Press Conference (Coming Soon)
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team snapped a three-game losing streak as senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) recorded his first career hat trick to lead the 17th-ranked Bulldogs past nationally ninth-ranked Colgate 4-2 in a non-conference tilt on Friday evening (Jan. 6) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
The win brings the Bulldogs back into the win column after a tough month in December. The team currently stands at 12-8-1 overall and remains 7-6-1 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). The Raiders slipped to 12-5-2 overall.
Colgate managed to get on the scoresheet first as senior defender Corbin McPhereson scored a power-play goal 7:06 into the first period.
Johnston answered back with an even-strength goal, his ninth goal of the year, at the 13:49 mark of the first period. The first of three goals for Johnston came from a rebound off of a shot by junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan). Sophomore defender Scott Czanowczan (Macomb) picked up the second assist.
Then, 4:42 into the second period, Johnston scored his second goal of the game in an almost identical fashion as his first goal. Freshman right wing TJ Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) got the puck to Kirzinger, whose shot rebounded off the Colgate netminder's pad for the chip in from Johnston.
Less than two minutes later, at 6:23, Colgate answered back with a goal from freshman Spiro Gaulakos to knot the score at two goals apiece. With 3:57 remaining in the second period, freshman Joe Wilson gave the Raiders a 3-2 lead with an even-strength goal.
Down 3-2 entering the third, senior defenseman Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wis.) tied the game for the Bulldogs as he scored a power-play goal with assists coming from sophomore Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) and senior Travis Ouellette (Windsor, Ontario).
As the minutes ticked down, the Bulldogs saw several additional scoring opportunities, with Johnston finally capitalizing on a scoring chance with 2:30 left in regulation time. He notched his third goal of the game, and 11th of the season, with the helpers going to senior defender Chad Billins (Marysville) and Schlueter. It marked the first time a Bulldog player had scored a hat trick since Nov. 20, 2009, when Blair Riley (2005-2010) tallied the three-goal feat against Ohio State in a 8-1 victory.
Senior goaltender Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) earned the win as he stopped 22 Colgate chances, including a 14-save performance in the second period. His record improved to 8-4-0 on the season. In goal for Colgate was sophomore Eric Mihalki, who stopped 40 of the Bulldogs' 44 shots on goal.
Ferris State went 1-of-4 on the power play, compared to Colgate's 1-of-5 showing. The Bulldogs were in the penalty box on seven infractions totaling 14 penalty minutes. The Raiders totaled 22 minutes in the box with seven penalties as well.
Johnston's three-goal performance earned him the number one star of the game. Meanwhile, Kirzinger's two assists gave him the second star of the game. The Raiders' netminder, Mihalki, earned the third star of the game with his 40-save performance.
The two squads will meet again Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. (EDT) puck drop set at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. The FSU Athletics department will be holding a "Military Appreciation Night" in conjunction with the game. For more details on the event, please click here.