EAST LANSING, Mich. — Bowling Green came into Friday’s game against Michigan State as a playoff
giant killer, having won each of its last two CCHA first-round playoff matches as the underdog on the road. And the Falcons seemed ready to fulfill that role again, taking a 3-1 third-period lead in front of a stunned crowd of 5,408
at Munn Ice Arena.
Then the Munn magic kicked in.
The Spartans (25-7-5) scored two goals in the last 9:30 of the third period, including the game-tying goal by freshman center Jim Slater with 50 seconds left in regulation, to send the game into overtime. Once there, senior wing Adam Hall scored 4:57 into the extra session as MSU topped Bowling Green 4-3.
The game-winning goal was textbook Hall. The MSU captain stationed himself between the circles and took a feed from behind the net from freshman wing Brock Radunske. Radunske put the pass on Hall’s backhand, warded off a Falcon defender and tucked a shot underneath the crossbar for his 18th goal of the season.
“A little too much excitement for me,” said Hall.
“Brock did a great job. Half the thing is being in the right place at the right time, just trying to stay in the slot.”
Slater’s game-tying goal was set up by Hall, who jumped in the play as the extra attacker after goaltender Ryan Miller left the net. Hall held the puck in the offensive zone at the far point and fired a shot that Slater deflected past
Bowling Green goaltender Tyler Masters.
“[Tying the game] and going into overtime was a great feeling,” said Slater. “Hall made a great play, threw it at the net and I got my stick on it and it went over the guy’s shoulder.
Freshman wing Mike Lalonde made the score 3-2 with his second goal of the night midway through the third period on a Spartan power play. Slater, breaking into the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 with Lalonde, made a pass to his teammate on the left wing. Lalonde’s shot got over Masters’ glove hand with 9:29 left in regulation.
“All you try to do is to jump start your team in any way that you possibly can,” said MSU coach Ron Mason. “If nothing else, we wanted to try and establish ourselves and level the playing field a little bit for the game on Saturday. That’s all we were thinking about.”
Bowling Green (9-24-6) took an early 1-0 lead on a first-period goal by Steve Brudzewski. The freshman tipped a Grady Moore shot past Miller 2:13 into the game. The Spartans answered on Lalonde’s first goal of the game at 7:19.
The Falcons took a 2-1 lead with the lone goal of the second period. Senior Greg Day, the team’s leading scorer, set up defenseman Kevin Bieksa from behind the net. The Bowling Green sophomore netted his fifth goal of the year with a one-timer past Miller. Austin de Luis then gave the Falcons a 3-1 advantage 5:41 into the third period on a power play.
The victory may have been a costly one for the Spartans. Junior wing Brian Maloney, the team’s leading scorer with 33 points, left the game midway through the second period with an injury to the left side of his chest. He was admitted to Sparrow Hospital, where he will spend the night. He will not play Saturday.
MSU was also without the services of junior defenseman Brad Fast, who hurt his shoulder in the second period. He’s listed as day-to-day.