Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team beat the Northern Michigan Wildcats by a score of 3-1 in a Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series finale on Saturday evening (Feb. 4) at the Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich.
The Bulldogs improved to 18-8-4 overall record and 12-6-4-(1) in conference action with the triumph. Additionally, FSU moved back into first place in the CCHA standings and became the first league team to reach the 40-point mark this season. The victory also improved FSU's unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive games as FSU is 7-0-3 overall in the 2012 calendar year. Northern Michigan fell to 12-10-6 overall and 7-9-6 in the CCHA.
The Bulldogs scored two goals in the first period for an early 2-0 lead. Senior defender Chad Billins (Marysville) scored his sixth goal of the year with senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) getting the assist at the 9:23 mark of the first period to account for the initial marker. With the goal, Billins extended his current point streak to seven games.
Then, with five seconds left in the first period, sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) scored a goal. Junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) won the faceoff for a clean feed to Czarnowczan, who put it above the NMU's goalie right shoulder.
After a scoreless second period, Northern Michigan's Reed Seckel got on the board 1:46 into the third period by scoring a power-play tally to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Finally, with 40 seconds left in the game, Kirzinger scored an empty-net goal to secure the 3-1 win with Johnston picking up the assist. Both forwards notched two points in the contest.
In the net for the Bulldogs was freshman goaltender CJ Motte (St. Claire), who allowed one goal and made 24 saves. On the other end of the ice, Jared Coreau made 28 saves and allowed two Bulldog goals for NMU.
The Bulldogs were one-for-four on the power-play while NMU went one-for-three with the man advantage.
The win was FSU's first over Northern Michigan since November of 2008.
The Bulldogs will return to action next weekend (Feb. 10-11) in a home-and-home conference series against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Friday's contest will be played at the Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Ind. Ferris State then hosts Saturday's contest at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. Both games are slated to being at 7:05 p.m. (EDT).
Saturday's contest in Big Rapids will be televised live by Comcast Television and a third consecutive sellout is expected as limited tickets remain. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early this week by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.