BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Bowling Green State University scored 26 seconds after the opening face off and held the lead to final horn to record its 20th victory of the season, 3-1, over Bemidji State University Friday.
Nine different Falcons registered points in the game led by Max Johnson, Will Cullen and Stephen Baylis, who each tallied a goal, while Ryan Bednard turned aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced to earn the win between the pipes.
Johnson put Bowling Green up early netting his 12th goal of the season on the Falcons' first shot of the game. Sparked by the early goal, BGSU controlled play through the first 40 minutes earning a 19-10 edge in shots on goal, including a 9-2 advantage in the second period alone.
Already trailing by a goal, BSU's Owen Sillinger was whistled for hooking just 50 seconds into the second period. The penalty set the Falcons up with their second power play opportunity of the evening. BGSU would strike 1:23 later when Cullen was on the back door and corralled a rebound off the leg pad of the BSU goaltender Zach Driscoll and netted his fourth goal of the season.
The power-play goal was the first the Beavers have allowed in 40 opponent opportunities stretching back to Dec. 30.
BSU pushed back in the third. Propelled by 1:46 of power-play time to open the frame, the Beavers turned the tide. Although BSU failed to take advantage of the man advantage opportunity, the team got a goal off the stick of Alex Ierullo at the 2:46 mark to reel the Falcons to within a goal, 2-1.
The Beavers generated chance after chance, growing an 11-3 edge in shots on goal, and had the good fortune of over 90 seconds with a 5-on-3 advantage, but again the power-play unit came up dry.
With just over two minutes to play, the Beavers pulled Driscoll for an extra attacker and Bowling Green countered 14 seconds later. Connor Ford won a defensive zone face off to John Schilling on the wall. Schilling pulled the puck out of a scrum, cleared it off the sideboards and found a streaking Baylis behind BSU's defense for a tap into the empty net. With just 1:50 to play, the goal put the game out of reach for good.
Bemidji State, now 15-13-5 overall and 13-9-3-2 in WCHA play, slipped into fifth place in the WCHA standings, three points behind Lake Superior State University and Northern Michigan University for third with three regular-season games to go. The Beavers will be back on the ice tomorrow at 7:07 p.m. when they host Bowling Green in the final game of the regular-season home schedule.
Tickets for the game are available at the Sanford Center Box Office and begin at just $12.