Post Game Presser
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team completed a weekend home-and-home sweep over the Michigan State Spartans by posting a 5-2 triumph in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action to close the final league series in regular-season play between the two teams before a sellout crowd of 2,490 fans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids on Saturday (Jan. 19) night.
With the win, the Bulldogs held onto sole possession of fourth place in the league standings with 31 points and now trail league leaders Notre Dame and Western Michigan by only two points in the CCHA standings. Third-place Miami (Ohio) is only one point ahead of the Bulldogs after this weekend's action.
The Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead at 3:33 of the opening period when senior wing Kyle Bonis buried his 11th goal of the season from the middle of the right circle on the first power-play of the evening. Junior wing Garrett Thompson and senior center Travis Ouellette both recorded their 10th assists of the season.
The Spartans were able to tie the game at 1-1 just under four minutes later at 7:03 of the first period when Matt DeBlouw shot the puck around sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte's left skate from the bottom of the right circle after receiving the feed from Matt Berry and Jake Chellios.
The second period was action-filled as the Bulldogs scored two goals a little over a minute apart before the Spartans notched their second goal of the night.
Senior wing Eric Alexander tallied his fifth goal of the season from the left circle on a two-on-one at 10:26 after receiving the feed from junior wing Andy Huff and junior center Cory Kane, who earned their fourth and eighth assists, respectively.
Then, at 11:41, sophomore center Dom Panetta registered his first collegiate goal from the half wall near the left circle to put the Bulldogs in front by a 3-1 count. Freshman wing Kenny Babinski earned his third assist of the season and freshman wing Dakota Klecha tallied his first assist of this campaign on the goal.
The Spartans quickly recovered when Lee Reimer scored MSU's second goal of the night from the crease on the power-play at 14:07 to make the score 3-2 in favor of FSU. Greg Wolfe and Tanner Sorenson earned the assists.
The score stood until late in the final frame when Huff tallied his second point of the night a four-on-four goal from the left post at 11:42 for his fifth marker of the season. Kane earned his second assist of the evening and ninth of the season with sophomore defenseman Simon Denis recording his ninth assist this campaign.
Ouellette then earned his second point of the game by scoring the fifth and final goal late in the third period at 17:08 when he recorded a four-on-four goal for his seventh of the season from the center directly in front of the goal. Sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley tallied his 12th assist of the season with Denis earning his second helper of the night and 10th of the season.
With the triumph, the Bulldogs improved to 12-9-3 overall and now hold a 10-7-1 record in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Spartans dropped to an overall record of 6-15-3 along with a 5-12-1 mark in the CCHA.
The win marks Ferris State's eighth victory in the last 10 matchups against the Spartans, including three out of four tries this season.
Motte was in net for the Bulldogs for the entire 60 minutes and made a total of 17 saves while Jake Hildebrand was in net for 60 minutes and registered 28 saves for the Spartans. Ferris State led the shots by a 33-19 margin for the night.
The Bulldogs had seven penalties penalties for the night totaling 14 minutes and the Spartans had five penalties for a total of 10 minutes. FSU found the back of the net on one out of four man-advantage opportunities while MSU was able to convert on one out of six power-plays.
The victory was Ferris State's fourth in its last five outings to date and it marked the second consecutive sellout for the Bulldogs against the Spartans in Big Rapids this campaign. FSU had opened the final CCHA regular-season series versus Michigan State with a 2-1 triumph on Friday (Jan. 18) night before a nationwide television audience with a victory at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing.
The Bulldogs will be back in action next weekend (Jan. 25-26) as they travel to Notre Dame to take on the Fighting Irish for the only CCHA regular-season series between the two teams this season in South Bend, Ind. It will mark the for the final two CCHA regular-season matchups between the two teams. Puck drop is set to 7:35 p.m. (ET) on Friday night with the contest airing on CBS College Sports. Saturday's faceoff will begin at 7:05 p.m.
Following next week's visit to Notre Dame, the Bulldogs will return home to host the Western Michigan Broncos the following week (Feb. 1-2) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Tickets for the Bulldogs' final two regular-season home series' against Western Michigan and Bowling Green State (Feb. 15-16) are now on sale. Please call (231) 591-2888 for more information or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for a complete pricing structure and ticket specials. Tickets can also be bought online at StarTickets.com.