Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team was able to force game three in the best-of-three Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Tournament Quarterfinal Round by toppling over the Bowling Green State Falcons in a 7-4 victory on Saturday evening (March 10) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The win gives Ferris State a 23-10-5 record for the 2011-12 season. BGSU falls to a 13-23-5 overall record.
The two teams will play the deciding game of the second-round series on Sunday (March 11) night beginning at 7:05 p.m. (ET) in Big Rapids with the winner moving on to the CCHA Final Four at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit next Friday and Saturday (March 16-17).
Bowling Green State tallied the first goal of the game at the 13:55 mark of the first period as freshman defenseman Connor Kucera shot the puck from the top of the left circle past a screened Bulldog goaltender in senior Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan). Ryan Carpenter was awarded the assist.
The Bulldogs had a scoring surge in the second period, which started with senior forward Derek Graham (Schoolcraft) tallying a power-play goal just 1:28 into the stanza. Junior forward and linemate Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) as well as senior forward Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wisc.) picked up the helpers.
FSU jforward Eric Alexander (Kentwood) made the game 2-1 when he jammed one past the Bowling Green netminder at the 10:28 mark of the second period. Junior forward Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) and freshman defender Jason Binkley (Powell, Ohio) received the assists.
However, Bowling Green State answered back less than two minutes later, at the 12:01 mark of the second period as Jake Sloat scored an even-strength tally.
Ferris State's Bonis was able to give the Bulldogs the lead once again as he scored his 17th goal of the season with 4:24 remaining in the second period. Sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) and Binkley notched the assists.
The third period saw six of the game's 11 goals. Falcon forward Dan DeSalvo opened up the scoring just :22 seconds into the stanza as he scored an unassisted mark to tie the game back up.
However, Bonis answered back with his second goal of the night at the 6:09 mark of the third period. Graham and freshman forward TJ Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) were able to tack on the assists.
Bonis' goal spurred four goals unanswered for the Bulldogs. Junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) notched a short-handed tally at the 8:08 mark to give FSU a 5-3 lead. Czarnowczan earned his second point of the game by feeding the puck to Kirzinger.
Sophomore forward Andy Huff (Howell) then got on the board 15:39 into the third period. Rookies Schlueter and Binkley each earned the assists. It marked Schlueter's second point on the night and Binkley's third.
Graham closed out Ferris State's scoring with 2:53 left in regulation as he scored his second goal of the night. Bonis and freshman defender Simon Denis (Burnaby, British Columbia) got the assists on the rebound goal.
Bowling Green State's Dan DeSalvo tallied his second goal of the game with 2:35 in regulation to make the final score 7-4 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The physical match resulted in 14 minutes of penalty time for the Falcons and 12 for the Bulldogs. All penalties were two-minute minors. The Bulldogs were able to capitalize 1-for-6 on the power-play and held BGSU to 0-for-5 with the man-advantage.
For the Falcons, Andrew Hammond made 34 saves in net and allowed six goals before leaving the game late in the third period due to injury. His replacement, Scott Zacharias, allowed one goal and made one save in the 4:21 he was between the pipes.
For the Bulldogs, senior netminder Nelson made 17 saves.
The two teams face off again Sunday night (March 11) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET). For tickets, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information. Tickets are on sale now and can also be purchased in advance thru StarTickets.com.