SAULT STE. MARIE, – The Bowling Green State University ice hockey team lost to Lake Superior in the first game of their playoff series Friday night, falling to the Lakers by a score of 2-0 at "Taffy" Abel Arena. Senior Andrew Hammond (8-12-3) turned away 26-of-28 shots in the loss. The Falcons were held scoreless on two power play chances, while Lake Superior was held to 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
Both the Falcons and Lakers came out with playoff intensity in the opening frame, with Bowling Green holding a slight 11-10 shot advantage. Hammond and Lake Superior net-minder Kevin Kapalka made a number of sensational saves in the first, putting the score at 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Just 21 seconds into the second period, the Lakers scored the game's first goal to take the 1-0 lead. Lake Superior's Dan Radke started the play, digging a loose puck out of the near side boards. Radke sent a pass across the zone, finding senior Domenic Monardo at the top of the slot. Monardo fired a one-timer on the pass, beating Hammond for his 20th goal of the season.
Lake Superior scored a second goal exactly two minutes later, coming off the stick of Bryce Schmitt at even strength. Lake Superior's Zach Sternberg charged into the offensive zone, deking out the Bowling Green defense to create a 2-on-1 break. Sternberg fed a pass across the slot to Schmitt, who fired home his fourth goal of the season to give LSSU the 2-0 lead.
Lake Superior's two goals in the second period would prove to be the only scoring in the contest, as neither team was able to light the lamp in the final frame. Kapalka turned away all six shots Bowling Green threw his way in the third, securing the 2-0 win for the Lakers.
This season marks the third year in a row that the Falcons have lost the opening game of the first round of the CCHA Playoffs under coach Chris Bergeron. Northern Michigan defeated the Falcons in the first game of the CCHA Playoffs in 2011 and 2012. The Falcons went on to defeat Northern Michigan both seasons, pulling out two-straight wins in back-to-back years.