October 7, 2011

Bulldog Hockey Skates To Season-Opening Win

Big Rapids, Mich. - Two goals from junior forward Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) helped secure a victory for the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team as the Bulldogs opened the 2011-12 season with a 4-2 win on the road against the St. Lawrence Saints in a non-league game this Friday (Oct. 7) at Appleton Arena in Canton, N.Y.

Ferris State (1-0-0) tallied two power-play goals in eight opportunities while the Bulldogs held St. Lawrence (0-1-0) scoreless in four extra-skater chances. St. Lawrence did manage to outshoot the Bulldogs, 25-21, in the non-league contest.

Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes of action, St. Lawrence tallied the first lamp-lighter of the game with 6:55 left in the second period after an even-strength goal by Jordan Dewey.

However, less than three minutes later, with 4:06 remaining in the second period, freshman right wing TJ Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) scored the Bulldogs' first goal of the 2011 campaign on a power-play to tie the game at 1-1. Schlueter's initial one-timer rebounded to junior forward Eric Alexander (Kentwood) and then senior defender Chad Billins (Marysville) before bringing it back to Schlueter, who tapped the puck past St. Lawrence goalie Matt Weninger.

Ouellette gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the night at 3:21 into the third period. After Schlueter regained possession of the puck from a Saints' defender, he passed it to Ouellette, who skated past the St. Lawrence defender on a man-advantage opportunity for a goal.

Junior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) went end-to-end to make it a 3-1 game with the teams skating four-on-four at 15:19 in the third on his first goal of the campaign. The Saints struck back soon after in the same four-on-four as Kyle Flanagan put away a rebound shot exactly a minute later to make it a 3-2 game.

Ouellette scored a security goal for the Bulldogs by netting his second marker of the game when he notched an empty net goal with 11.2 seconds remaining in the tilt.  Ouellette and Schlueter both posted multi-point games with Ouellette tallying two goals and Schlueter making a strong collegiate debut with a goal and an assist.

Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) picked up the win by making 23 saves, including 11 in the third period, in a complete-game effort. St. Lawrence netminder Matt Weninger turned away 17 Bulldog shots on goal in suffering the loss.

The Bulldogs and Saints conclude the two-game series this Saturday (Oct. 8) afternoon with opening faceoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (ET) from Canton, N.Y. The contest will be streamed live at www. FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

Notes: Ferris State improved 12-18-3 in season-opening contests and has now prevailed in its last three openers to date … FSU is now 11-19-13 in road openers dating back to 1979-80 as a result of the victory … The Bulldogs improved to 5-2-0 to date in the all-time series against St. Lawrence … Taylor Nelson notched his 16th career win in the season-opening triumph.

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