BOWLING GREEN, OHIO — Another season came to a close Saturday night after the Bulldogs fell to the Bowling Green State Falcons 5-2, dropping the series in two games.
The Bulldogs needed to win to force a Game 3 Sunday but couldn’t match the scoring power that the Falcons displayed. With the loss, Ferris is headed to the off-season after being swept out of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoffs for the second straight year by Bowling Green.
“I’m real appreciative of the guys. The 5-2 was not in my opinion indicative of how we played. I thought the guys really played well. We had some really good looks. You’re really disappointed in the result but in no way disappointed in the effort of the guys,” head coach Bob Daniels said.
The Falcons used a strong opening period to grab a 2-o lead after two periods with goals Sam Craggs and Max Johnson. The Johnson goal came in the last minute of a five-minute major penalty to Ferris freshman Lucas Finner. Finner put on a dangerous hit from behind that resulted in the major penalty and the end of his night.
The Falcons appeared to be rolling through the Bulldogs when Alec Rauhauser extended the lead to three just over four minutes into the second period when he snuck one by Ferris goaltender Darren Smith on a nice shot from the slot.
It wasn’t over just yet though as the Bulldogs put up a fight, cutting the lead to one before the end of the middle frame as sophomores Jason Tackett and Jasen Fernsler grabbed goals for the Bulldogs. Tackett’s goal came on the powerplay and was his second of the weekend while on the man-advantage.
Bowling Green added three goals in the third to bury any hopes the Bulldogs had at forcing a Game 3 Sunday night. Darren Smith played well, stopping 33 of the 37 shots he faced. Though Smith didn’t break any records Saturday night, he stopped the pucks he needed to. The Falcons found plenty of solid scoring chances tonight and the bounces were going their way.
“It was a tough start. When we scratched and clawed back, a lot of guys believed. The game was close, and we had some great scoring chances and we were right on the edge of taking it over there late in the second and early in the third. Unfortunately, we had some bad bounces and that’s the way it goes,” senior forward Zach Szajner said.
Though the sweep doesn’t look great on paper, the effort was there from a team severely depleted in the lineup. Many players missed the weekend due to injuries including senior defenseman Tyler Dorantes while players like Tackett and junior defenseman Ryker Killins played through injuries.
“It was actually really nice to see. We’ve had a lot of injuries this year and a lot of the young guys stepped up. Guys not playing much stepped up, it was an all-around team game. I thought we really started playing well at the end of the year,” junior captain Corey Mackin said.
The Bowling Green State Falcons advanced to the WCHA semi-finals with the win. Goaltender Ryan Bednard once again had a good night, stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced.
For the Bulldogs, they head to the off-season as they look to get a fresh look as they prepare for the 2018-19 season.
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