Bulldogs' Two-Game Win Streak Halted By Buckeyes In Opener
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team had its two-game winning streak snapped as the Bulldogs suffered a 3-1 setback to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the opening game of a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) weekend series on Friday (Jan. 11) night inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The setback came before an announced crowd of 2,129 fans in Big Rapids.
The Buckeyes opened the scoring at 8:22 of the first period when Alex Szczechura shot the puck around sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte's left skate from the right circle on even-strength after receiving the pass from Tanner Fritz and Max McCormick.
OSU was then able to take a 2-0 advantage at 14:46 of the first period as Chris Crane notched a backhanded goal at even-strength from the left circle off a feed from Travis Statchuk and Sam Jardine.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the second period, but the Buckeyes tallied their third goal of the evening when Crane slid the puck past the left post off a pass from Chad Niddery and Nick Oddo at 1:52 of the third period. The marker was Crane's second of the night and fifth of the season.
The Bulldogs cut the margin to 3-1 at the 11:13 mark of the final frame when sophomore center Dom Panetta tallied his second assist of the season by finding the stick of sophomore wing Justin Buzzeo, who notched the lone goal of the evening for the Bulldogs from the bottom right circle for his fourth lamplighter this season. The initial pass came from sophomore defenseman Travis White, marking his fourth assist of the campaign.
With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 9-9-3 overall along with 7-7-1 record in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes improved to 8-8-5 overall and now hold a 7-3-3 record in the CCHA. The two teams had entered the contest tied for fourth place in the CCHA standings.
Motte was in net for 58 minutes and made a total of 24 saves on the night for the Bulldogs while Brady Hjelle was in net for 59 minutes and made 38 saves for the Buckeyes on the opposite end of the ice. The Bulldogs led the shots by a count of 39-27 overall.
FSU had four penalties for the night totaling eight minutes and OSU had six penalties for the night for a total of 12 minutes. The Buckeyes were unable to convert on three power-play opportunities and the Bulldogs were unable to find the net on five power-play chances.
Friday's loss was only the second for the Bulldogs in the last seven meetings against Ohio State.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday (Jan. 12) night for the final time in CCHA regular-season action. FSU will depart for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) next season while OSU is set to move to the Big Ten Conference. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for Saturday's game can be purchased online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737. The FSU Athletics Ticket Office will also open at 12 p.m. (ET) on Saturday and be open until gametime. For more information, please call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.