A televised game before a sellout crowd at Ferris State University this Saturday (Jan. 15) evening had all the makings for an exciting showdown between the two top nationally-ranked teams in the state, but the seventh-ranked Michigan Wolverines stole the show by scoring the game's first four goals en route to a 6-1 decision over the 19th-ranked Bulldogs at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs had hoped to split the weekend Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) home-and-home series after falling Friday (Jan. 14) 3-2 on the Wolverines' ice. However, Michigan wasted no time in setting the tone as the Wolverines erupted for three first-period goals to silence the soldout crowd of 2,493 spectators in attendance. Carl Hagelin's score at 10:53 into the contest gave UM a 1-0 lead which the Wolverines would increase just 15 seconds later as David Wohlberg netted his first of two lamplighters in the contest. Michigan would connect on a power-play opportunity with 1:51 to go in the opening period on a Lee Moffie goal as the visitors would claim a 13-6 advantage in shots for the frame.
Michigan continued to control the action offensively in the second period and increased their lead to 4-1 when Scooter Vaughan potted a short-handed tally at 2:01 into the stanza. The shortie prompted a switch in goaltenders as senior Pat Nagle (Bloomfield) was pulled in favor of junior Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan), who would go on to make 16 stops in just under 36 minutes of time between the posts. Ferris State was able to put nine shots on UM goaltender Matt Hunwick in the second period while the Wolverines recorded 13 shots for the second straight period.
The Bulldogs were finally able to solve Hunwick for the first and only time early in the third period as senior left wing Mike Fillinger (Grand Ledge) scored on a redirect for his fourth goal of the season. Fillinger notched his seventh point of the campaign by tipping the puck into the Michigan goal off a shot from above the left circle by junior defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.). Fillinger score averted the shutout as both Wysopal along with senior defenseman Scott Wietecha (Wolverine Lake) claimed their fifth assist of this season on the lone Bulldog tally.
Michigan would answer Ferris State's goal with two more of its own in the third period as Derek DeBlois put the Wolverines up 6-1 with a score at the 12:48 mark. The final goal of the game would come off the stick off David Wohlberg on a five-on-three power-play chance for Michigan with 1:47 to go in the contest. Wohlberg would wrap up his evening with two goals and was afforded the game's first star.
Ferris State, which drops to 11-10-4 overall and is now 8-8-3-2 in the CCHA with the loss, was denied twice on potential scores as the referees ruled no goal in both instances per confirmation via video review.
The Wolverines, who would hold a 35-29 advantage in shots on goal for the game, converted two-of-seven power plays while Ferris State was unsuccessful in five man-advantage situations.
Pat Nagle started for Ferris State and recorded 13 saves, including 10 first-period stops, in 24:10 minutes of action. Matt Hunwick claimed the victory for Michigan by making 28 saves in the game, which featured 13 alone in the final regulation period.
Ferris State will now venture to Michigan's Upper Peninsula next weekend, Jan. 21-22, for a two-game CCHA set versus the Northern Michigan Wildcats at Marquette, Mich. The puck will drop for both outings at 7:35 p.m. (EST) inside NMU's Berry Events Center. Following the series, the Bulldogs return to Big Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 27, to host the Michigan State Spartans in a 7:35 p.m. (EST) matchup which will be televised live on FS Detroit. Tickets for the home game are available through the Ferris State Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or by ordering online at www.startickets.com.
Notes: Mike Fillinger's seven points (4-3=7) in 21 games this season is his most since the 2007-08 campaign when the forward posted 13 points (9-4=13) in 31 contests . . . The 2,493 fans in attendance represented a sellout . . . Pat Nagle moved into a tie for sixth place on FSU's all-time saves leaders list with 13 stops in the contest against Michigan and is presently tied with Mitch O'Keefe's (2007-10) 2,104 career total . . . Ferris State has one more home game this month which will be on Jan. 27 against Michigan State in a FS Detroit televised contest . . . The last time FSU allowed at least three goals in the period was Nov. 13, 2010, in a 4-0 league setback at Lake Superior State as the Bulldogs gave up four second-period scores . . . Pat Nagle and senior defenseman Zach Redmond have been chosen as 2010-11 candidates for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player. Fans can vote for Nagle and Redmond every 24 hours at www.hobeybaker.com.