Kesti Lifts Northern Michigan Past Bowling Green In Overtime, 3-2
Senior forward Ryan Kesti scores game-winning goal for Wildcats

Senior forward Ryan Kesti scored the game-winning goal for the Wildcats
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
2nd 3:06  BGS1-0 EV Brandon Hawkins (11)Ben Murphy/10, Braden Pears/1
3rd 8:30  NMU1-1 PP Gerard Hanson (4)Darren Nowick/12, Mitch Jones/6
3rd 17:37  BGS2-1 EV Pierre-Luc Mercier (7)Mitchell McLain/9, Sean Walker/9
3rd 18:04  NMU2-2 EV Robbie Payne (5)John Siemer/9, Luke Eibler/1
OT 3:36  NMU3-2 EV GW Ryan Kesti (6)Sami Salminen/6, Michael Doan/1
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Northern Michigan  00213
Bowling Green  01102
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd OT SOG
Northern Michigan  768324
Bowling Green  11149539
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Northern Michigan (12-13-6)  1/3 2/4 0
Bowling Green (18-8-5)  0/2 3/6 0
Northern Michigan Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Michael Doan (W, 2-6-2)63:362 11138537
Bowling Green Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Tommy Burke (L, 9-4-3)63:363 766221

Bowling Green, Ohio - Despite outshooting Northern Michigan 39-24, the No. 8-ranked Bowling Green State University hockey team lost to the Wildcats 3-2 in overtime Friday night. Northern Michigan rallied with the game-tying goal with 1:56 to play in regulation and then won the contest 3:36 into overtime.

In a game that saw a wild third period and overtime session, Northern Michigan was able to find enough offense to upend the Falcons and keep BGSU from clinching home ice for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Tournament First Round. Bowling Green needs just one point Saturday or a Bemidji State loss to clinch a top four seed for the league's season-ending tournament.

"We've tried to emphasize getting back to that relentless style of play," BGSU head coach Chris Bergeron said. "That relentlessness was there. It always comes back to haunt you when you don't bear down on the other team's net. Our mistakes tonight were colossal mistakes."

BGSU was the aggressor throughout and took a 1-0 lead into the third period. But Northern Michigan tied the score 8:30 into the final frame on a power play goal by Gerard Hanson. The Falcons boast the top penalty kill unit in the country but the Wildcats were 1-for-3 on the power play on the evening. As regulation wound down, the Falcons took the lead on what appeared to be the game-winner when Pierre-Luc Mercier buried a shot with assists from Mitch McLain and Sean Walker with only 2:23 remaining in the contest.

BGSU fans barely had time to sit down before Northern Michigan evened it up again on a Robbie Payne score just 27 seconds later that made it 2-2. The overtime session was up-and-down with Bowling Green holding a 5-3 shots advantage but Northern Michigan was able to transition following a strong scoring opportunity from the Falcons for a 2-on-1. Ryan Kesti converted on the opportunity for the win.

Bowling Green outshot Northern Michigan 11-7 in the first period and then 14-6 in the second but only took a 1-0 lead into the third on Brandon Hawkins' wrister from the point early in the middle period. (Listen to Evan Pivnick's goal call by CLICKING HERE) The goal tied him for the team lead with 11 and was his team-high 22nd point of the season. Assists came from Ben Murphy and Braden Pears. For Murphy, it extended his point streak to five games while Pears scored his first collegiate point in just his second collegiate game. Hawkins' goal extended his career-best four-game point streak.

The Falcons were 0-for-2 with the man advantage and have now gone 28 straight power plays without a score.

Hawkins had a team-high five shots on the evening, while Murphy and Brett D'Andrea added four each. Nolan Valleau had two blocks, while Mercier went 12-2 on faceoffs and Mark Cooper went 13-7. BGSU's 39 shots on goal were the most for the team since posting 41 in a 3-1 win over Lake Superior State on Jan. 24.

With the win, Northern Michigan improves to 12-13-6 overall and 9-10-4 in the WCHA. Bowling Green falls to 18-8-5 overall and 14-6-3 in the conference. The two teams will play again Saturday at the BGSU Ice Arena at 7:07 pm.