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Postgame: Bonis and Nelson
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Tampa, Fla.- The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team advanced to the national championship game for the first time in school history as the Bulldogs posted a 3-1 victory over Union College in the national semifinals on Thursday (April 5) night at the Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla.
The Bulldogs will move on to Saturday's (April 7) national title contest against Boston College, which was a 6-1 winner over Minnesota in the second national semifinal contest. The title game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. (ET) puck drop on Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
FSU made the most of its historic first-ever trip to the Frozen Four by advancing past a tough Dutchmen team. It marks the first time in university history in which the Bulldogs have reached the national championship game in any team sport.
The win gave the Bulldogs a 26-11-5 overall record while Union's season ended with a 26-8-7 record. Ferris State's 26 wins are now tied for the second-most in school history behind the memorable 31 victories established by the 2002-03 squad along with the 1979-80 squad.
After a scoreless first period, Union got on the scoresheet first with a goal from Daniel Carr, who slipped the puck right between Taylor Nelson's (Regina, Saskatchewan) pads 7:76 into the second frame for his 20th marker of the campaign with assists by Greg Coburn and Jeremy Welsh.
However, the Bulldogs answered back with just under three minutes left in the second period when senior forward Aaron Schmit (Grafton, Wis.) jammed a rebound shot off of junior forward Kyle Bonis (Lindsay, Ontario) past the Union netminder Troy Grosenick to even the game. Sophomore defenseman Scott Czarnowczan (Macomb) also tallied an assist on the power-play goal along with Bonis.
The score would remain tied until the 15:17 mark of the third period when Bonis scored an even-strength tally to give the Bulldogs the advantage. Senior defenseman Brett Wysopal (Lagrange Park, Ill.) shot the puck and Bonis hammered the rebound shot into a wide open net for the eventual game-winner.
FSU added an empty-net goal with 55 seconds left in the third period as Schmit scored again to ensure the 3-1 victory.
Ferris State was 1-of-4 on the power-play and killed off the only penalty-kill opportunity.
In net for the Bulldogs, Nelson made 27 saves, including 12 in the second period. On the other end of the ice, the Bulldogs challenged Grosenick with 34 shots, including 17 in the second period and 12 in the third.
The victory was Ferris State's first-ever over Union as the Dutchmen had owned a 4-0 all-time series advantage over the Bulldogs entering the contest. FSU also improved to 8-0 this year versus ECAC member schools with the triumph in its third consecutive NCAA Tournament victory.
The Bulldogs will continue their season in the national championship game at the Frozen Four on Saturday night against Boston College. Saturday's 7 p.m. (ET) game will be televised on ESPN2. The live radio broadcast can be heard on the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM along with online at www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Bulldog Bites: Ferris State senior Tommy Hill has earned the prestigious distinction as the NCAA's Elite 89 Award recipient for highest grade point average of any player at the Frozen Four. He was honored at the first intermission of the second semifinal game .... The Bulldogs will hold an open practice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. (ET) ....... The All-America teams will officially be announced in conjunction with the Frozen Four late Friday afternoon ..... Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels, who earned the Spencer Penrose Award as the 2011-12 NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year on Wednesday, improved to 4-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games with the triumph.