FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Bowling Green State University hockey team completed the first round sweep over Alaska on Saturday night (March 8), picking up a 3-2 win behind a pair of 4v4 goals in the third period by Will Cullen and T.J. Lloyd to advance to the semifinals of the WCHA playoffs. The sweep over Alaska is the first in the series since the 2014-15 season and also extends the Bowling Green unbeaten streak to 10 games, the longest active streak in the nation. With Minnesota State and Michigan Tech also advancing, the Falcons will await the results of Sunday's (March 9) game between Bemidji State and Lake Superior State to see who their next opponent will be. If Bemidji State wins, then Bowling Green will travel to Bemidji, Minnesota for the second round. However, if Lake Superior State wins, then Bowling Green would host Michigan Tech.
- With just over a minute remaining in the first period, Max Johnson registered his first goal of the postseason, netting the score with assists from Brandon Kruse and Casey Linkenheld to give the Falcons the 1-0 lead heading to the intermission.
- The next goal didn't come until the third period, seeing Caleb Hite tie the game for Alaska with a rebound goal. Kyle Marino and Roberts Kalkis had the assists.
- Less than a minute later, Cullen scored his goal on a 4v4 play, being set up perfectly in front of the net by Kruse with Johnson having the secondary assist.
- Just over a minute after Cullen's goal, Lloyd added one of his own, being scored unassisted, to extend the lead for the Falcons to 3-1.
-On a power play, Alaska added another score to pull within one, coming off the stick of Max Newton with assists from Kylar Hope and Chris Jandric.
Other Key Plays
- Despite a low action first period, the Falcons still exited the period with a strong advantage in shots on goal, leading 15-5 at the break.
- In the second period, the Falcons came up empty after two power plays that occured with just seconds separating them.
- With the final seconds ticking down in the second period, the Falcons missed a goal by mere inches with the Alaska goalie swatting it away at the last second, sending the teams to the break with the Falcons leading 1-0.
- As time expired in the second period, there was some pushing and shoving between the teams that resulted in penalties to begin the third. A five-minute major to Alaska and a two-minute roughing against the Falcons were called, resulting in 4v4 hockey at the front end of the third.
- Just 22 seconds after the Nanooks' first goal of the night a player from each team went to the box, bringing on 4v4 hockey in which the Falcons scored two goals.
- With near back-to-back penalties against Alaska late in the third period, Bowling Green saw over a minute of 5v3 action, but were unable to net an insurance goal.
- Around the one minute remaining mark in the third period, the Nanooks pulled their goalie, but Bowling Green still warded off the attack to secure the win.
Falcon Stat Facts
- Picking up the sweep over Alaska, the Falcons accomplished the first sweep in the series since the 2014-15 season, also belonging to Bowling Green in Fairbanks.
- The win also continues the unbeaten streak for Bowling Green, now reaching 10 games which is the longest active streak in the nation, going 8-0-2 over the span.
- With his first period goal, Johnson revived his success from last year's March when he scored a total of 14 points, including six goals, over eight games. Of his six goals, five came in the WCHA playoffs. Tonight, Johnson also added an assist to his line for his sixth multiple-point performance this season and third over his last six games, totaling eight points over the last six games as well, pushing his career point total to 97.
- After assisting on a goal last night, Cullen scored his own tonight, which reclaimed the lead for the Falcons and extended Cullen's career-high for goals in a single season with seven during the 2019-20 campaign.
- For the second consecutive night, Kruse registered two assists, being his fifth multiple-assist game of the year and moving his career point total to 107. The multiple-point effort was also Kruse's 26th of his career, tying Alec Rauhauser for the most on the active roster.
- Scoring the Falcons' third goal of the game, Lloyd extended his hold as the highest scoring freshman on the roster with his third goal of the season and 10th point. The goal also went down as the game-winner, his first in his young collegiate career.
- When leading at the end of the second period, the Falcons are now 16-2-2 on the season. Similarly, they are 16-3-1 when scoring three goals or more.
- With Minnesota State and Michigan Tech advancing, the Falcons will await their opponent based on the outcome of the Bemidji State, Lake Superior State game on Sunday (March 8), set for a 7:07 p.m. EST puck drop.
- If Bemidji State wins, the Falcons will head to Bemidji, Minnesota for the second round. If Lake Superior State takes the victory, then Bowling Green will host Michigan Tech.