Defending Champs Win CCHA Opener Over Alaska
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 18th-ranked Ferris State University men's hockey team opened defense of its Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season Championship by defeating the Alaska Nanooks 6-3 on Friday (Oct. 26) night before 1,589 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Ferris State won for the second time in its last three contests as the Bulldogs improved to 2-1-2 overall and started off 1-0-0 in CCHA competition.
Alaska defenseman Kaare Odegard notched the first goal of the night only 1:17 into the contest off an assist from fellow defenseman Trevor Campbell to give the Nanooks the quick advantage.
The Nanooks scored their second goal of the night to take a 2-0 lead at 14:03 of the opening frame when wing Colton Beck tallied a power-play goal with forward Cody Kunyk and defenseman Michael Quinn picking up assists.
The Bulldogs managed to trim the lead to a single goal at 17:58 of the opening frame when freshman defenseman Connor Schmidt scored his first collegiate goal in unassisted fashion.
Then, less than a minute later, senior wing Kyle Bonis notched his third goal of the season to tie the game up at two goals apiece. Sophomore defensemen Jason Binkley and Travis White were each credited with assists.
The Nanooks quickly answered back when wing Andy Taranto scored Alaska's third goal of the opening period off an assist from defenseman Justin Tateson with only 26 seconds remaining in the first stanza.
However, the Bulldogs tied the game again at 3-3 when sophomore wing Simon Denis tallied his second goal of the season 9:35 into the second in a four-on-four situation. Senior wing Eric Alexander and FSU's TJ Schlueter both tallied assists.
Bonis scored his second goal of the night on a power-play at 11:06 of the second to give the Bulldogs the lead for good with the pass coming from White and Binkley.
The Bulldogs' third goal of the second period came off Alexander's stick as he posted his second of the season at 13:34 to put the Bulldogs ahead by a 5-3 count. Schmidt and junior wing Andy Huff earned the assists.
The lone goal of the third period came from Bulldog junior center Cory Kane in an unassisted manner with only 4:30 to go in the contest.
The Nanooks outshot the Bulldogs 43-32 on the evening, but FSU held a 15-9 edge in a big second period.
Ferris State sophomore goaltender CJ Motte saved 40 shots while playing the entire 60 minutes in net while the Nanooks' Steve Thompson totaled 26 saves.
FSU finished two-of-three with the man-advantage while Alaska was one-of-five on the power play. FSU had six penalties for 12 minutes with Alaska called for four penalties totaling eight minutes.
The Nanooks dropped to 2-2-1 overall and 0-1-0 in the CCHA.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday (Oct. 27) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena with the puck drop for the season finale set for 7:05 p.m. (ET). A special Halloween Costume Party will take place in conjunction with the game and three Bulldog players will sign autographs in the main concourse following the conclusion of the action.
Tickets for Saturday's game can be purchased by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or online at StarTickets.com. Visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information.