SAULT STE. MARIE – A three goal second period lifted the Bowling Green State Falcons over Lake Superior in the first game of their weekend set at the Taffy Abel Arena.
The two squads faced off in November, where the Falcons (15-8-6. 12-4-5 WCHA) claimed 5 of 6 points from the Lakers at the Slater Family Ice Arena in Bowling Green.
The Lakers (6-19-4, 4-14-3 WCHA) got on the board first when Anthony Nellis picked up his ninth goal of the season. Just 24 seconds later, however, Bowling Green tied the game on a goal from Alec Rauhauser.
Lake Superior came right back down the ice and reclaimed the lead on a goal from Brayden Gelsinger. His goal was the third goal in a 56 second span.
“We had a good start, getting the first goal,” said Lakers head coach Damon Whitten. “They responded and we answered right back. I’ve mentioned before that we can’t afford to give up five goals and expect to win.”
The Falcons’ Max Johnson tied the game on a power play before the first period drew to a close.
Bowling Green dominated the shots in the second period, posting a 13-2 differential. Goals from Lukas Craggs, Brandon Kruse and Tyler Spezia eventually led to Lakers goaltender Nick Kossoff being relieved after the second period for Mareks Mitens.
The final period saw almost a complete reversal of the shots, as the Lakers dominated with 17 shot on net to just one for the Falcons. Lukas Käelble notched the first goal of his career, closing the Lakers within two.
Unfortunately for Lake Superior, Falcons goaltender Ryan Bednard was sharp throughout, making 24 saves to pick up the win.
“I thought we pushed back,” said Whitten. “We kind of sagged after their third goal, but a couple of guys kept going to give us some life. We had a tremendous third period, where we really poured it on, but we couldn’t get that next one to really give ourselves a chance.”
Both teams managed 27 shots on net. In picking up the win, Bendard made 24 saves. Kossoff was tagged for 5 goals on 26 shots before Mitens came in. The native of Ventspils, Latvia stopped the only shot he faced.