Post Game: Cencer
Note: Photo Courtesy BSU Photo Services
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team picked up its fourth-straight victory and opened up a key Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) weekend road series with a 4-1 triumph over Bemidji State on Friday (Feb. 14) night in Bemidji, Minn.
The Bulldogs took game one of the weekend set before a crowd of 3,096 fans at the Sanford Center to remain atop the WCHA standings. FSU improved to 21-6-3 overall this season and now owns a 16-3-2 mark in league action to date.
With the Friday night win, the Bulldogs remain two points ahead of Minnesota State in the league standings and FSU still owns two games in hand with seven games remaining on the regular-season slate. Ferris State has 34 points with the Mavericks owning 32 points thus far.
Ferris State, which traveled 14 hours by bus over a two-day span to reach Bemidji, opened the scoring at 8:34 of the opening period when junior defenseman Travis White tallied his second goal of the season at even-strength. Assists were credited to sophomore forwards Matt Robertson and Kenny Babinski, who picked up their fifth and eighth helpers of the year, respectively. Babinski found Robertson, who made a nice pass to White for the shot near the net.
The 1-0 Bulldog lead stood up until early in the third and final frame when FSU pushed the lead to two goals on senior forward Cory Kane's eighth goal of the year. It marked Kane's third consecutive contest with a goal and came off a feed from sophomore defenseman Brandon Anselmini, who earned his ninth assist of the campaign. Anselmini sent the pass up to Kane streaking down the right wing and he made a move to the net for the shot.
BSU cut the margin down to only a single goal as the Beavers notched their first score of the night with 6:44 to play in the final period. It came on Radoslav Illo's eighth goal of the year with an assist to Ruslan Pedan. The shot came from the left circle on a mini-breakaway.
However, Ferris State answered in a big way on a redirected shot by senior forward Justin DeMartino only 23 seconds later to push the lead back to two goals. It was DeMartino's third goal of the year and was assisted by Kane, who notched his second point of the evening and seventh helper of the season, along with freshman Gerald Mayhew. He recorded his ninth assist this campaign.
Ferris State sealed the victory and accounted for the final score with 22 seconds left to play on an empty-net unassisted goal from freshman Chad McDonald. It represented his eighth goal this year.
By virtue of his two points on the night, Kane received the game's first star honor. White claimed the second while BSU's Illo was the third star of the night.
Ferris State outshot Bemidji State 31-26 for the evening and received 25 saves from junior goaltender CJ Motte, who moved to 20-4-3 overall on the season. Motte stopped nine shots in the first period, 13 in the second and three in the third.
Bemidji State's Jesse Wilkins fell to 2-4-3 with the setback despite making 27 saves in the game. He had nine saves in each of the three periods before being pulled for the extra skater late in the contest.
FSU put 10 shots on goal in the opening stanza and tallied nine in the second period along with 12 in the final 20 minutes of action. BSU had 13 shots in the second frame, but managed only nine shots in the first period with only four in the third.
The Bulldogs managed to stay out of the penalty box for the most part as FSU was called for only two penalties totaling four minutes. The Beavers were whistled five times for 10 minutes in the box. FSU could not capitalize on the power-play as Ferris State finished 0-of-5, but the Bulldogs did kill off both of BSU's opportunities with the man-advantage.
The Beavers fell to 8-16-7 overall and 8-11-4 in league action with the setback. BSU also fell to 1-16-7 on the year when allowing more than a goal this season.
The victory was Ferris State's third of the season against Bemidji State as FSU previously swept the Beavers on Nov. 8-9 in Big Rapids by scores of 5-4 in overtime along with 5-3 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. FSU also improved to 10-4-2 in road action this season.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday (Feb. 15) night in the series finale at the Sanford Center with the puck drop set for 8:07 p.m. (ET). Saturday's game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network starting with pregame coverage at 7:30 p.m.
Additionally, courtesy of Lakeland Public Television in Bemidji, Minn., Saturday's series finale will also be carried live locally via Ferris Television and Charter Cable. The broadcast can be found on Channel 22 on the FSU campus and across Mecosta County on Channel 97.
Ferris State will then return home on Feb. 21-22 to host Alaska-Anchorage inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena with both games set for 7:07 p.m. (ET) starts. Advance tickets are on sale now and can be purchased thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office, online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.