Big First Period Lifts Ferris State Hockey To Road Win In First-Ever WCHA Action
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team exploded for four goals in an opening period onslaught and dominated the evening's scoring opportunities as the Bulldogs rolled to an impressive 5-0 victory over Alabama-Huntsville in their first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) contest on Friday (NOv. 1) night at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Junior goaltender CJ Motte earned the shutout victory to remain unbeaten on the year while the Bulldogs recorded 37 shots offensively en route to the triumph.
Ferris State improved to 4-2 overall this season with its second consecutive win and is now off to a 1-0 start in its inaugural WCHA campaign.
Junior Dominic Panetta recorded his first goal of the 2013-14 season only 1:40 into the opening frame as the Bulldogs set the tone early. His goal came at even-strength off helpers from freshman forward Kyle Schempp and sophmore defenseman Brandon Anselmini.
Senior Garrett Thompson followed up Panetta's lamplighter with one of his own at 13:41 of the first frame as he tallied his fourth marker of the season on the power play. Senior captain Scott czarnowczan and junior linemate Justin Buzzeo were credited with assists.
FSU's final two goals of the first period came within two minutes of each other in the final three minutes of the frame as the lead stretched to four goals after the opening 20 minutes of action. The first was from sophomore Kenny Babinski on the right side at 17:47 off a feed from junior defenseman Jason Binkley.
Then, at 19:40 of the first period, Binkley earned his second assist of the night as Schempp posted his second goal of the year with a hard shot on the power-play. FSU's Andy Huff also had a helper on the final goal of the frame.
Ferris State tacked on another goal nearly midway thru the second period when Czarnowczan picked up his second goal of the season on a third Bulldog power play marker near the net. Thompson tallied his fifth assist of the season and team-leading ninth point overall with senior Justin DeMartino picked up his fourth helper of the year.
Overall, Ferris State held a decisive 37-21 edge in total shots, which included 17 in the opening period. FSU had eight shots in the second and 12 more in the third and final period. Alabama-Huntsville was limited to nine shots in the first frame, eight in the second and four in the third.
Motte ran his record to 4-0 overall this season in net with 21 saves on the Bulldog side while Carmine Guerriero picked up 32 saves for the Chargers.
FSU finished three-of-five on the power play with Alabama-Huntsville being stopped on two opportunities with the man-advantage. It marked the second-straight game in which Ferris State totaled three power-play goals.
The Bulldogs had only two penalties for four minutes compared to UAH's five penalties for 10 minutes in the box.
Alabama-Huntsville fell to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in league action with the loss in the series' opener.
In addition, Ferris State also improved to 8-2 all-time versus the Chargers with their second-ever road win in Huntsville. The Bulldogs previously won three of four meetings between the two teams in the most recent action back in the 2010-11 campaign, which included a split at the Von Braun Center.
Schempp picked up the game's first star for the Bulldogs and Thompson tallied second star honors with Binkley earning the third and final star of the night.
The two teams will square off again in the series' finale on Saturday (Nov. 2) night in Huntsville with opening faceoff set for 8:07 p.m. (ET). The contest can be heard live on the Bulldog Sports Network and Sunny 97.3 FM starting with pregame coverage at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Following Saturday's game, FSU returns home and will host Bemidji State in its first-ever WCHA home games next weekend (Nov. 7-8) at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. It will open a six-game homestand for the Bulldogs in the month of November.
Tickets for all home contests are currently on sale and can be purchased in advance at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The box office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. Fans can save over the gameday rates by purchasing in advance.