Despite 7-2 loss to BGSU, Michigan Tech clinches WCHA berth

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — No. 14-ranked Bowling Green handed Michigan Tech (13-12-5, 9-9-5-2 WCHA) a 7-2 loss Friday at the Slater Family Ice Arena. The Falcons scored all of their goals in the final two periods.

Despite the loss, the Huskies clinched a spot in the WCHA Playoffs as Lake Superior State defeated Alaska Anchorage. The top eight teams qualify, and Tech is currently fifth in the standings. 

After a scoreless first period, Bowling Green scored four goals in the first 7:22 of the second. Mitch McLain scored on a rebound, Jacob Dalton had a long shot through traffic on the power play, Frederic Letourneau finished off a backdoor play, and Max Johnson jammed in a rebound.

“We’ve been talking about how we have to play to be the caliber of teams like Bowling Green and Minnesota State,” Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. “The first period was beautiful, but we got away from it in the second.”

Alex Smith opened scoring for the Huskies 3:48 into the third period to make it 4-1, netting a goal for the second game in a row.

Brett D’Andrea pushed it back to a four-goal game at the 11:01 mark of the third with a power-play goal.

Jake Lucchini sniped in his eighth of the season in the third frame as the Huskies added an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. Mark Auk and Smith assisted on the goal.

Bowling Green (17-8-6, 14-4-5-2 WCHA) added two more goals in the final three minutes as Connor Ford and Stephen Baylis found the back of the net.

Tech outshot the Falcons 29-23 with 13 shots in the first period and in the third. Patrick Munson had six saves in the opening 26:52, and Robbie Beydoun stopped 10 shots in the final 32:52.

Defenseman Tyler Rockwell made his Michigan Tech debut Friday.

The two teams will meet for the fifth time this season on Saturday. Tech is 0-4-1 abasing Bowling Green thus far. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m.