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CCHA playoffs: Northern Michigan drops series to Bowling Green with 4-1 defeat Sunday
March 4, 2012 - Matt Wellens
MARQUETTE — For the second-straight season, the Northern Michigan University hockey team watched Bowling Green State end its season in the first round of the CCHA playoffs, this time with the Falcons cruising to a 4-1 victory at the Berry Event Center on Sunday.
Northern led the series 1-0 following a 4-2 win on Friday, but the Falcons used the second period on Saturday and Sunday to advance to Big Rapids for a best-of-three second-round series with the regular season champions of Ferris State.
BGSU took advantage of seven-straight penalties on Saturday to turn a 3-1 NMU lead into a 4-3 advantage of its own with an empty net goal in the third period creating the final score.
On Sunday, BGSU took advantage of Wildcat turnovers, trips and rebounds to rally from a 1-0 deficit for a 3-1 lead heading into the third, where the Falcons added another score.
Freshman defenseman Mitch Jones scored the lone Wildcat goal in the second period, beating BGSU goaltender Andrew Hammond top shelf.
It was the lone goal Hammond allowed en route to making 34 saves.
Last season, Northern opened its first round series with BGSU with a 6-3 victory before falling 2-0 and 2-1.
This year’s Game 3 loss for Northern, however, ended drastically different than Game 3 in 2011. That year, BGSU took a 1-0 lead after the second and then NMU junior Andrew Cherniwchan tied the game early in the third to force extra periods. BGSU prevailed 34 seconds into the second overtime.
Northern now must sit and watch the PairWise rankings to see if it can somehow sneak into the NCAA tournament, though the chances are very slim. NMU entered Sunday night at No. 14, but slipped to No. 16, making them the last team out of the field if the season ended today.
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