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Bemidji State ends road trip with loss at Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team hung with Bowling Green until the very end Friday night, Jan. 4, before an empty-net goal delivered the Ohioans a 3-1 victory to split the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.

The Falcons (14-4-3, 9-3-2-2 WCHA), who entered the series No. 8 in the PairWise rankings, got off to a hot start by scoring twice in the first 5 minutes, 30 seconds of the game.

Brandon Kruse scored at the 2:13 mark of the first period before Taylor Schneider tacked on the team’s second goal of the night three minutes later.

The pace settled down as the frame wore on and the Beavers (9-10-3, 7-6-1-0 WCHA) tightened defensively.

BSU benefited from a BGSU penalty late in the period. Justin Baudry came through for a power-play goal to put the Beavers on the board with six seconds to go.

The second period ended with the score stuck at 2-1 entering the final frame.

Bemidji State had its chances to find an equalizer, outshooting BGSU 11-5, but none of them found the back of the net.

Goalie Zach Driscoll was pulled for the extra attacker with less than two minutes to go in regulation.

Connor Ford scored on the empty net with 38 seconds on the clock to put the game out of reach, finalizing the score at 3-1.

Driscoll, making consecutive starts for the first time as a Beaver, stopped 22 shots out of 24 faced as he fell to 4-5-1 on the season.

Ryan Bednard saved 24 of 25 shots in the win for the Falcons as he improved to 12-3-2.

The Beaver penalty kill held BGSU scoreless on five power plays, while BSU finished 1-for-4 on the advantage.

The Beavers will return home for the first time in 2019 next weekend as they’ll host Alaska in a WCHA series at the Sanford Center, Jan. 11-12. Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:07 p.m., while Saturday’s contest will start at 5:07 p.m.

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