Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally top-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team posted a decisive 5-1 win over the Bowling Green State Falcons in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action on Friday (Feb. 17) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
The win extends the Bulldogs' unbeaten streak to 13 consecutive games (10-0-3) as they improved to 21-8-4 overall and 15-6-4 in league play. Ferris State earned three conference points with the win and still sits at the top of the standings with 50 points. BGSU now holds a 9-19-5 overall and 4-17-4 CCHA record with the loss.
FSU has also clinched a first-round bye and home ice for the second round of the CCHA Tournament March 9-11. The top four teams receive byes for the opening round and the current fifth place teams, Miami and Ohio State, have only 39 points and cannot catch the Bulldogs with only three regular-season games left in the campaign.
After a scoreless first period, Bulldog junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) got on the score sheet first with a power-play goal 3:39 into the second period. Sophomore forward Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) and senior center Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) tallied the helpers.
The score remained 1-0 until 1:26 into the third period when FSU sophomore forward Garrett Thompson scored the eventual game-winning goal with assists going to senior defenseman Chad Billins (Marysville) and senior forward Jordie Johnston. The assist extended Billins' point streak to eight consecutive games.
BGSU cut the Bulldog lead to 2-1 at the 7:23 mark of the third period as freshman forward Ted Pletsch scored for the Falcons. Michael Fink and Bobby Shea picked up the assists.
However, just over two minutes later, at 9:31, freshman forward TJ Schlueter (St. Louis, Mo.) scored his fifth goal of the season on a power play. Sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) and junior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) tallied assists on the man-advantage play.
All four of the Bulldogs' forward lines wound up on the score sheet tonight with the line of Johnston, Kirzinger and Thompson accounting for two goals.
In net for the Bulldogs, senior goalie Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) made 19 saves to earn the win. On the other side of the ice, Andrew Hammond stopped 31 Bulldog shots on goal.
The Bulldogs were successful on two of their five power-play opportunities. Ferris State also held BGSU 0-for-3 on their man-advantage chances.
The two squad's will battle again in the series finale on Saturday night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m. (EDT). Fans can purchase tickets by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.
During the game, Ferris State University will officially recognize longtime community member and supporter Joe Spedowski as its "Local Hockey Hero" in conjunction with "Hockey Weekend Across America".