Sophomore defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) delivered the decisive goal in a four-round 2-1 shootout decision as the nationally 10th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team earned two Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) points following a 3-3 overtime tie against Ohio State this Saturday (Jan. 30) evening in the weekend series finale at OSU's Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Billins, who scored the decisive goal in a league-record 22-skater shootout win at Miami earlier this season (11/14) in a 1-1 overtime tie, gives Ferris State 39 points in the league standings. The Bulldogs are presently 17-8-3 overall and 11-6-3-3 in the CCHA with the overtime tie.
Ferris State tallied the game's first goal as senior defenseman Matt Case (Plymouth, Minn.) scored on a shot from above the right circle which deflected off Ohio State's Sean Duddy into the Buckeye net at the 15:07 mark. Junior center Justin Menke (Shamrock, Saskatchewan) won the draw and pushed the puck over to junior forward Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) on the left circle during a FSU power-play situation. Embach then delivered a cross ice pass over to Case, who fired the puck on the Ohio State goal and scored his fourth of the season with helping hand from the hosts. Ohio State appeared to register the equalizer with 18 seconds left in the first period but was disallowed following an official's video review having not crossed the goal line.
The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 2-0 early in the second period on a wraparound goal by senior right wing Aaron Lewicki (Livonia), his eighth of the season, at 2:59. Lewicki gathered the puck from the right side after accepting a pass from sophomore center Derek Graham (Schoolcraft) and skated around to the left where his shot initially hit the post which he promptly put into the Ohio State net. Ferris State's two-goal advantage would evaporate in a 40-second span as the Buckeyes received back-to-back lamplighters from C.J. Severyn at 5:03 and from Zac Dalpe at the 5:43 mark. Severyn scored on a rush to as his shot trickled into the far corner of the Ferris State net off of sophomore goaltender Taylor Nelson's (Regina, Saskatchewan) glove. Dalpe's even-strength goal also occurred on a shot beyond the crease which deflected off Nelson's glove for the equalizer.
The contest remained deadlocked for about the next six minutes until senior left wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) made good on a power-play opportunity as he netted his team-leading 17th of the season with 7:58 remaining in the second period. A flurry of action ensued in front of the Ohio State goal following a shot from the point by junior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City). The Bulldog defender's shot went off senior center Casey Haines (Indiana, Pa.) to the back area of the Ferris State goal where senior right wing Cody Chupp (Big Rapids) gained control and passed to his right over to Riley, who was positioned between the left circle and the goal line.
Ohio State would draw into a 3-3 tie at 3:55 of the third by converting a power-play chance when Kyle Reed connected on a shot from inside the left circle which went through Taylor Nelson's five-hole. The Buckeyes connected with 11:21 left in the third period but the goal was voided due to goaltender interference by OSU's Peter Boyd. Both teams were assessed a penalty apiece in the final three minutes of regulation with the Bulldogs going on the power play for the last 1:15 of the third period. Ferris put on a late flurry of shots but was unable to get the decisive one past Carlson in the final seconds of regulation.
In the five-minute overtime period, neither team was to collect the breakthrough goal as the Buckeyes held a 3-1 edge in shots on goal in that stanza and a 33-24 advantage for the contest. The league-mandated shootout followed with Ohio State scoring on its first attempt by John Albert with a backhander thru Nelson's five hole. The Buckeyes would maintain their 1-0 lead going into Ferris' final third attempt after both Blair Riley and Zach Redmond were denied. Riley's attempt was stopped by Carlson while Redmond's shot went wide right. Zac Dalpe fanned on Ohio State's third chance which opened the door for Cody Chupp to net the shootout equalizer as he deked Carlson and slide into the right side of the Buckeyes' goal. Ohio State was thwarted on its next attempt and Chad Billins came up the hero with the winner. Billins skated in on the Ohio State goal and faked left top shelf before pulling the puck back to the right and putting the puck five-hole past Carlson.
Taylor Nelson (9-2-2) concluded the evening with 30 saves in 65 minutes of action while Dustin Carlson (2-8-1) turned away 21 Bulldogs shots.
Next on tap for Ferris State is a two-game CCHA home series against the Northern Michigan Wildcats next weekend (Feb. 5-6) at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. (EST) for Friday's (Feb. 5) opener while Saturday's (Feb. 6) contest is scheduled for a 7:35 p.m. (EST) start time and will be televised live on FS Detroit Plus. For ticket information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.