BOWLING GREEN, OHIO — The Bulldogs are on the brink of elimination after a 2-1 loss in overtime Friday night in Game 1 of their best-of-three series against Bowling Green State.
The star of the night on either side came from inside the Bulldogs net, where Ferris junior goaltender Darren Smith saved 62 of the 64 shots he faced on the night. The 62-save performance is a new school record, breaking Marc Felicio’s record of 61 set back on March 4, 1988, almost thirty years ago to the date.
“It’s kind of what we’ve come to expect from him as of late. He’s been lights out here for us the last few months and he’s found his groove and its great to see. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play and I’ve seen him play a lot of great ones,” forward Jason Tackett said.
The Bulldogs had strong efforts from the special team units throughout the game as the powerplay was able to grab the lone Ferris goal while the penalty kill shut the Falcons down, going 6-for-6, including a 5on3 Falcon powerplay with just minutes to go in regulation.
“I felt pretty good about how we played. Darren played well and so did their goaltender. I really am happy with how the guys played,” head coach Bob Daniels said.
Bowling Green goaltender Ryan Bednard did as much as he could to match the performance of his counterpart, posting 34 saves in the win including a save on Corey Mackin when the Ferris captain walked in all alone on a breakaway late in the third period.
The Falcons got the night started with a few minutes remaining the first period when Brandon Kruse got one by Smith. The Falcons almost grabbed another just moments later when a puck went off the right post before riding the crossbar only to bounce out.
The Bulldogs finally responded to tie things up with just over four minutes remaining in the second period when sophomore forward Jason Tackett snuck one by Bednard who got a decent chunk of the puck but failed to keep it from slipping in.
“We got it through to Trevor Recktenwald a few times but just weren’t able to connect. Joe Rutkowski through it on the net the third time and I was lucky enough to just have a bounce and put it through his five-hole there,” Tackett said.
Though the Bulldogs now trail in the series 1-0 and are in a win or go home situation for the remainder of this series, the objective remains clear, win two games and win a series.
The Bulldogs will be back on the ice for game 2 of the series Saturday night (March 3) where they will look to force a game 3 on Sunday. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. at Slater Family Ice Arena.
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