Falcons beat Lakers 5-2, claim 5 points on the weekend

Special teams ruled the day, but not in the way the Lakers would have liked.

Two shorthanded goals (plus a power play tally) by Bowling Green crippled the Lakers (2-7-3, 1-3-2 WCHA), as the Falcons earned a 5-2 win over the boys in blue.

The Falcons (5-3-3, 4-1-3-2 WCHA) opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal by Stephen Baylis.  With Sam Craggs in the box for boarding Ryan Renz, Baylis worked his way around Anthony Nellis and Jake Hand, beating Mareks Mitens on his left side.

Brandon Kruse appeared to make the score 2-0 Falcons.  The lamp went on, the horn sounded and the team celebrated, but a review showed the puck did not cross the line, as the score remained 1-0 Bowling Green.

Late in the period, Diego Cuglietta evened things up with a goal directly off of a faceoff.  Cuglietta won a faceoff to the right of Bednard and knocked the puck behind the net to the right.  Collecting the loose puck, the native of Kamloops, British Columbia then knocked the loose puck past the left pad of Falcons netminder Ryan Bednard.

Bowling Green reclaimed the lead on another shorthanded goal.  Mitch McLain, who had the difference maker in the shootout the previous night, scored his third goal of the season from Lukas Craggs and Connor McDonald.  The Falcons tacked another goal on with 1:12 to go in the second period as Baylis earned his second of the night.

The Falcons took a 4-1 lead on a power play goal from Cameron Wright 2:01 into the final period.  Lake Superior’s Jake Hand was off for tripping.  

Lake Superior cut into the lead by the Falcons when Gage Torrel earned his first goal of the season.  A shot from Cuglietta was poke-checked away by Bednard, bouncing off of Torrel and into the net.  A collision knocked the net off of its moorings.  Initially ruled no goal, the call was reversed after a lengthy review.

Attempting to rally, the Lakers pulled Mitens for an extra skater, but McLain scored his second goal of the evening with an empty netter to salt the game away, as the Falcons prevailed 5-2.

In net, Mitens stopped 30 of 34 shots, while Bednard made 29 saves on 31 shots.  Shots were even thru two periods with 19 apiece.

Both teams partook in parades to the sin bin, as the Falcons had 8 power plays while the Lakers had 6.  Bowling Green cashed in on one of their opportunities, while Lake Superior could not come up with a goal on the man advantage.

A night after being beaten 43-28 in the faceoff circle, Lake Superior flipped the script on the Falcons, with 43 faceoff wins to 31 for Bowling Green.  Cuglietta was 22-11 on faceoffs, while J.T. Henke went 10-8 and Brendan McKay was 5-2.

With the loss, the Lakers are in a three way tie with Alaska-Anchorage and Alaska-Fairbanks at the bottom of the league standings with 5 points each.

Next week, the Lakers board the bus for a trip even further south than Bowling Green, as they travel to Alabama-Huntsville.  The Chargers (3-6-1, 2-1-1 WCHA) rallied against Alaska-Anchorage to force overtime (including netting the game-tying goal with 0:01 remaining in regulation), where the Seawolves eventually prevailed in a shootout.  Both games will start at 8:07 Eastern.