|1st||10:02||FSU||1-0||SH||Matt Robertson (6)||Chad McDonald/12, Zach Dorer/3|
|2nd||15:45||BGS||1-1||EV||Brandon Hawkins (10)||Mark Cooper/10, Mark Friedman/15|
|3rd||0:49||FSU||2-1||EV||Kyle Schempp (7)||Corey Mackin/14, Gerald Mayhew/19|
|3rd||3:14||BGS||2-2||EV||Kevin Dufour (12)||-|
|3rd||5:13||BGS||3-2||EV GW||Mitchell McLain (5)||Sean Walker/16, Tyler Spezia/6|
|3rd||9:30||BGS||4-2||EV||Mitchell McLain (6)||Tyler Spezia/7, Matt Pohlkamp/15|
|3rd||19:06||BGS||5-2||EV EN||Mark Cooper (14)||Stephen Baylis/7, Brandon Hawkins/10|
|3rd||19:24||BGS||6-2||EV||Brett D'Andrea (3)||Ben Murphy/8, Mark Friedman/16|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Ferris State (14-13-6)||0/4||4/8||1|
|Bowling Green (19-11-6)||0/3||5/10||0|
|Ferris State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Darren Smith (L, 11-8-5)||59:19||5||9||9||7||25|
|Bowling Green Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Chris Nell (W, 15-8-6)||60:00||2||7||13||9||29|
Bowling Green, Ohio - The Bowling Green Falcons exploded for five goals in the third period and earned home ice in the first round of the 2016 WCHA Tournament with a 6-2 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs on Senior Night Saturday at the BGSU Ice Arena.
The Falcons closed out their regular season home schedule with a flourish, as they earned their sixth sweep of the season. BGSU is now 10-4-5 at home overall and 8-1-5 in WCHA games. That is the best conference home record since the Falcons were 11-1-1 at the Ice Arena in the CCHA during the 1994-95 season.
"This keeps us in the conversation for a regular season championship," BGSU Head Coach Chris Bergeron said. "We took care of what we need to this weekend. Our group just kept pushing and kept coming. That's when we're at our best as a collective unit."
Bowling Green featured a diverse offensive attack that played its best in the third period for the second straight night. Five players scored a goal and 11 earned at least one point. Mitch McLain scored two goals for the first time in his career, while senior Mark Cooper posted two points in his final regular season game at home. It was his 12th career multiple-point game.
Sophomore goaltender Chris Nell was once again an impenetrable wall when it counted most. He saved 29 of 31 shots overall, but more importantly, he saved each of FSU's final ten shots after they took a 2-1 lead.
Much like Friday night, the first period was played evenly, but the Bulldogs managed to escape with the lead.
Just before the midpoint of the first, FSU's Sean O'Rourke was called for high-sticking. Right away, their penalty kill unit created a 2-on-1 breakaway, and Matt Robertson tipped a pass through Nell from just outside the crease for a 1-0 lead with 9:58 left in the period.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of FSU until late in the second period. Brandon Hawkins controlled a scramble for the puck in the right corner. He skated behind the net and into the left circle, where he fired a shot past Darren Smith with 4:15 on the clock. The score tied the game at 1-1. Cooper and Mark Friedman were awarded assists on the play.
With 1:17 left in the second, McLain was sent to the penalty box for slashing, and this helped set up FSU's final goal. BGSU killed off the power play as the third period began, but just six seconds after the Falcons returned to full strength, Kyle Schempp scored to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 edge.
BGSU wasted little time in responding to the adversity. FSU turned the puck over at the point, and Kevin Dufour raced with it on a clean breakaway. His back-hander sailed past Smith to even the game at 2-2 with 16:46 left in regulation.
Dufour's goal opened up the offense for the Falcons, and McLain scored the next two goals. Both came from just outside the crease, four minutes apart, and the Falcons were just 10:30 away from victory with a 4-2 lead.
The Bulldogs aggressively responded, and Nell made several tough saves before Ferris State pulled Smith within the final two minutes. Cooper took advantage of the empty net after a turnover by sending home a shot from the neutral zone with 54 seconds to go for a 5-2 lead.
Shortly after, Brett D'Andrea closed the scoring with a shot from the left circle past Smith. It was BGSU's fifth goal of the period and sixth of the night, and both equaled season highs. The Falcons' only other five-goal period of the season was Jan. 21 against Alaska-Anchorage.
Mark Friedman finished with two assists for his second such game and fourth multiple-point game of the season. He and Sean Walker are now tied for the team lead with 16 assists. Friedman also had a +4 on-ice rating -- a career-best.
Tyler Spezia assisted on two goals for the first time in his career. The two-point game was just the second of his career (Minnesota State, Oct. 31, 2014). He finished the weekend with three points.
Dufour also earned three points during the sweep, all of which were goals. Cooper and McLain led the team with four points, and Cooper now has a team-best 24 points this season.
"This weekend was all about those senior guys and what they've done," McLain, a sophomore, said. "Guys who aren't playing all the time, guys who are in-and-out, guys who are there every day. Everyone in that room tonight wanted to win for those guys."
BGSU is now 19-11-6 overall and 15-6-5 in WCHA play. They have clinched home-ice in the first round of the WCHA Tournament, which will take place from March 11-13. The Falcons remain tied with Michigan Tech with 35 points. Both teams are currently tied (as of story publication) with Minnesota State for first place.
The Falcons conclude the 2015-16 regular season next weekend with a pair of games at Alabama-Huntsville. The games will be held on Friday and Saturday at 8:07 pm.