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BGSU wins Game 1 of playoff series, 4-3

Steven Kaunisto

March 7, 2008

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - No. 6 seed Bowling Green State jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on to beat No. 10 seed Lake Superior State 4-3 Friday during the first game of this weekend's Central Collegiate Hockey Association best-of-three playoff series.

LSSU (9-19-7 overall) cut the deficit to one goal on two different occasions, but BGSU (17-18-0) fended off a strong Laker attack during the final five minutes of the game and secured the home-ice victory.

The teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the BGSU Ice Arena.

Sophomore defenseman Steven Kaunisto scored two second-period goals and assisted on teammate Nathan Perkovich's third-period goal.

Bowling Green State's Andrew Krelove scored at 5:03 of the first period, and teammate John Mazzei made it 2-0 at 6:26. The Falcons built a three-goal lead when Tommy Dee scored with 3:28 remaining in the opening stanza.

Kaunisto tallied an even-strength goal at 8:53 of the second period and cut BGSU's lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 14:50. Zac MacVoy and Rick Schofield assisted on his first goal, while Perkovich Troy Schwab drew the assists on his second.

Bowling Green's Todd McIlrath scored what proved to be the game-winner at 9:10 of the third period. McIlrath and Mazzei both had a goal and an assist for the night.

Perkovich scored his 16th goal of the season at 13:59, closing the gap to 4-3. Schwab and Kaunisto had the assists. Perkovich surpassed his rookie-season goal total and now has the most goals by a Laker since Terry Marchant scored 17 in 1997-98.

BGSU, which snapped the Lakers' four-game unbeaten streak, finished 0-for-4 on the power play, while LSSU was 1-for-5. Laker goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson totaled 32 saves, including 13 in the first period and 10 in the third. BGSU netminder Nick Eno had 20 saves.

Lake Superior State Men's Ice Hockey
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