SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- Lake Superior State fell 5-2 to Bowling Green in Saturday's (Dec. 3) Western Collegiate Hockey Association series finale.
The Lakers (8-8-0, 6-6-0 WCHA) scored a pair of goals in the second period to take a 2-2 tie into the third period but the Falcons(8-8-2, 7-4-1-1 WCHA) scored a trio of goals in the final period to ice the victory. Junior forward Mitch McLain tallied a hat trick on the BGSU empty net goal to pace the Falcons offensively with a three-goal night.
BGSU took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on McLain's first goal of the night. Three and half minutes into the middle period, freshman Brayden Gelsinger knotted things up with his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Josh Nenadal and Kyle Chatham.
With Gelsinger's goal came a shower of teddy bears from the stands as 1,944 fans inside Taffy Abel Arena launched stuffed animals onto the ice to donate to local children in need during the holiday season.
McLain responded two minutes later with a power-play goal to put the Falcons ahead 2-1.
With 7:37 left in the second period sophomore forward Gage Torrel picked up his third point of the weekend by swatting a tipped puck out of midair and past Ryan Bednard to tie the game at 2-2. Line mate Mitch Hults added the assist for his third helper in the weekend series against BGSU.
Torrel's tally was the last hiccup in Bednard's evening as the freshman netminder provided the Falcons with 28 saves to improve his record to 2-1-0 on his rookie campaign.
Lakers goaltender Gordon Defiel surrendered a pair of goals in the third period, including a shorthanded tally that the junior netminder misplayed and coughed up to Lukas Craggs for the unassisted goal. Craggs' fourth goal of the season coming 5:44 into the final period would stand as the eventual game winner.
Senior Kevin Dufour would later make it a 4-2 contest with his fifth goal of the season with 8:04 remaining, followed by McLain's exclamation mark on the split, tallying his second hat trick in three weeks on the empty net with 23 seconds remaining.
Saturday's loss to BGSU gives the Lakers' their second consecutive weekend series split, as they head to WCHA frontrunner Bemidji State next weekend. The Lakers and Beaver renew their storied rivalry, which dates back to the teams' NAIA National Championship days of the late 1960's and early 1970's, next Friday and Saturday night at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.