#ChampionshipSeason: The Western Collegiate Hockey Association will be represented by regular season and postseason champion Minnesota State and postseason runner-up Bowling Green in the 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
- Minnesota State (32-7-2 overall/22-5-1-1 WCHA), which leads the nation in wins with 32 victories this season and clinched the WCHA postseason title with a thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Bowling Green on Saturday night, is the tournament's No. 3 overall seed and the top seed in the East Regional, which will be played March 30-31 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. The Mavericks will face No. 4 regional seed Providence at noon CT on Saturday, March 30. The Minnesota State-Providence game will air live on ESPNews. Joining the Mavericks and Friars in the East Regional are No. 2 seed Northeastern and No. 3 seed Cornell.
- Bowling Green (25-10-5 overall/16-8-4-3 WCHA) has advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time in 29 years as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., March 30-31. The Falcons will meet No. 2 overall seed and defending national champion Minnesota Duluth at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon, March 30. The BGSU-UMD game will air live on ESPNU. The winner of that matchup will meet the winner of the game between No. 2 seed Quinnipiac and No. 3 seed Arizona State in Sunday's regional final.
Charting Minnesota State: The Mavericks, who lead the country with 44 power play goals, goal margin (+74) and lowest goals against average (1.71), stand third in goals scored (144). Heading into the regional, Minnesota State has allowed two or fewer goals in 16 consecutive games. Minnesota State has allowed one power play goal in the last eight games and have killed off 23 of the last 24 opponent power plays.
- Freshman Dryden McKay has started 27 of the last 29 games in goal for Minnesota State and stands 24-6-2 with a 1.66 GAA and .931 sv% for the year. McKay, the WCHA Goaltending Champion this year with a 1.35 GAA in 22 league games, leads all NCAA Division I freshmen netminders in wins, goals against average and shutouts (four) and was a five-time WCHA Goaltender of the Week honoree this year. His 24 wins and four shutouts both rank fourth on Minnesota State's single-season list.
- Junior captain Marc Michaelis leads Minnesota State in scoring on the year with 19-22-41 (t-17th in the nation) and stands tied for 19th in the country with a +22 rating. For his three-year Minnesota State career, the Mannheim, Germany native has 51-66-117 in 116 career games. A three-time All-WCHA First Team pick, he's eighth on Minnesota State's Division I-era career scoring list and he stands tied for second all-time at Minnesota State with seven career shorthanded goals.
Charting Bowling Green: The Falcons earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament following a 25-10-5 regular season in which Bowling Green finished third in the WCHA standings. BGSU greatly added to their resume by sweeping Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan in the WCHA Playoffs, and advancing to the Championship Game. This year's NCAA trip is BGSU's first since the 1989-90 season.
- Bowling Green continues to bolster one of the strongest team defenses in all of college hockey. The Falcons enter the 2019 NCAA Tournament with the second lowest goals-against-per-game average in the country at 1.82, and the second best scoring defense. BGSU has spent the majority of the season among the top three in team defense.
- Behind this defense is BGSU netminder Ryan Bednard, who has remained one of the top goaltenders in the country during postseason play. He enters the tournament with a goals-against-average of 1.78 (third best).
- Forward Max Johnson not only leads the team in points (42) and goals (19), but is also tied with teammate and fellow sophomore Connor Ford for the national lead in power play goals with 10 each.
2019 WCHA Championship Game
No. 2/3 Minnesota State came from two goals down to defeat No. 13/15 Bowling Green, 3-2, in overtime in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Championship game March 23 at Verizon Center in Mankato, Minn.
- The visiting Falcons, who outshot the Mavericks by a 10-5 margin to start the game, took 1-0 lead when Frederic Letourneau rifled a shot that beat a screened Dryden McKay high on the shortside at 14:56 of the opening period.
- After a scoreless middle frame, it became a 2-0 BGSU lead at 2:18 of the third period on a power play goal by defenseman Alec Rauhauser. Rauhauser walked in from the blue line and beat McKay with a hard wrist shot on the far side.
- It wasn't until late in the game, with McKay on the bench for an extra attacker, that the Mavericks were finally able to solve BGSU netminder Ryan Bednard. Center Jake Jaremko took a pass from Riese Zmolek and found an opening on the short side at 18:16, allowing the Mavericks to pull within one goal. Less than a minute later, and with McKay still on the bench, Connor Mackey's shot from the point beat Bednard after the puck meandered its way through several bodies in front of the net at 19:04. The score stood 2-2 at the end of regulation, sending the game into sudden death overtime.
- Then, at 1:37 of overtime, junior winger Nicholas Rivera found a deflected puck and made no mistake putting it into the net on Bednard's glove side for the game-winning tally. The goal, Rivera's ninth of the season, is his eighth career game-winning tally.
- McKay finished with 17 saves in the contest and now stands 24-6-2 on the year.
- Bednard stopped 24-of-27 shots and is now 20-7-4 for the Falcons this season.
- Minnesota State, which went 21-1-0 in home games in 2018-19, outshot BGSU by a 27-19 margin in the game.