Senior Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) scored the game-winning goal just 32 seconds into overtime to lift the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to a 5-4 victory over Robert Morris this Friday (Oct. 23) evening in the a non-league series opener between the two teams at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The victory improves the Bulldogs to 4-1-0 overall this season while Robert Morris falls to 1-2-0 overall.
Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) gave Ferris State the 1-0 lead only 37 seconds into the game on an assist from Casey Haines, who would register a three-point night. Following Riley's second tally of the season, Robert Morris bounced back to score twice less than two minutes apart as Chris Kushneriuk scored at 14:56 on an even-strength situation and then Cody Crichton lighted the lamp with 3:33 remaining in the opening frame on a power play to give the Colonials a 2-1 lead.
The Bulldogs would regain the lead in the second period by accounting for both scores with the first coming at 6:30 as Blair Riley found the back of the Colonials' net on a short-handed lamplighter for his third of the season. Senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) would put Ferris State ahead at 3-2 as a little over five minutes later with his second goal of the year.
Ferris State, which produced a 47-28 shots on goal margin for the contest, increased its lead to 4-2 early in the third period when Casey Haines netted his first of the year on an unassisted power-play marker at the 5:07 mark. However, Robert Morris would chip into the Bulldogs' two-goal advantage with back-to-back tallies at 7:27 and 15:51, respectively to tie the contest. Furman South and Chris Kushneriuk, who scored short-handed, accounted for the two Colonials' goals. Despite the two RMU goals, the Colonials were outshot by an 18-8 margin.
Casey Haines' game-winner was the product of perseverance as the Bulldog forward collected a rebound of his own shot just outside of the RMU goal and shoveled the puck into the net on a back-handed shot after a nifty deke to get by Colonial goaltender Brooks Ostergard. Senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) and Blair Riley both received assists on the game-winning tally as Ferris State registered all three of the overtime period shots.
Casey Haines and Blair Riley both turned in three-point game performances with two goals and an assist to earn the game top two starts while Cody Chupp distributed a pair of helpers.
Sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) improved to 3-0-0 this season with a 24-saves effort for the Bulldogs while Brooks Ostergard finished up a busy night by turning aside 42 shots for Robert Morris in the defeat.
Ferris State will face Robert Morris this Saturday (Oct. 24) in a 5:05 p.m. (EDT) matchup at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or online at www.startickets.com.. The FSU Blueline Club's Power Play For Cancer fundraising event will be held prior to the contest, starting with A Taste the Bulldog Bite from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT) outside the west side of Wink Arena.
NOTES: Ferris State's 4-1 start this season represents the program's best since the 2002-03 season when the Bulldogs lost their season opener before winning eight straight contests . . .Seniors Blair Riley and Cody Chupp are averaging a point a game this season with a team-high tying five points each . . . The Bulldogs have a 113-78 shots advantage in their three home outings this campaign and have outscored their opponent 13-6, which includes a 5-1 second-period advantage . . . FSU is operating at 27.8% (5-18) on its power play in home encounters while the Bulldogs' penalty kill is operating at 94.4% (17-18) efficiency . . . Aaron Lewicki's second-period goal represented the 50th of his career to date. Lewicki has tallied 25 lamplighters while chalking up 25 assists in 113 career outings . . . The monies raised from this Saturday's FSU Blueline Club's Power Play Against Cancer fundraising event will go toward a digital mammography system for the Mecosta County Medical Center.