BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — After being dominated the night before, the Michigan Tech Huskies went back into the Slater Family Ice Arena and pitched a 4-0 shutout over the Bowling Green Falcons, snapping a five-game win streak and spoiling the Falcons’ senior night.
The first period started off in Bowling Green’s favor, as they put nine shots on goal within the first 10 minutes of play, but the Huskies struck first after Jake Jackson won a battle along the boards, poking the puck over to Gavin Gould, who put a wrister past the right shoulder of Ryan Bednard. Tech escaped the period without any damage done due in no small part to their penalty kill unit and freshman goaltender Robbie Beydoun.
Michigan Tech coach Joe Shawhan praised the stellar play of Beydoun, saying, “Robbie Beydoun stood and gave us the saves when we needed them, and he deserved that shutout.”
Beydoun’s fantastic goaltending gave the Falcons a large amount of frustration, as there were no bounces to be had. When asked about the difference between last night and tonight, Bowling Green coach Chris Bergeron said, “Pucks didn’t go in their net first period. We had three power-play opportunities in the first period alone and got nothing. Last night, pucks went in.”
The Huskies upped their play in the second period, as they were on the man advantage for nine minutes and had all the opportunities. The lead was extended when Gould threw a pass across the crease to a wide-open Jake Lucchini, who put away a backdoor shot that Bednard had no chance of grabbing. Things got much worse for the Falcons when defenseman Adam Smith was penalized with a game misconduct after checking a defenseless Michigan Tech player from behind, putting Tech on a five-minute power play. Huskies defenseman Mark Auk fired a slap shot from the point, beating Bednard blocker side for their third goal of the game.
The Falcons’ finally mustered a chance with a couple minutes left in the period, finding themselves in a two-on-one breakaway while shorthanded, but defenseman Dane Birks threw his body across the ice to break up what could’ve been the Falcons’ best chance all night.
“Lucchini was great,” Shawhan said. “Gould was blocking shots; there wasn’t a weak link in the armor tonight.”
When asked if he thought this was all about Michigan Tech fighting back, Bergeron said, “100 percent; they’re defending champions for a reason. I don’t want to take anything from them; they took it to us in the second period”.
The third period remained rather quiet with both teams trading off power-play opportunities and all three being killed off. The Huskies put the game away with Joel L’Esperance leading a three-on-one breakaway into the Falcons’ zone, shooting through the five-hole of Bednard for their fourth and final goal of the game.
The Falcons get a good rest, as they don’t return to the ice until Feb. 15, when they head to Anchorage. Bowling Green has already secured home-ice advantage, and the seniors will get another chance to win at home on March 2.
The Huskies will return home to face Bemidji State next Friday, with puck drop coming at 7:07 p.m.