Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team fell in a 4-2 decision against the Western Michigan Broncos this Friday evening (Dec. 2) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. The contest marked the first of two games in a home-and-home series against the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) foes.
With the loss, the nationally sixth-ranked Bulldogs stand at 10-4-1 overall and tote a 6-4-1 CCHA record. The victory snapped a five-game winless streak for WMU as the Broncos improve to a 7-4-4 overall and 5-4-2 in CCHA play.
The game was scoreless through the first period and the deadlock tie was broken at 6:40 in the second when Bulldog junior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) netted the first goal of the game and his eighth of the season as a wide shot from senior Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) found Bonis' stick. Senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) also got an assist on the goal.
The remainder of the second period remained 1-0 in favor of the Bulldogs. At the 11:41 mark of the third period, Western Michigan's Jordan Oesterle scored off a rebound shot to get the Broncos on the board and tie the contest up at a goal apiece.
Bronco defender Matt Tennyson then scored two back-to-back goals on a delayed penalty and on a power play at the 11:41 and 12:18 marks in the third period.
The Bulldogs were able to gain some momentum soon after as junior right wing Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) scored a short-handed goal with a one-timer from the right circle. Sophomore Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) and senior Jordie Johnston earned the helpers.
With the score at 3-2 in favor of the Broncos, Ferris State pulled the goalie for the extra-attacker. The Bulldogs had some quality chances, but were unable to convert as Western Michigan tallied an empty net goal to secure the 4-2 victory.
Although senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) recorded the loss, he was able to stop an impressive 34 of the Broncos' 37 shots on goal. The total included 11 shots in the first and 12 in the second.
Ferris State had an identical 10 shots on goal in both the first and second period. They were held to only five shots on goal in the third. Western Michigan freshman goalie Frank Slubowski made 23 saves in the win.
WMU was 1-of-6 on power play opportunities where Ferris State was 0-of-3 for the night.
The Bulldogs will battle for a series' split on Saturday evening (Dec. 3) at 7:05 p.m. (EDT) at the Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamzoo, Mich.