The nationally-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team was unable to uphold a one-goal lead midway thru the second period as Michigan State accounted for the contest's final two scores in a 3-2 decision over the Bulldogs in the opener of a weekend Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Ferris State trailed 1-0 as Michigan State's Brett Perlini netted his first of two goals on the night just 36 seconds into the game with a wrist shot from inside the left circle to beat senior goaltender Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) stick-side. Nagle would go on to finish the game with 19 saves while MSU netminder Drew Palmisano racked up 32 saves, including 17 in the opening frame. Michigan State, which improved to 6-7-3 overall and 3-5-1-0 in league play, snapped Ferris State's three-game (2-0-1) unbeaten streak in the process.
The Bulldogs, who are now 7-6-3 overall and 4-5-3-2 in the CCHA this season as a result of the loss, were able to draw into a 1-1 tie at the 4:19 mark as a result of senior center Nate Hennig's (Macomb) fifth goal of the year. Junior defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.) shot from inside the blueline on the left side deflected off a teammate to junior right wing Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wis.), who fed a pass down to sophomore left wing Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) in the right circle. Bonis put the puck toward the top of the Michigan State goal crease as the puck hit directly off Hennig's stick into the Spartans' net. The Bulldogs would post a commanding 18-8 lead in shots for through the first 20 minutes of play.
Ferris State then took the lead (2-1) in the second period when freshman left wing Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) potted his third goal of the season at 11:08 on an assist from freshman center Cory Kane (Irvine, Calif.) and Brett Wysopal. Kane sent the puck down to Thompson, who shot the puck off Palmisano's back leg pad from the back left side of the MSU goal. The Spartans would soon erase the one-goal deficit less than two minutes remaining in the second period when Brett Perlini struck again with his 11th tally of the season. Perlini was able to slide a back-handed shot to Pat Nagle's glove-side for the equalizer with 1:05 left in the frame.
The winning goal would come in the third period at the 9:22 mark to be precise with Michigan State's Dean Chelios netting the decisive marker. Chelios, the son of NHL standout Chris Chelios, snapped the 2-2 tie with a put in off a scramble in front of the Bulldog goal to Nagle's right side for the difference maker. Ferris State didn't help themselves in the final minute of play by being whistled for a penalty with 44 seconds remaining in the contest. MSU, which was outshot 10-5 in the second period did gain the upper hand in the third with a 9-6 lead in shots.
Ferris State concluded the outing holding a 34-22 lead over Michigan State in shots on goal. The Spartans were unsuccessful in six power-play chances while the Bulldogs failed to convert on their four man-advantage opportunities.
The Bulldogs came into the tilt ranked 18th nationally this week by Inside College Hockey.com and were listed 20th in U.S. College Hockey Online. com's poll. FSU also was coming off a convincing 3-0 triumph over Michigan State on the Spartans' home ice this past Tuesday (Nov. 23).
Ferris State, which suffers only its second home setback (5-2-3 at home) of this campaign, will square off against Michigan State this Saturday (Dec. 4) evening in the league home-and-home series finale at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich. The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. (EST) in a game which will be televised live by FS Detroit.
Notes - Kyle Bonis' seven points (4-3=7) in 14 games this campaign represents a career single-season best, eclipsing his six points (2-4=6) in 23 contests for the 2009-10 season. Bonis picked up an assist on Ferris State's initial lamplighter . . . Aaron Schmit's assist was his second point (0-2=2) in 14 outings this season which matches a career season high. Schmit recorded two points (1-1=2) in 18 games a season ago . . . Senior defenseman Zach Redmond returned to the ice for the first time since an injury suffered Nov. 5 versus Miami (Ohio) . . . Garrett Thompson has tallied a goal in two of his last three outings (2-0=2) after not scoring in his previous four outings . . . With the one-goal (3-2) margin, 14 of the last 19 meetings have been decided by two goals or less with the Bulldogs posting a 2-8-3 record.