Big Rapids, Mich. - A late rally from a four-goal deficit in the consolation game of the 2014 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) proved to be too much for the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to overcome as the Bulldogs dropped a 4-2 decision to fellow Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) member and nationally fifth-ranked Michigan Tech on Monday (Dec. 29) at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The Huskies scored the lone goal of the opening period and added three more in the first 13:27 of the second frame before FSU fought back and scored the final two goals of the afternoon to wrap up their first-ever appearance in one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious holiday tournaments, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary this season.
Ferris State had opportunities as the Bulldogs held a 36-20 edge in total shots, including a 14-6 advantage in each of the opening two periods. However, MTU goaltender Jamie Phillips proved to be up to the challenge most of the way by making a game-high 34 saves in 60 minutes of work in the non-league tilt.
MTU struck first at 11:12 of the opening period when C.J. Eick found the back of the net off assists from Joel L'Esperance and Dylan Steman. The goal would prove to be the only score of the opening period in the in-state battle.
The Huskies quickly built on their advantage early in the middle period when Malcolm Gould scored a lamplighter only 59 seconds in the frame off assists from Tanner Kero and Walker Hyland to make it a 2-0 contest.
Michigan Tech pushed the lead to three goals 9:33 into the second period when L'Esperance produced his second point of the game on a marker assisted by David Johnstone.
The Huskies then came up with a critical goal less than four minutes later when Kero scored in a short-handed situation off a pass from Blake Pietila to make it 4-0 in the Huskies' favor.
Ferris State, though, rallied as the Bulldogs cut the margin to three goals only a minute later when junior defenseman Brandon Anselmini produced a power-play goal for FSU's first lamplighter of the tournament at 14:28 of the second period. His goal was assisted by sophomore defenseman Ryan Lowney and junior forward Matt Robertson.
FSU then trimmed the margin to two goals only 1:57 into the third frame when junior defenseman Simon Denis scored at even-strength off assists from senior forward Justin Buzzeo and Anselmini. The Bulldogs, however, could get no closer from there as MTU held on for the win.
Bulldog senior goaltender CJ Motte finished with 16 saves for the Bulldogs in 58:37 of work while falling to 9-9-1 overall this campaign. Phillips improved to 14-4-0 with the triumph on the Michigan Tech side.
Both teams did a good job of staying out of the penalty box as both teams were called for only three penalties totaling six minutes in the box. FSU scored once in two tries with the man-advantage while MTU was held scoreless in its lone attempt with the man-advantage.
Ferris State continues a six-game stretch away from home as the Bulldogs head to Alaska for an extended trip later this week. FSU will square off against the Alaska Nanooks in Fairbanks on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 2-3) with both games set for an 11:07 p.m. (ET) faceoff at the Carlson Center.
Following the two-game set in Fairbanks, FSU heads to Anchorage to face the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves in WCHA play on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 8-9. All four games in Alaska can be heard live on Sunny 97.3 FM starting with pregame coverage at 10:30 p.m. (ET). A live pay-per-view video feed will also be available online thru WCHA TV at www.wcha.com.
Late Rally Comes Up Short For Bulldogs As FSU Wraps Up First GLI Appearance
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