Ferris State University's Zach Redmond (Traverse City) was in the right place at the right time as the junior defenseman registered the game winner with 23.4 seconds left to lift the nationally eighth-ranked Bulldogs to a thrilling 3-2 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) win over the Michigan Wolverines this Saturday (Jan. 23) evening before a sellout crowd of 2,493 fans at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Redmond's fifth goal of this season came as a result of an open shot from the slot with less than a half minute remaining in the contest. Senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) feathered a pass from near the goal line to an open Redmond, who fired the puck past the gloveside of Michigan goaltender Bryan Hogan.
Ferris State improves to 17-7-2 overall on the season and 11-5-2-2 in CCHA play as the Bulldogs end their three-game losing streak in the process. Michigan drops to 14-11-1 overall and 9-8-1-0 in the CCHA as the Wolverines' six-game unbeaten string is snapped.
The Bulldogs opened the weekend home-and-home series finale with the first score as senior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) gained control of the puck in FSU's zone off a Wolverine turnover and skated down the left side into the UM zone. Haines would blast a slapshot from above the left circle just over Hogan's left shoulder into the Michigan net giving Ferris State a 1-0 lead. Haines' unassisted goal, a short-handed marker, represented his sixth of the season.
Ferris State maintained its 1-0 advantage until 8:01 of the second period when David Wohlberg scored on a Michigan power play to knot the game up at one apiece. Wohlberg tapped the puck into the Ferris cage on the doorstep after receiving a nifty pass on the opposite side from A.J. Treais. The Bulldogs would come back to break the deadlock with 1:36 to go in the second frame as senior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) produced a "highlight reel" goal to give FSU the 2-1 lead. Case netted his third of the campaign as a result of getting a backhanded pass from senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia). The FSU blueliner picked up the pass high above the right circle and deked a UM defender before skating into the inner left side of the circle and putting the puck into the top left-handed corner of the Wolverines' goal.
Late in the third period, Michigan received a power-play opportunity and capitalized on an interference penalty to Zach Redmond as Brian Lebler scored with 1:49 left in the game to draw the Wolverines into a 2-2 tie. A shot from the side by David Wohlberg ricocheted off Lebler past Ferris State junior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) for the fourth goal of the night. With overtime seeming probable in the time remaining, the Bulldogs earned a man-advantage situation of their own on a UM penalty and 1:11 later, Zach Redmond connected for the decisive score with 23.4 showing on the clock. Both Blair Riley and Casey Haines earned an assist on the Redmond tally.
Pat Nagle (8-5-1) started for Ferris State and went the distance in totaling 27 saves to earn second star of the game kudos, only trailing teammate Zach Redmond for top star recognition. Bryan Hogan (14-10-1), who was victorious in Friday's 2-0 decision at Michigan, made 29 stops for the visitors. Ferris State recorded 32 shots on net while the Wolverines fired 29 shots on the Bulldog goal.
Ferris State will now hit the road for a two-game league series against the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend, Jan. 29-30 in Columbus, Ohio. Both games are 7:05 p.m. (EST) starting times at OSU's Value City Arena. FSU swept this season's (Nov. 20-21) earlier series in Big Rapids, winning 8-1 and 6-5 in overtime.