Friday, March 16, 2001
Updated: March 17, 9:59 PM ET
Bowling Green's run ends in semifinals
DETROIT Michigan State's Ryan Miller showed Friday why
he's one of the best college hockey goalies in the nation.
Michigan State coach Ron Mason concurred with Powers.
"We had to call on Ryan to make some unbelievable saves in the
last five minutes," said Michigan State coach Ron Mason after
Michigan State beat Bowling Green 2-1 on Friday in the semifinal
round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association tournament.
"We might have tried to play too defensive in the third period.
We were waiting for chances instead of creating them."
While Miller protected the slim lead, senior forward Sean
Patchell provided it with his sixth and seventh goals of the
"I was fortunate," said Patchell, who also scored the winning
goal in Michigan State's 3-2 overtime victory against Alaska
Fairbanks in the first round of the playoffs. "I was in the right
place at the right time."
The victory moves the Spartans (31-4-4) into Saturday's
championship game against the winner of the Michigan-Nebraska Omaha
semifinal. Michigan State will be seeking a record 10th conference
Bowling Green, which became the lowest seed in CCHA history to
earn a berth in the semifinals, finished the season with a 16-19-5
record. The Falcons, who were ninth during the regular season,
upset No. 2 seed Miami in the first round and beat No. 5 seed
Northern Michigan 2-1 in overtime in a play-in game last Tuesday.
"We had close games a lot of times this year, but it was just
at the end of the season that we started to get some puck luck
and you need some of that to be successful," said Bowling Green
coach Buddy Powers.
Michigan State, which won the CCHA regular-season championship
with a 21-4-3 record, took a 2-1 lead into the third period after
Patchell's second goal of the game with 4:04 remaining in the
Patchell took a pass from Troy Ferguson, maintained control of
it with his skates and beat goalie Tyler Masters with a high wrist
shot from between the faceoff circles.
Bowling Green applied pressure in the third period, forcing
Miller to make 16 of his 28 saves in the period.
Patchell tied the game on a power-play goal with 38 seconds left
in the first period. John-Michael Liles shot came off the boards to
Patchell, who lifted the puck over Masters from the edge of the
Bowling Green defenseman Kevin Bieksa broke a scoreless tie at
16:36 of the first period. He intercepted a clearing pass by the
Spartans and fired a quick shot from the high slot that beat Miller
before he could recover after being bumped by the Falcons' Ryan
"I thought that in the second period we really established
ourselves," Mason said. "Maybe the fact that they scored first
picked us up."