 21, 2023

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Mavericks take out the Falcons

Hockey Stock – Photo by Ian Campbell

The Bowling Green men’s hockey team faced one of their tougher opponents this past weekend as they faced Minnesota State at the Madhouse on Mercer. The Mavericks are ranked first in both CCHA and overall NCAA standings, so the Falcons had to give it their all. Despite great efforts, the Falcons fell to the Mavericks for both games. On Friday, Feb. 4, the score was 3-1 and on Feb. 5, BGSU was shut out for the first time this season with a score of 5-0. Although not the result they wanted, the team proved to their lively fans that they were not afraid of adversity. 

Game One

The Falcons were finally back home for “Hockey is for Everyone” night at the Slate and the fans were eager to see how BGSU would do against the powerhouse of Minnesota State. The Mavericks struck first as defenseman Andy Caroll put in a close range shot past BG netminder Christian Stoever, making it 1-0, MSU. Bowling Green would only produce one shot on goal for the first half of the second period with Minnesota State’s relentless puck handling and protection of the blue line. Although Bowling Green would get a power play late in the period, the Mavericks prevented any shots. With shots 11-2 favoring MSU at the end of the first, BGSU knew that offense had to strengthen to handle a team of this caliber. 

At the start of the second, the Falcons were already producing more shots on goal. Although Bowling Green’s offense seemed to be going uphill, Toledo native Brendan Furry would get a power play goal after a holding penalty on winger Ryan O’Hara. The Falcons would continue to even up the shot count, but none would convert to a much needed goal to get on the board. The Falcons would get another power play for a golden opportunity to score, but Minnesota State continued to have aggressive tactics to keep the puck. At the end of the second, BG was scoreless and the shot count was 17-15, favoring MSU. 

For the third period, it seemed to be familiar with no shots going towards Mavericks goaltender Dryden McKay. However, with five minutes left in the third, Hobey Baker nominee Nathan Burke would get the first goal for Bowling Green, making the score 2-1. The fans were finally seeing the Falcons on the board against a heavy team, and the Slate was roaring with energy. Bowling Green was desperate to get the tying goal with Stoever out of net, but Minnesota States, Brendan Furry would get a puck in the net yet again. Unfortunately, the Mavericks would take this game, beating the Falcons 3-1. 

Although Minnesota State had won this game, it should not discredit the Falcons for playing hard against a tough team. “I’d like to see us hit the net more,” head coach Ty Eigner states after the game, “I’d like to see us finish around the net but it wasn’t because we weren’t trying.” The Falcons would have to keep the same energy as they faced Minnesota State that next night. 

Game Two

It was Olympic Night at the Slate, and hockey legends Ken Morrow and Mark Wells made a visit to their alma mater to cheer on with the fans and sign their special bobbleheads, which commemorated the historic 1980 Miracle on Ice game. With Olympic champions watching on with the rowdy Falcon fans, they hoped to see Bowling Green try to make a comeback against the No. 1 Mavericks. 

Minnesota State would get an early power play to start the game, as BG veteran Taylor Schneider was called for hooking. Not the start they needed, but BGSU would kill the penalty off to get back into the momentum. Christian Stoever looked like the best Falcon on the ice already, making amazing saves to keep BGSU in good shape in the first. BGSU would get a power play late in the period, but the Mavericks fought back to kill it off. The first period ended scoreless, and the shots were 12-8 favoring MSU. 

The second period started with yet another penalty on the Falcons, and MSU junior Ryan Sandelin would put a one-timer past Stoever. Just two minutes later, Sandelin would get another goal, making the score 2-0. A break would come for the Falcons with 2 mid-period power plays, but both were easy kills for the Mavericks. Towards the end of the second, yet another Mavericks goal would come by former WCHA forward of the year Julian Napravnik. After the second, Minnesota State was up 3-0 and shots were at 18-14, MSU. 

The third period started with some penalties on BGSU, and it was apparent that the Falcons looked gassed and frustrated from going against such a strong team. With the energy not there, Minnesota State’s Reggie Lutz got a wrap-around goal to make the score 4-0. Less than 2 minutes after, another one by Brendan Furry extended MSU’s lead even further to 5-0. The Falcons were shut out for the first time this season, and Minnesota State would take the sweep. 

The Falcons should not be shamed for trying against the number one college hockey team this season, as their efforts were apparent. “We hung in there with a really good hockey team,” BG captain Alex Barber expresses post-game, “At times we outplayed them, we just couldn’t get it rolling.” 

The men’s hockey team will play Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan next weekend to try to snatch some points for their playoff push. Puck drop is at 7:07 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 11 and at 5:07 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12.

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