SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Just 24 hours after a game that coach Chris Bergeron described as a disappointment, the Bowling Green Falcons rebounded against the Lake Superior State University Lakers.
The Falcons beat the Lakers, 6-3, on Saturday night to extend their first round CCHA playoff series to three games.
Bergeron spoke highly of the effort level of the Falcons following Saturday’s game.
“Our effort was great,” said Bergeron. “We challenged our leadership and our older guys and got after them a little bit. We played (Friday night) like there was 20 more games left in the season. We were way more urgent tonight, and our desperation was better. All the things we have to do well to give ourselves a chance, we were much better at tonight.”
For Lakers coach Jim Roque, the Falcons desperation level was different than what the Lakers saw on Friday night.
“(Bowling Green) played better than us,” said Roque. “They were on the puck a lot harder, and got a couple of good bounces that they needed to around the net for rebounds. They were a little more desperate obviously with their season being on the line.”
Bergeron added that some lineup changes also played a role in the win.
“When I look at the changes, (Marc) Rodriguez responded well and Ryan Peltoma played a good game,” said Bergeron. “Those were guys that were out (Friday) night. The lead was the (Ryan) Carpenter’s, the (Camden) Wojtala’s and Bobby Shea, who I thought played a better game tonight. It was a tweak to give other guys an opportunity, but the leadership were the guys that were challenged the most and answered the bell really well.”
After Eric Drapluk of Lake State and Ryan Peltoma of Bowling Green traded first-period goals, the Falcons scored four times in the second period to build up a 5-2 lead through 40 minutes.
Camden Wojtala gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead just over six minutes into the period and Bryce Williamson increased the lead to 3-1. Drapluk scored his second goal of the night to cut the lead to 3-2. Adam Berkle and Ryan Carpenter turned the 3-2 lead into a 5-2 lead before the end of the period.
Chris Ciotti pulled the Lakers to within two after he scored during a scramble in front of Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond to make the score 5-3. Bowling Green thought they had a 6-3 lead shortly after Ciotti’s goal, but a chance by Carpenter was reviewed and ultimately disallowed.
The Falcons eventually sealed the win late in the game with an empty-net goal credited to Bobby Shea, but Bergeron told media following the game he thought the shot came from Carpenter.
Bowling Green goaltender Andrew Hammond stopped 21 shots in the win. Kevin Murdock got the start for the Lakers and stopped 17 shots through two periods before making way for Kevin Kapalka, who stopped nine shots in the third period.