October 27, 2011

FSU Hockey Drops Game One Of Top 10 Battle

Highlights 

Ann Arbor, Mich. - The nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team suffered its first loss of the 2011-12 campaign on Thursday (Oct. 27) evening as the Bulldogs dropped a 5-2 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) road decision to fourth-ranked Michigan at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.

With the loss in the showdown of top 10-ranked teams, Ferris State fell to 6-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the CCHA.  Michigan improved to 5-1-1 overall and 1-1-1 in league play with the victory before a crowd of 4,751 fans.  The contest was televised live by Comcast.

After a scoreless first period, Michigan struck for three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second frame.  UM's Phil Di Giuseppe scored the game's first goal at 4:20 of the second off assists by Chris Brown and David Wohlberg in a power-play situation.  It was his fourth goal of the campaign.

The Wolverines came up with their second goal less than four minutes later at 8:08 of the second when Travis Lynch notched Michigan's second lamplighter in a delayed penalty situation for his third goal of the year.  Mac Bennett and Lee Moffie were credited with assists.

The third UM goal of the second came at 9:42 as Wohlberg found the back of the net on the power play for this third goal of the season off helpers from Lindsay Sparks and Zach Hyman. 

Ferris State closed the gap to 3-1 after two periods as senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) tallied a power-play marker at 16:51 with an assist to freshman right wing T.J. Schlueter (Lafayette, Ind.).  It represented Billins' first goal of the season and the fourth assist for Schlueter.

Michigan increased its lead to 4-1 at 7:10 into the third when Derek Deblois notched an even-strength goal from Alex Guptill and Lindsay Sparks for his first goal the 2011-12 campaign.

FSU bounced back and closed the gap to 4-2 at the 13:02 mark of the final period when senior center Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) scored his third goal of the year in a power play situation.  Assists went to sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) and Billins.

However, the Wolverines shut the door as Di Giuseppe recorded his second goal of the game and fifth of the season with only 1:53 remaining as the Bulldogs were trying to pull senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) off the ice. Brown picked up his second assist of the night.

Nelson suffered his first loss in net for the Bulldogs this season despite making 23 saves.

The victory went to Michigan's Shawn Hunwick, who stopped 28 Bulldog scoring chances for the Wolverines.

Overall, the Bulldogs held a slim 30-28 advantage in total shots with nine in the first, 12 in the second and nine more in the third.  Michigan totaled seven shots in the initial frame and had 13 in the middle period to go along with eight in the final period.

Schlueter paced FSU with a game-high five shots on goal in the contest.

Ferris State had five penalties on the night for 10 total minutes compared to Michigan's three penalties for six minutes.  The Bulldogs finished two-of-three on the power play, but Michigan also converted twice and went two-of-five in the outing.

The loss snapped FSU's season-opening six-game unbeaten string, which represented the Bulldogs' best start since winning eight consecutive games in the 1979-80 campaign.

The two teams will hit the ice again on Friday night (Oct. 28) as the Bulldogs try to earn the split in the series finale starting at 7:35 p.m. at Yost Ice Arena.  The game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. (ET).

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