Bulldogs Fall In OT In CCHA Tourney Opener
Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team dropped game one in a best-of-three series to open the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Quarterfinal round against Bowling Green State on Friday night (March 9) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
The 3-2 overtime loss marks the first-ever home playoff loss for the Bulldogs at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The nationally number-two ranked Bulldogs are the top-seeded team in the CCHA Tournament with BGSU seeded eighth following first round action. With the loss, Ferris State now holds a 22-10-5 overall record this season. The loss is the second-straight for FSU, which had been idle since a home setback to Western Michigan in the regular-season finale in Big Rapids on Feb. 25.
Ferris State opened the scoring at the 8:08 mark of the first period when junior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) got on the score sheet with a power-play goal. Sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) and freshman defenseman Jason Binkley (Powell, Ohio) tallied the assists.
The Falcons were able to tie the game 1-1 at 4:15 of the second period with a tally from senior left wing Camden Wojtala. Jake Sloat and Cameron Sinclair earned the helpers.
FSU responded 1:12 into the third period as sophomore forward Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) scored his ninth goal of the season to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Senior defender Brett Wysopal (LaGrange Park, Ill.) and junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) notched the assists.
However, with just under three minutes to play in regulation, at the 17:06 mark, Wojtala scored his second goal of the game for Bowling Green State to tie the game at 2-2, which held up thru the end of regulation.
The two teams skated to 17:18 of the sudden death overtime before Bowling Green State's Ryan Carpenter snuck the puck past the goal line. Assists went to Chad Sumison and Connor Kucera.
Senior goalie Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) made 31 saves in the game for the Bulldogs, including 10 in the overtime period.
Junior goalie Andrew Hammond made 54 saves to keep the Falcons in the contest. He recorded double-digits in each period, including a game-high 16 in the third stanza. Ferris State had not forced a goalie to make more than 50 saves in a contest since 2010 when Northern Michigan's Brian Stewart made 51 saves in a 4-0 victory for NMU.
The game saw BGSU in the penalty box for 12 minutes on six infractions. The Bulldogs served 10 minutes on five penalties. The Falcons were 0-for-4 on the power-play while FSU scored one tally and went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday night (March 10) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena ingame two of the best-of-three series. The puck is slated to drop at 7:05 p.m. (EDT). Game three, if necessary, will take place on Sunday (March 11) evening.
For tickets, please call the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information. Tickets are on sale now and can also be purchased in advance thru StarTickets.com.