Riley's Hat Trick Sparks Ferris To 8-1 Decision Over Ohio State

Blair Riley netted his second career hat trick. (Photo by Glenn Hyde)
Blair Riley netted his second career hat trick. (Photo by Glenn Hyde)

Senior Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) tallied his second career hat trick and five others netted a goal as the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team skated to a one-sided 8-1 victory over Ohio State this Friday (Nov. 20) evening in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) tilt at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. 

The Bulldogs, who remained perfect at home (7-0-0) this season, exploded for three first-period scores before tacking on four more in the second period and one in the third frame.

Ferris State opened the scoring early in the game as Blair Riley scored an unassisted short-handed goal at 5:11 into the contest on a wrister from the slot which above Ohio State starting goaltender Dustin Carlson's left shoulder.  FSU took a 2-0 lead just over two minutes later off a goal by senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids), his second of the season.  Riley dumped the puck down to Chupp in the corner who proceeded to skate around from the left side to the opposite one and slid the puck past Carlson at the 7:31 mark.

Junior left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) would earn his second of the season in the opening period as well just five seconds past the nine-minute mark on a nifty backhanded shot from the inner left circle line after taking a pass from freshman right wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) in the circle.

Ohio State would get one back less than a minute into the second period on Zac Dalpe's lamplighter before Ferris State would reel off four consecutive goals in the second 20 minutes of action.  Freshman center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) one-timed a shot from the left circle which found its mark into the Buckeyes' net at 4:27 midst a FSU power play and then Riley would score back-to-back goals at 10:05 and 14:04, respectively.  The Bulldogs capitalized on an OSU miscue in its own zone as Chupp fed a pass from above the crease over to Riley, who zipped it past backup netminder Cal Heeter for his 10th of the year.  Riley's team-leading 12th would follow on a Bulldog power-play situation as the crimson and gold pulled off a near perfect tic-tac-toe play with the FSU forward on the scoring end.  Chupp along with senior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) helped set up the Ferris scoring play during a five-on-three skater situation for the host team.

Ferris State, which would complete the night four-of-eight in power-play chances, converted with 5:30 remaining in the second period as freshman center Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) scored his third of this season with a shot from the right side of the slot on a man-advantage.   Eric Alexander accounted for Ferris' final score with his second marker on the season with 3:37 remaining in the contest.  

Blair Riley paced six Bulldogs in multiple-point game performances with four points (three goals) while Cody Chupp contributed three with a goal and two helpers.

Sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) received the win (5-1-1) with a 20-save effort in 39:59 minutes of action before giving way to senior Jordan Barber (Caledonia), who turned aside all six OSU shots on goal in the third period.   For the Buckeyes (5-7-1 overall; 4-4-1-1 CCHA), Dustin Carlson compiled 17 saves while Cal Heeter registered nine stops.   

Ferris State, which is now 8-3-2 overall and 3-2-2-2 in the CCHA, will face off with the Buckeyes again this Saturday (Nov. 21) in Big Rapids.  Game time is set for 5:05 p.m. (EST) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena and tickets may be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888. 

Notes: Blair Riley's hat trick was the second of his FSU career.  He netted his first three-goal outing at Connecticut (12/30/08) in the Bulldogs' 5-0 championship game win over the Huskies at the Toyota UConn Hockey Classic and earned tourney Most Valuable Player honors . . . Prior to Riley's hat trick, the most recent one by a Ferris State skater was last season (1/10/09) when Mike Embach scored three times in a 4-2 win at Western Michigan . . . Ferris State's eight goals against Ohio State was the Bulldogs' highest-scoring output in the all-time series since 12/14/90 when FSU posted a 9-3 home decision over the Buckeyes . . . Ferris State remains unbeaten at home with its 7-0-0 mark . . . Goaltender Jordan Barber received his first regular-season action of his Bulldog career by playing the entire third period . . . The Bulldogs are unbeaten in their last five outings (3-0-2) and have outscored their opponent by a 19-7 margin.