Marquette, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team went on the road and came away with a well-earned 3-1 victory in its series opener against the Northern Michigan University Wildcats on Friday (Feb. 8) night in Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) action inside the Berry Events Center at Marquette.
With the win, the Bulldogs held onto at least fourth place in the league standings heading into Saturday night's series' finale.
Bulldog freshman defenseman Brandon Anselmini notched the first goal of the evening from the right side at 10:42 of the opening period on the power-play to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Senior wing Eric Alexander earned his fourth helper of the season while sophomore defenseman Simon Denis notched his 12th assist this campaign. The lamp-lighter marked Anselmini's fourth of his rookie season.
The Bulldogs then took a 2-0 advantage early in the second period at 7:54 when the puck slid into the net off Wildcat goaltender Jared Coreau's left pad on a rebound goal from senior wing Kyle Bonis for his team-high 15th marker of the season. Denis and senior center Travis Ouellette earned their 13th and 12th assists of the year, respectively.
The score stood at 2-0 in favor of FSU until Ryan Aynsley scored the Wildcats' lone goal of the night after a three-on-three battle at 8:18 of the final frame. Ryan Daugherty and Stephan Vigier earned the assists on NMU's only goal.
However, the Bulldogs sealed the win when Ouellette tallied his ninth goal of the season on the Wildcats' empty net in unassisted fashion at 19:49 of the final period.
Sophomore Bulldog goaltender CJ Motte registered 23 saves on the night in 59:55 minutes of action between the pipes while Coreau made 15 saves in 59:45 for the Wildcats. NMU led the shots by a count of 24-17 with the Bulldogs garnering a game-high 11 shots in the opening period.
FSU and NMU had three penalties apiece for a total of six minutes each on the night. The Bulldogs converted on one out of two man-advantages while the Wildcats could not find the back of the net on two power-play opportunities.
With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 14-11-4 overall record and now hold a 13-9-2 (1) record in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Wildcats dropped to 11-13-4 overall along with a 5-12-4 (1) record in league action.
This weekend's visit to Marquette represents the third consecutive year in which the Bulldogs have faced NMU inside the Berry Events Center on the Wildcats' Olympic sheet of ice. The victory was only the Bulldogs' second in the last eight games against Northern Michigan overall, but was the second in a row for FSU.
The two teams will wrap up the weekend series on Saturday (Feb. 9) night as part of a tripleader involving FSU and NMU squads at the Berry Events Center. The puck will drop at 7:35 p.m. (ET) and follow Bulldog men's and women's basketball games versus Northern Michigan inside the facility, which begin at 11 a.m. (ET) and 1 p.m. (ET), respectively.
Following Saturday's series finale, the Bulldogs will return home and host the Bowling Green State Falcons in their last-ever CCHA regular-season home series slated for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Tickets are currently on sale and limited availability remains for the last home action for FSU during regular-season play in the 42-year history of the CCHA.
The puck will drop on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7:05 p.m. (ET) for the opening game of the weekend set and is being billed as "International Night" sponsored by the Office of International Education. The night's activities will also include a special team picture giveaway along with a "Frozen Four" poster drawing.
Meanwhile, the final contest on Saturday, Feb. 16, will serve as FSU's annual "Senior Night" game with Fox Sports Detroit set to broadcast the contest live as part of "Hockey Day In Michigan" coverage beginning at 5:05 p.m. (ET). Tickets are already extremely limited for the last regular-season home game in the CCHA.
Ferris State fans are encouraged to wear red, come early and cheer loud for the Bulldogs as part of a "Red Out" effort on Feb. 16. FSU will honor its senior class during a special "Senior Night" pregame ceremony and the first 500 fans will receive free thundersticks. A special "Skate with the Dawgs" event will also take place following the regular-season home finale.
Fans can purchase advance tickets for the Bowling Green State series and save over the normal gameday rates by visiting the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex or by calling (231) 591-2888. Normal business hours are Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday's until 7 p.m. (ET). The ticket office will also remain open on Thursday night until 7 p.m. for this coming week.
Bulldog fans can also purchase all regular-priced tickets in advance 24 hours a day, seven days a week online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737.