Ferris State Hockey Claims Second Straight Shootout Win

Blair Riley and the Bulldogs won in a shootout for the second consecutive night.
Blair Riley and the Bulldogs won in a shootout for the second consecutive night.

For the second consecutive night, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team was involved in a shootout with nationally number-one ranked Miami (Ohio) as the Bulldogs produced a 1-1 overtime tie before winning 2-1 in a shootout in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest this Saturday (Nov. 14) evening at MU's Steve Cady Arena in Oxford, Ohio.

Ferris State, which is 7-3-2 overall and 2-2-2-2 in the CCHA this season, picked up two more league points with the tie and shootout victory.  The Bulldogs have presently compiled 10 points in the league standings to date.

A league-record 22 skaters took part in the shootout before Ferris State sophomore defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) scored the decisive one through the five hole of Miami's goaltender Connor Knapp.  On the RedHawks' final attempt by Chris Wideman, junior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) made the glove save to preserve the shootout decision.  Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) scored on FSU's second attempt with a nifty backhander after Miami's Reilly Smith produced the first shootout goal on the RedHawks' initial attempt. 

The teams were scoreless after the opening 20 minutes although the period was not without excitement.  Miami came out determined to set the pace, but Ferris State prevented the RedHawks generating any offense for an extended period of time as the Bulldogs lead 13-11 in shots on goal in the stanza.  Defensively, Ferris overcame a five-minute major penalty to senior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) for checking from behind which came with under a minute left in the first frame.  Haines'  action for the night ended abruptly as a result of a game misconduct.

The second period featured a flurry of quality shots by both teams before the Bulldogs struck first in the scoring department as senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) potted his fifth goal of the season at the 10:17 mark during a FSU power-play chance.  Lewicki, who picked up his sixth point in the last five outings, received a little luck on the tally as he tapped the puck into the Miami net just past Connor Knapp.  Freshman left wing Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) flipped the puck out from around the back of the goal line toward the RedHawk net were Lewicki chipped away prior to the red light coming on.  Freshman center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) attained an assist as did Bonis on the game's first score.  FSU held a 13-12 edge in shots for the second 20 minutes.     

Ferris State took its 1-0 lead into the third period although played was halted at 1:22 into the stanza when a linemen was severly injured on a Bulldog offensive rush and escorted off the ice.  Play resumed following a five-minute delay and Miami turned up the pressure on Ferris before getting the equalizer 5:28 into the period on a slap shot by Andy Miele high above the right circle.  Neither team was able to score in the time remaining to second the contest into overtime.

The extra session was action packed as both teams had prime chances to net the game winner but both netminders came up with some key stops.  The RedHawks would gain a slight advantage with 33 seconds left in overtime as the Bulldogs were down a skater due to a penalty.  Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) was able to deny a last second Miami shot attempt to send the game into a shootout.

Pat Nagle (3-2-1) concluded the game with 39 saves to receive second-star recognition while Billins earned top billing with the shootout lamplighter. 

Ferris State continues CCHA play next weekend, Nov. 20-21, as the Bulldogs entertain the Ohio State Buckeyes in a two-game set at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.  The puck drops for the series opener on Friday (Nov. 20) at 7:05 p.m. (EST) before the two teams wrap up the weekend's play Saturday (Nov. 21), starting at 5:05 p.m. (EST).  For ticket information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.    

Notes: Aaron Lewicki has four (3-1=4) power-play points this season . . . Five of the Bulldogs' last six contests have been decided by two goals or less with FSU posting a 1-2-2 mark in such encounters . . . Lewicki's goal marked his fourth point (2-2=4) this season in a game's second period . . . Three of the last four meetings with Miami have resulted in overtime ties with the Bulldogs going 2-1-0 in the shootout