The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team put forth a commendable performance in Saturday's (Oct. 30) Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series finale against nationally fourth-ranked Michigan as the Bulldogs put the Wolverines to the test before dropping a 3-2 decision at UM's Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ferris State, which earned two points in the CCHA standings with the overtime tie and shootout win over Michigan last night (Oct. 29) in Big Rapids, Mich., is presently 4-3-1 overall and 1-2-1-1 in the CCHA this season as a result of the setback.
The Bulldogs started out the weekend finale by facing a two-goal deficit in the opening period as Michigan scored twice on goals by Scooter Vaughn at 9:18 and then just under three minutes later Kevin Lynch tallied on the power play for the Wolverines. The hosts led after the first 20 minutes of action despite Ferris State outshooting UM 7-6 in the first frame and would also do so in the second with a 12-9 shots advantage.
Sophomore left wing Kyle Bonis' (Lindsay, Ontario) third goal of the season at the three-minute mark into the second period cut the deficit to 2-1. Bonis' lamplighter came on a power-play advantage for Ferris State as his one-timer slap shot from the left circle went top shelf into the Michigan net past goaltender Bryan Hogan's gloveside. Sophomore center Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) set up the scoring play with a cross-ice pass which senior center Nate Hennig (Macomb) let go through as he drove to the UM goal and forced the Wolverines' defenders off of Bonis, who would go on to earn second star of the game recognition. Both Ouellette and senior defenseman Zach Redmond (Traverse City) chalked up their fourth assists of this season on the tally.
Michigan would counter with a goal 3:18 later to build its lead back to two scores at 3-1 on a Carl Hagelin goal. The Wolverine goal was an unfortunate in more than one way for Ferris State as the puck shot by Hagelin deflected off junior defenseman Brett Wysopal's (LaGrange Park, Ill.) back leg in front of the Bulldog net catching senior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) by surprise to say the least. Despite the misfortune, Ferris State continued to play aggressively and the hard work paid dividends late in the second period when freshman left wing Andy Huff (Howell) netted his first collegiate marker. Huff cleaned up a rebound shot off the stick of sophomore right wing Eric Alexander (Kentwood) and directed the puck top shelf as the Bulldogs made it a one-goal game. Alexander garnered the first assist on the FSU lamplighter for his second on the year while Wysopal was credited with his second helper for this campaign.
Neither team was able to score in the third period as Michigan posted an 11-5 lead in shots and would claim a 26-24 edge for the game.
Pat Nagle (4-2-1) turned in a 23-saves effort, including all 11 in the third period, and absorbed the loss while Bryan Hogan (3-0-0) made 22 stops for Michigan.
The Bulldogs will now take on the nation's top-ranked team in the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks next weekend, Nov. 5-6, at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. The puck drops for both outings at 7:05 p.m. (EDT) and tickets for both game are available by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or via online at www.startickets.com.