Post Game: Cencer
Big Rapids, Mich. - A quick start fueled the nationally sixth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to yet another victory as FSU opened a key Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) weekend series with a 5-3 win over 14th-ranked Lake Superior State on Friday (Dec. 6) night in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
The Bulldogs scored three goals in the first five minutes of action and established a 5-1 lead heading into the third period as they increased their nation-leading unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive games (10-0-2).
Senior forward Cory Kane opened the scoring for Ferris State only 1:42 into the contest as he notched his fifth goal of the year. Junior Justin Buzzeo registered his 10th assist of the season as the Bulldogs jumped out of the gates quickly.
Less than three minutes later, another Bulldog senior found the back of the net as senior forward Garrett Thompson jammed home a rebound for his eighth goal of the year. Freshmen Ryan Lowney and Kyle Schempp came up with the assists at 4:34 of the opening stanza.
It didn't take long for FSU to push the advantage to three goals as senior Justin DeMartino recorded his third lamplighter of the season at 5:01 of the first frame. The assists were credited to Lowney and Buzzeo, who both tallied their second points of the night.
The lead eventually grew to four goals as FSU took a 4-0 edge at the 13:37 mark of the first period on the second goal of the year by freshman Gerald Mayhew. Kane picked up his second point of the evening with the first assist while freshman Chad McDonald received his seventh helper of the year on the power-play goal.
Lake Superior State finally found the scoreboard at 8:26 of the second period when Colin Campbell scored on the power play after a Bulldog penalty. Assists went to Dan Radke and Stephen Perfetto on Campbell's sixth marker of the season.
However, Ferris State answered as sophomore Matt Robertson continued his scoring streak with an even-strength goal at 14:59 of the second frame. It marked his seventh goal of the season and the sixth consecutive game in which he has put the puck in the net. Schempp recorded his eighth assist of the year with the helper.
The score remained 5-1 heading into the final period, but the Lakers managed to score two goals in the first 10:09 to draw within two goals. LSSU's Kevin Czuczman picked up his fifth goal this year at 6:10 off a feed from Ian Miller and Zach Sternberg before Eric Drapulak also tallied his fifth goal five minutes later with a power-play marker from Chris Ciotti and Garret Clemment. The score came at 10:09 of the final frame, but that was as close as the Lakers could get the rest of the way.
The nation's winningest goaltender, FSU junior CJ Motte, remained unbeaten on the season at 12-0-2 by making 39 total saves. He had nine stops in the first period, 16 in the second and 14 in the third.
Meanwhile, LSSU's Kevin Kapalka earned the start in net and had a single save while allowing FSU's first three goals in the initial 5:01 of the contest. He was pulled in favor of Kevin Murdock, who played the rest of the first period and totaled nine stops with one goal allowed. The Lakers went back to Kapalka the rest of the way and he came up with nine saves in the second and three more in the third for a total of 13 on the night.
Overall, Lake Superior State held a 42-27 edge in total shots for the evening, which included 17 in the second frame and 16 more in the third. The Bulldogs had a 14-9 advantage in first period shot, but had only 10 in the second and just three in the final period.
FSU was called for six penalties totaling 12 minutes and the Lakers were able to capitalize twice in six tries with the man-advantage. Meanwhile, Ferris State was one-of-three on the power play as the Lakers were whistled three times for six minutes in the box.
Ferris State improved to 12-2-2 on the year and is still unbeaten atop the WCHA standings with a 9-0-2 league mark in FSU's debut season. The Bulldogs also increased their league lead to eight points with the victory.
LSSU fell to 9-5-1 overall and 5-4-0 in the WCHA with the series-opening setback.
Saturday's series' finale at Taffy Abel Ice Arena is slated for a 7:07 p.m. (ET) start and will represent the Bulldogs' final WCHA contest until their next home series against Michigan Tech on Jan. 10-11 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids. The game can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM and the Bulldog Sports Network online at FerrisStateBulldogs.com.
Following Saturday's game, the Bulldogs continue their eight-game stretch away from home by visiting Big Ten members Michigan (Dec. 11) and Michigan State (Dec. 14) along with an appearance in the Mariucci Classic hosted by Minnesota (Jan. 3-4).