BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — The Bowling Green State University men’s hockey team is heading to the CCHA Final Four for the first time in more than a decade.
Falcons freshman forward Dan DeSalvo figured into all the scoring, as he notched the final three goals of the game, including the game-winner 2:38 into overtime, to stun No. 2-nationally ranked Ferris State Sunday night in a 4-3 win to take the best-of-three second-round series of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs.
It’s the first time BG (14-23-5) has made it to Joe Louis Arena — the site of the CCHA championships — since the 2001 season.
Bowling Green finished last in the conference during the regular season, but it has knocked off No. 6 seed Northern Michigan and the top-seeded Bulldogs (23-11-5) in the playoffs.
The Falcons will take on No. 4-nationally ranked and second seed Michigan in the semifinal matchup on Friday. Western Michigan and Miami are in the other semifinal.
The winner of the CCHA playoffs gets an automatic berth in the 16-team NCAA tournament, which begins March 23.
Bowling Green had to rally from a 3-0 deficit after the first period. Jordie Johnston, Derek Graham, and Jason Binkley each tallied markers to give the Bulldogs the advantage after the first, outshooting the Falcons 12-10 in the stanza.
From there, Bowling Green dominated play, outshooting Ferris State 27-19 as Ryan Carpenter scored his 10th of the season 5:59 into the second on assists from Mike Sullivan and DeSalvo.
DeSalvo notched his first goal — which was unassisted — 4:43 into the third and tied the game with 4:06 remaining on assists from Ryan Peltoma and Carpenter.
DeSalvo now has 14 goals on the season, 10 in the six postseason games, which is a new CCHA postseason record, breaking the old record of eight.
BG goalie Andrew Hammond stopped 28 shots to get the win after allowing three goals on the first 12 shots he faced in the first period.