The cold rainy weather did not stop Bowling Green State University hockey fans from showing up to an important CCHA matchup for the Falcons.
The hockey team (8-9-0, 7-6-0 CCHA) lost to the Minnesota State Mavericks (11-4-3, 7-3-3 CCHA) 2-1 at the Slater Family Ice Arena on Friday.
The puck dropped in front of electric fans with BGSU sophomore Christian Stoever and MSU freshman Alex Tracy in net.
The Falcons started off hot, with multiple offensive chances.
As the game became more physical, encouraging chants cheering on the Falcons filled the arena.
Falcon defenseman Ben Wozney received the first penalty call of the game, but Minnesota State could not capitalize.
Immediately after, MSU defenseman Jake Livingstone sat in the box for interference for BGSU’s first power play of the night.
Nothing came from the advantage, but it was clear that the Falcons were fighting hard for the first goal.
The first came to a close with no points on the board.
The second period began with an early penalty for the Falcons as BG forward Evan Dougherty sat in the sin bin for tripping.
Mavericks got on the board first as center Christian Fitzgerald blasted one high past Stoever’s shoulder to make it 1-0.
The Falcons retaliated with as sophomore Austen Swankler redirected the puck past Tracy to make it 1-1.
Five minutes into the period, Stoever faced 10 consecutive shots, but was able to stop them all.
Minnesota State controlled the ice for the first 10 minutes of the period, but the Falcons acted calm and collective.
At the 11:20 mark, MSU defenseman Mason Wheeler went to the box for interference for BGSU’s second power play opportunity of the night.
The Falcons could not convert and it was back to 5-on-5 hockey.
With less than two minutes left, the Mavericks took the lead with a goal by senior Ryan Sandelin to make it 2-1.
The second period expired with the Falcons desperately looking for a goal in the third.
The third period began with the Falcons immediately in their offensive zone, trying to cut the wide shot differential of 40-16 MSU.
With 15 minutes to go, Bowling Green gained a power play for a golden chance to tie the game.
However, Minnesota’s suffocating PK unit would not allow any goals.
Another glimmer of hope came with a hooking call on the Mavs with more than half of the period left.
The man advantage was shortened as Falcon captain Alex Barber went to the penalty box for roughing.
Although the penalty was killed off, the ice seemed tilted toward Stoever’s net.
With five minutes to go, the Falcons needed to turn up the pressure to get a puck into Tracy’s net.
BGSU head coach Ty Eigner challenged for a major with seconds left, but the Mavericks came out victorious.
Despite the loss, Eigner said the special teams has been a great asset in their play.
“We hope the special teams stick to how they are now, because they’re definitely a positive for us,” Eigner said .
Bowling Green faces Minnesota State again on Saturday at the Slater Family Ice Arena. Puck drop is at 7:07 p.m.