Ann Arbor, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team suffered a 4-1 setback to the Michigan Wolverines in the opening game of the Bulldogs' final Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) regular-season series before a sold out crowd and national television audience at the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor on Friday (Mar. 1) night.
With the loss and Ohio State's win over Miami (Ohio), the Bulldogs now need a victory over Michigan on Saturday night combined with a OSU loss in order to host the Buckeyes in the second round of the CCHA Playoffs March 15-17.
The Wolverines got on the scoreboard first as they took an early 1-0 lead only 2:40 into the opening period when Zach Hyman scored his fourth goal of the season by notching the puck over Bulldog sophomore goaltender CJ Motte's shoulder. Justin Selman chipped the puck to Travis Lynch at the point as both picked up assists on the initial goal.
Soon after, at 9:35 of the first frame, Derek DeBlois scored his ninth goal of the season on the low-glove side to give the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage. Andrew Copp made the pass after he wrapped the puck around the net with Alex Guptill earning the second assist.
However, the Bulldogs made it a one-goal game when senior center Travis Ouellette scored the Bulldogs' lone goal of the evening for his 10th of the season from the left post around Michigan goaltender Steve Racine's right pad on the power-play at 16:03 of the opening period. Junior wing Garrett Thompson earned his 14th helper of the season when he shot the puck to the point to sophomore defenseman Jason Binkley, who registered his seventh assist.
The Wolverines regained a two-goal cushion by taking a 3-1 lead late in the second period at 14:09 when Luke Moffatt slid the puck around Motte's right pad. Phil DiGiuseppe, who was at the right circle, shot the puck to Moffatt at the center after receiving the pass from Cristoval Nieves.
Michigan then sealed the 4-1 victory at 12:13 of the final frame when Lee Moffie shot the puck from the point before it deflected off a Bulldog player and over Motte. Copp and DeBlois both earned their second points of the evening by picking up the helpers.
Motte registered 33 saves on the night in 60 minutes of action between the pipes while Racine totaled 22 saves and also spent 60 minutes in the net for the Wolverines. Michigan led the shots by a 37-23 margin.
The Bulldogs and Wolverines both had six penalties each for a total of 12 minutes for the evening. The Bulldogs found the back of the net on one out of four man-advantages while the Wolverines could not convert on three power-play opportunities.
With the setback, the Bulldogs dropped to 15-14-4 overall along with 13-12-2 (1) in the CCHA. Meanwhile, the Wolverines improved to 13-18-2 overall and now hold a 10-15-2 (2) record in the CCHA.
The setback was the Bulldogs' 19th in the last 20 matchups between the two teams at Yost Ice Arena.
The two teams will be back in action for their final CCHA regular-season game before another national television audience on Saturday (March 2) night at Yost Ice Arena. Fox Sports Detroit will broadcast the game live from Ann Arbor with the puck drop set for 7:35 p.m. (ET). A large contingent of Bulldog fans are expected for the sold out contest.
Fans are encouraged to stay tuned to FerrisStateBulldogs.com for updated playoff information following Saturday's contest.