Ann Arbor, Mich. – The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team battled the Michigan Wolverines to a 1-1 overtime deadlock, but the Bulldogs were not able to pick up the necessary points to secure home ice for the second round of the upcoming league playoffs as FSU closed its final Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season series on Saturday (March 2) night at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor.
The Bulldogs and Wolverines battled to a 1-1 overtime draw in the last-ever CCHA regular-season contest before the Wolverines pulled out a shootout victory. FSU entered the game needing three points and an Ohio State loss to secure the number four seed and the home-ice advantage for the second round playoff series in the CCHA Tournament. OSU lost to Miami, but the Bulldogs couldn't get the necessary winning goal to earn the three points in the overtime contest.
Michigan eventually won the shootout as Ferris State finished fifth in the league's overall standings. The Bulldogs will receive a bye for the fourth-straight year for the first round of the CCHA Tournament this coming weekend and will visit fourth-seeded Ohio State for the second round in a best-of-three series set for March 15-17 at the OSU Ice Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Game times are tentatively set for 7:05 p.m. (ET) each night.
The Wolverines opened the scoring on the power-play at 7:59 of the first period when Kevin Lynch scored his seventh goal of the season from the slot as he shot the puck in the net on sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte's glove side. Andrew Copp earned his second assist of the weekend after receiving the pass from Alex Guptill, who picked up his third assist of the weekend.
The score stood until midway through the second stanza when Bulldog freshman defenseman Zach Dorer notched his first collegiate goal from the left side on the half wall at 11:54 to tie the contest at a goal apiece. Senior center Travis Ouellette skated with the puck on a two-on-one before making the feed to junior wing Justin DeMartino in the near side corner who then made the pass to Dorer. Ouellette and DeMartino earned their 13th and 10th assists, respectively.
The Wolverines led the shots by a count of 14-6 for the duration of the final frame, however, neither team could find the back of the net and the contest advanced into a five-minute, sudden-death overtime.
Both teams had two shots apiece during the extra session, but the score stood at a goal apiece, forcing a shootout. Ferris State had a breakway chance after pulling the goaltender in the final seconds of overtime, but Ouellette's shot wasn't able to get past Michigan netminder Steve Racine.
Michigan's A.J Treais scored the lone goal of the shootout to provide the Wolverines with the extra point on the evening.
Motte spent 64:23 between the pipes and registered 35 saves while Racine saw 64:59 of action and totaled 24 saves for the Wolverines. Michigan led the shots by a 36-25 margin for the contest.
The Bulldogs had nine penalties for a total of 18 minutes and the Wolverines had six penalties for a total of 20 minutes. The Bulldogs were unable to convert on four man-advantage situations while the Wolverines capitalized on one out of eight power-play opportunities.
The Bulldogs now hold a 15-14-5 overall record and finished 13-12-3 (1) in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Wolverines are currently 13-18-3 overall and 10-15-3 (3) in the CCHA.
The Bulldogs will be back in action as they travel to Ohio State for the second round of the CCHA Playoffs March 15-17 in Columbus. The Bulldogs need to win at least two games to advance to the semifinals on the last-ever CCHA Championships at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit set for March 23-24.
Stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information on the second round series.