Two Late Goals Lift #7 Broncos Over #16 Bulldogs In Series Finale
Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally 16th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team took a lead late into the second period versus nationally 7th-ranked Western Michigan on Saturday (Dec. 8) evening at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena, but the Broncos scored twice late in the contest to pull out a 2-1 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) victory in Kalamazoo.
The win enabled the Broncos to sweep the Bulldogs in the two-game weekend series with a crowd of more than 4,000 fans on hand for the finale.
After a scoreless first period, Ferris State junior wing Garrett Thompson netted his sixth goal of the season on a breakaway immediately after stepping out of the penalty box at 8:21 into the second period, which gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead over the Broncos. Junior wing Justin DeMartino was credited with the assist.
The one-goal advantage stood for nearly the rest of the way until the Broncos were able to tie the contest up late in the third period when Chase Balisy scored on the power-play at the 15:52 mark of the final frame. Both Dane Walters and Dennis Brown received the assists on the goal.
Then, less than two minutes later at 17:46, WMU picked up its second power-play goal and the final lamplighter of the evening when Mike Leone notched his second goal of the weekend to push the Broncos in front of FSU. Garrett Harr and Dan DeKeyser picked up the helpers on the game-winning goal.
Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte registered a total of 33 saves on the night while Western Michigan netminder Frank Slubowski made a total of 25 saves on the opposite end of the ice. The Broncos led the shots on the night by a count of 35-26 over FSU.
The Bulldogs had six penalties on the night for 12 minutes with the Broncos totaling four penalties for eight minutes. The Broncos scored two power-play goals on five opportunities while the Bulldogs were unable to convert with the man-advantage in three opportunities.
With the setback, the Bulldogs fell to 7-6-3 overall and are now 6-5-1 in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Broncos improved to 10-3-1 overall along with a 7-2-1 mark in the conference.
The Bulldogs will be back in action next Saturday, December 15, when they travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans inside the Munn Ice Arena. The puck is set to drop at 5:05 p.m. (ET) for the lone contest of the week, which will be televised by Comcast.
After the trip to East Lansing, the Bulldogs will break for the holiday before returning to the ice on Dec. 28-29 at the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero, Fla.
Ferris State will then return home to face the Spartans again on Jan. 5 in Big Rapids at 5:05 p.m. (ET) and tickets are available for purchase in advance by calling (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for more information.