The Dawg Pound was back in action as the Ferris hockey team held its 2012-13 home opener against the Mercyhurst Lakers. The team and student section did not disappoint.
The Bulldogs opened up their home ice by dropping banners from last season’s achievements inside Ewigleben Ice Arena, which included the 2011-12 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship banner and Frozen Four banner in tribute to the special season the Bulldogs had in 2012.
After the banners dropped, the stadium, filled with 1,894 people, became energized while the Dawg Pound (Ferris’ student section) shouted 12 chants during the course of the first period to aid the Bulldogs’ performance in their 7-3 victory over Mercyhurst on Oct. 19.
“This was my first time ever at a Ferris hockey game, and I would have never imagined that the student section was this crazy,” Ferris freshman business administration major Rob Ochmanski said. “It was surprising how rowdy and funny the Dawg Pound was. It was definitely an amazing atmosphere for the first game of the season,”
Ferris’ forwards junior Andy Huff and senior Kyle Bonis scored the first two goals for the Bulldogs before the Lakers’ Nick Jones put one past sophomore goaltender C.J. Motte on a Bulldog power play to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 edge heading into the intermission.
The second period was dominated by Ferris’ offense which outscored the Mercyhurst Lakers 5-0. The Bulldogs’ goals came from freshman center Kenny Babinski, senior center Travis Ouellette, Huff, Bonis and sophomore defenseman Simon Denis to roar the Bulldogs to a 7-1 lead.
“My ears were ringing in the rink. That is by far the loudest I have ever heard the crowd at a hockey game,” Ferris sophomore mechanical engineer major Tyler Hanson said.
The Bulldogs would go on to take the game in deciding fashion with a 7-3 win. Afterwards CCHA championship rings were awarded to all members of the 2011-12 Ferris hockey team, marking a memorable night for everyone at the game.
The second game of the series was a much tougher task for the Bulldogs, as the Lakers scored two power play goals to open up the game with a 2-0 lead before senior Eric Alexander put a goal in to give the Bulldogs a 1-2 deficit heading into the first intermission.
The teams traded goals in the second period when Huff scored, giving him his third goal of the weekend series. Finally the Bulldogs broke through when junior forward Justin DeMartino scored a timely goal, which tied the game at three a piece in the third period.
Neither team was able to score in a five minute overtime period, and the results ended in a 3-3 tie, which put Ferris’ all time record against Mercyhurst at 5-0-1.
“The positives are that we were down two goals and down a goal in the third and we came back, so I’ll take that tie,” Ferris’ Head Coach Bob Daniels said. “Maybe it’s a good thing to get it out of the way without a loss but we definitely have an issue we need to cure and that was the penalties.”
The Bulldogs sport a 1-1-2 record. Ferris will stay in Big Rapids to begin Central Collegiate Hockey Association play against the Alaska Nanooks, who come to town Oct. 26-27 with a 2-1-1 overall record. The Nanooks are arriving in Big Rapids after earning a win against nationally second-ranked North Dakota University. The CCHA opener is slated to begin at 7:05 at Ewigleben