Press Conference: Daniels | Kirzinger | Thompson
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State men's ice hockey team improved its unbeaten streak to four-straight games (3-0-1) as the Bulldogs downed the Alaska Nanooks in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) competition on Saturday evening (Jan. 13) with a 4-3 decision at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
The win improved Ferris State's record to 14-8-2 overall with a 8-6-2 mark in the CCHA. The loss dropped Alaska to 7-11-4 overall and 4-10-4 in conference action.
Alaska's Jarret Granberg opened the scoring just 1:44 into the first period as he scored on the power play with assists posted by Nik Yaremchuk and Scott Enders.
FSU answered at the 3:31 mark when Bulldog senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) tallied an even-strength goal to tie the contest up at one goal apiece. Junior Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) cleanly won an offensive zone face off and the puck went to Johnston, who buried it on the goalie's glove side.
The lone second period goal came from Bulldog senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) at the 8:37 mark as he buried the puck near the post to give Ferris State a 2-1 lead. Freshman forward Nate Milam (Westland) and senior Derek Graham (Schoolcraft) tallied the helpers on the goal.
Alaska got back on the board first in the third period with an even-strength goal from Andy Taranto only 34 seconds into play. The Nanooks scored again at the 7:55 mark to make the score 3-2 with a goal from Ron Meyers. The helpers went to Garrik Perry and Justin Filzen.
Ferris State responded at the 9:31 mark as Kirzinger scored his fifth goal of the season with assists going to sophomore Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) and senior defender Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.)
Thompson then tallied the game-winning goal on a power play with 6:30 left in the third period. Kirzinger notched his third point of the game with an assist, as sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) also received a helper.
Senior goalie Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) recorded 28 saves in the win, including 12 in the first period and 11 in the second. The win improved the netminder's record to 10-4-1 on the year.
Nanook goalie Scott Greenham stopped 20 of the Bulldogs' shots on the goal in the setback.
The Bulldogs were one-for-nine with a power play opportunity while the Nanooks were one-for-four on the night. The Bulldogs stayed disciplined and served only four penalties for eight penalty minutes. The Nanooks took 10 penalties for 31 minutes in the box.
The Bulldogs will be on the road next weekend (Jan. 20-21) as they travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State. OSU currently is ranked at the top of the CCHA with 34 points.