December 9, 2011

#9 Ferris State Downs #7 Notre Dame

Highlights
Post Game Press Conference  
Game Replay On Demand
Game Replay On Demand

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team got back in the win column on Friday night (Dec. 9) as they defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a 4-1 count in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) tilt at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.

The three-point conference victory brings the nationally ninth-ranked Bulldogs to an overall record of 11-5-1 with a 7-5-1 record in the CCHA.  The loss dropped seventh-ranked Notre Dame to 10-6-3 overall and 7-3-3 in conference play.

The contest opened a league home-and-home series between the two teams and came before a crowd of more than 2,000 fans on FSU's home ice. It also snapped a two-game conference skid for the Bulldogs.

Sophomore forward Andy Huff (Howell) started the scoring for the Bulldogs at the 11:41 mark of the first period as he got a goal from a pad rebound off of senior defender Chad Billins' (Marysville) slap shot. Junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) tallied the second assist.

Just over seven minutes into the second period, at 7:09, Kirzinger scored his second short-handed goal of the season and eventual game winner to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Senior defenseman Brett Wysopal (LaGrange, Ill.) found Kirzinger's stick wide open in the neutral zone and he then skated the puck all the way down the ice for the short-handed tally. Senior defenseman Derek Graham (Portage) earned the second assist.

Then, with 3:05 left in the second period, junior forward Kyle Bonis  (Lindsay, Ontario) netted his ninth goal of the season with Kirzinger picking up his third point of the game and Graham registering his second on a helper.

Notre Dame scored its lone goal skating four-on-four with 11:47 left in the game as Sam Calabrese found the back of the net behind Bulldog senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan).

However, FSU senior center Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) scored the final goal of the game at the 9:07 mark as the Bulldogs were on a four-on-three man advantage. Junior forward Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario) and Billins were rewarded with the assists on the lamp-lighter.

The physical game featured ten penalties with 31 penalty minutes for Notre Dame, which was also 0-6 in power-play situations. The Bulldogs racked up 35 penalty minutes on 12 penalties and were 1-6 in the man advantage situation.

The win lifted Nelson's record to 7-3-0 in goal as he stopped 28 of 29 Notre Dame shots. The Bulldogs had 23 shots on goal as Notre Dame's goaltender, Mike Johnson, made 19 saves.

With three points, Kirzinger attained the first star of the game. Billins and Graham received the second and third stars, respectively, for their production.

The Bulldogs will conclude the home-and-home series and try to earn the conference sweep as they travel to the Compton Family Ice Arena on Saturday night (Dec. 10) to face the Fighting Irish again in South Bend, Ind. The puck is set to drop at 7:05 p.m. (EDT).

Saturday's game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM or the Bulldog Sports Network at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com starting with the pregame show at 6:30 p.m.

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