More Postgame Coverage Coming Soon!
Green Bay, Wis.- For the second time in Ferris State University men's ice hockey history, the Bulldogs have advanced to the NCAA Regional Championship game after a thrilling 2-1 victory over Denver this evening (March 23) at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
The Bulldogs improved to 24-11-5 overall with the triumph and will now move on to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2002-03. FSU also won for the second time in three all-time NCAA Tournament contests.
After a scoreless first period, Bulldog senior forward Jordie Johnston (Rosetown, Saskatchewan) netted the game's first goal at 4:30 of the second period. He was in front of the net as sophomore forward Garrett Thompson (Traverse City) skated around the back with the puck and passed it to Johnston. Junior forward Matthew Kirzinger (Leroy, Saskatchewan) also received an assist on the second period goal.
The score would remain 1-0 until 2:54 into the third period when Bulldog rookie defenseman Simon Denis (Burnaby, Saskatchewan) netted his first collegiate goal on a powerful wrister from the hash marks. Junior forward Eric Alexander (Kentwood) and sophomore forward Cory Kane (Irvine, Calif.) earned the helpers on the goal.
Denver answered back at the 5:22 mark of the third period as Drew Shore scored on a back-hander to put the Pioneers on the board to trim the margin to 2-1.
However, that score would hold up for the rest of regulation. Senior netminder Taylor Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) made 25 saves in the win for the Bulldogs. On the other end of the ice, Sam Brittain made 32 saves for the Pioneers, who ranked second in college hockey with seven national titles all-time heading into this year's tournament.
Neither team was able to tally a power-play goal as Denver went 0-for-4 and the Bulldogs were 0-for-3 on the night. FSU was punished for five penalties for 10 minutes in the box. The Pioneers served eight minutes of penalty time on four infractions.
Ferris State totaled 34 shots to 26 for Denver as FSU had 11 in the first period followed by seven in the second and 16 in the third. The Pioneers managed eight in both the first and third periods along with 10 in the second.
The meeting in the NCAA Tournament marked only the second-ever matchup between FSU and Denver. The Bulldogs improved to 2-0 against the Pioneers all-time with the triumph in the Resch Center.
The Bulldogs advance to the NCAA Regional Finals tomorrow (March 24) and will play Cornell, which upset top-seeded Michigan in overtime. FSU, which won the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Regular-Season title for the second time this season, will now try to do something no other FSU team has done by winning the regional title.
Saturday's regional final is slated for a 9 p.m. (ET) start and will be televised nationally live on ESPNU along with a live radio broadcast on the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM. The winner moves on to the NCAA Frozen Four April 5 & 7 in Tampa, Fla.
Tickets for Saturday's regional final are still on sale. Please call the Resch Center Box Office at (800) 895-0071. Single-day tickets are currently on sale for $38.
Bulldog fans ordering from the Resch Center Box Office should make sure to request the Ferris State Section 213 or the closest section to 213 if it's sold out in order to put all Bulldog fans in the same area of the facility.
Tickets can also be purchased online via www.ncaa.com/tickets.