The nationally 11th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team put an impressive 51 shots on net against Northern Michigan this Saturday (Feb. 6) night in a FS Detroit Plus Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) televised contest but still suffered a 4-0 loss to the Wildcats at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
With the loss, Ferris State drops to 17-9-4 overall and 11-7-4-3 in the CCHA while Northern Michigan improved to 12-10-8 overall with an 8-8-6-3 league record.
Goaltending was certainly a huge factor in the Northern Michigan's victory as Wildcats' goaltender Brian Stewart (10-8-7) registered 51 saves on the night, including 21 second-period stops and 17 saves in the third en route to the number one star of the game recognition. Meanwhile, his teammate Justin Florek was tabbed as the second star as a result of tallying a pair of special teams goals both in the first period.
Northern Michigan, despite being outshot 13-9 in the opening frame, opened the game's scoring at 6:26 on a power-play goal by Justin Florek. A shot by Greger Hanson hit off the post to Florek who sneaked the puck under junior netminder Pat Nagle's (Bloomfield) blocker. Florek would strike again 3:13 later with a short-handed lamplighter on a laser shot from the top of the left circle to give NMU a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Ferris State put forth 21 shots on Brian Stewart in the second period but still was denied a score while the Wildcats' made good on one of their four shots as Mark Olver produced a goal on a back-handed shot at the bottom right circle which deflected off Nagle's pads into the Bulldog net with 9:56 remaining in the stanza.
The Wildcats increased their lead to 4-0 at 4:43 into the third period with Ray Kaunisto scoring for the visitors, who were outshot 17-8 in the final 20 minutes of play.
Ferris' Pat Nagle (8-7-1) concluded the evening with 17 saves, which consisted of seven stops apiece in the first and third periods along with three denials in the second period.
On the power play, Ferris State was unsuccessful in nine opportunities while Northern Michigan made good on one of five man-advantage chances.
The Bulldogs are on the road next weekend, Feb. 13-14, for a two-game CCHA set versus the Lake Superior State Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Both outings are slated for 7:05 p.m. (EST) opening faceoffs at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena.
Notes: Ferris State was held scoreless for the fourth time this season . . . Pat Nagle's 17 saves for the contest represented a season low. The FSU netminder backstopped 18 shots against Robert Morris (10/24) and at Notre Dame (1/9) earlier this campaign . . . The Bulldogs are 3-10-1 all-time in February matchups against Northern Michigan to date, which includes a 1-6-1 home ledger . . . Ferris State is 4-1-3 this season in televised contests . . . FSU's 51 shots on goal was one shy of matching a team game-best 52 shots in a 4-1 non-league home triumph over Robert Morris (10/24).