Ferris State Falls In Hard-Fought Opener At Minnesota After Grabbing Early Edge

FSU Hockey

Minneapolis, Minn. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team fell 5-3 to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday (Dec. 28) at Mariucci Ice Arena in non-conference play.

Ferris State redshirt junior forward Craig Pefley notched three assists in the contest while freshman defenseman Cooper Zech fired a goal and added an assist to remain the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) freshman and defenseman scoring leader.

The Gophers got on the board first at 1:53 when Scott Reedy scored his first of the night for a 1-0 Minnesota lead, but the Bulldogs responded with a pair of their own goals.

First, at 3:20, junior defenseman Nate Kallen scored his third of the year on the rush, beating Gopher goaltender Mat Robson high. Pefley (4) and Zech (13) earned assists on Kallen's goal.

Shortly after, the Bulldogs notched a power play goal at 11:47 of the first when Zech rifled a shot in off the back-bar of the net for his fourth goal of the season and team-leading 17th point of the year from Pefley (5) and Kallen (13).

Minnesota tied the game on a Brent Gates Jr. goal at 14:42 to knot the score at 2-2, but the Bulldogs again reclaimed the lead.

In the final minute, at 19:01 of the first, junior forward Jason Tackett picked up his sixth goal of the year on a one-timer from the inside of the right wing faceoff circle on a cross ice feed from Pefley, who picked up his third assist of the night and sixth of the year. Senior forward Corey Mackin earned his ninth assist of the year on the goal as well, giving FSU a 3-2 lead after one period.

The Bulldogs chased Robson, who made four saves on seven first period shots for Minnesota, and Eric Schierhorn guided the Gophers the rest of the way, picking up the win on 15 saves.

The Gophers scored three-straight to cap the contest, first tying it at 3-3 when Rem Pitlick scored at 4:10 of the second, followed by Reedy's second for UM at 6:18 for the game-winning goal. Reedy finished the hat trick on a two-on-one tap-in in the third at 16:15 for the 5-3 final.

For Ferris State, freshman Roni Salmenkangas made 27 stops and took the loss. The Gophers outshot the Bulldogs 32-22 overall. Both teams finished 1-2 on the power play.

Ferris State finishes the weekend series against Minnesota on Saturday (Dec. 29) with an 8:07 p.m. (EST) puck drop on national television on the Big Ten Network at Mariucci Arena.