A pair of power-play goals from Chad Billins (Marysville) and a solid defensive performance turned in by the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team proved instrumental in leading the Bulldogs to a 2010-11 season-opening 4-1 victory over the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers this Thursday (Oct. 7) night at UAH's Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Ferris State (1-0-0) tallied two power-play goals in five opportunities while the Bulldogs held Alabama-Huntsville (0-1-0) scoreless in three extra-skater advantage chances. FSU also managed to outshoot the host Chargers, 38-12, in the non-league contests which included double-digit shot totals in each of the three periods.
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes of action, Ferris State tallied the game's first score at 6:26 into the second period as junior defenseman Chad Billins converted on a Bulldog power play. Sophomore center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) and senior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) each received an assist. Alabama-Huntsville would counter 3:07 later on a Sebastian Geoffrion lamplighter to even the score at 1-1 going into the third period.
Ferris State reclaimed its advantage to go ahead 2-1 at the 7:17 mark as Chad Billins netted his second goal of the game on an assist from Travis Ouellette, who recorded his second point in the contest. Sophomore right wing Matthew Kirizinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) was also credited with a helper on the Billins' goal.
The Bulldogs would take on two more scores in the third as Zach Redmond posted a goal with 9:25 remaining in the game. The FSU team captain took a pass from junior center Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) to give Ferris State a 3-1 lead. Sophomore left wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) earned his first point of the season with a second assist. The game's final score came with just seven seconds left on the clock as senior left wing Mike Embach (Orland Park, Ill.) was successful on an empty netter.
For Ferris, the top defensive pair of Chad Billins and Zach Redmond generated a combined four of the team's 10 points with three goals and an assist. The two blueliners were joined in multiple-point game performances by Travis Ouellette, who finished with two assists in the Bulldog victory.
Senior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) picked up the win by making 11 saves in a complete-game effort, which featured four stops apiece in the last two periods. Alabama-Huntsville netminder Clarke Saunders turned away 34 Ferris State shots on goal in suffering the loss.
The Bulldogs and Chargers wrap up their two-game series this Friday (Oct. 8) evening with opening faceoff scheduled for 8:05 p.m. (EDT) from Huntsville, Ala.
Notes - Ferris State improved to 11-18-3 in season-opening contests and has now prevailed in its last two openers to date . . . FSU is now 10-19-13 in road openers dating back to 1979-80 as a result of the victory . . . The Bulldogs are 5-1-0 to date in their all-time series against Alabama-Huntsville while head coach Bob Daniels is 3-1-0 in his matchups versus the Chargers . . . Three FSU skaters - Chad Billins (2-0=2), Zach Redmond (1-1=2), and Travis Ouellette (0-2=2) combined for six of the Bulldogs' 10 points in the season-opening tilt . . . Pat Nagle notched his 28th career win in the season-opening triumph and moved into a tie for eighth place among Ferris State's all-time goaltenders in career victories. Nagle has compiled a present 28-28-6 career mark in 65 appearances.