Junior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) scored with 1:06 remaining in overtime to lift the nationally 20th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to a 1-0 victory over the Michigan State Spartans this Saturday (Dec. 4) night in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contest at MSU's Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
Billins tallied his fourth goal of the season and second game-winner against Michigan State this season with a shot between the blueline and the left circle which deflected off MSU's Tim Buttery in front of the Spartan goal into the net. Junior center Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) picked up an assist on the scoring play with a pass to Billins, who accounted for the decisive goal in FSU's 3-0 triumph at Michigan State last Tuesday (Nov. 23). Sophomore right wing Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) also received a helper on the game's lone goal. Billins, this week's CCHA Defenseman of the Week, was selected as the game's first star with his third game-winning lamplighter of this campaign.
The weekend series finale was a defensive struggle thanks to the play of both team's goaltenders - senior Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) for Ferris State and Drew Palmisano of Michigan State. Nagle would end the night with 28 saves in claiming third star of the game honors while Palmisano turned away 30 shots for the Spartans to earn second star recognition. Both netminders also made a number of "highlight reel" saves during the 60-plus minutes of action. With the win, Nagle improves to 8-5-3 in net on the season while Palmisano is now 6-7-3 between the posts this campaign.
Ferris State finished the contest by holding a 31-28 lead in shots on goal as the Bulldogs recorded double-digits in shots the first two periods and also posted a 2-1 advantage in the overtime frame.
Ferris State improves to 8-6-3 overall and 5-5-3-2 in the CCHA with the victory while Michigan State drops to 6-8-3 overall and 3-6-1-0 in the CCHA as a result of the loss. The two in-state teams split the weekend home-and-home series as the Spartans were victorious 3-2 last night (Dec. 3) in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs are at home next weekend, Dec. 10-11, for a two-game CCHA set against the Alaska Nanooks at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich. Both contests will get underway at 7:05 p.m. (EST) and tickets may be purchased by contacting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or by ordering online at www.startickets.com.
Notes - The Bulldogs have prevailed in their last two appearances at Munn Ice Arena (3-0 on Nov. 23 and 1-0 OT on Dec. 4) . . . FSU is 5-4-2 all-time in December games at Michigan State . . . Ferris State has won three of the last four meetings with MSU after going 1-5-1 in the previous seven matchups . . . The Bulldogs have allowed a power-play goal in the last 18 man-advantage situations for the opposition dating back to the Nov. 19 home tilt versus Western Michigan . . . Head coach Bob Daniels is now two wins shy of his 300th career win. Daniels, the program's all-time winningest coach, has a 298-340-72 bench mark in 19 seasons