No room for slip-ups

Bulldogs split against NMU as they ready themselves for their home finale

Bench Celebration: The Bulldog bench erupts during the shootout against Western Michigan. Ferris State would split last weekend, Feb. 8-9, on the road at Northern Michigan.  Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

Bench Celebration: The Bulldog bench erupts during the shootout against Western Michigan. Ferris State would split last weekend, Feb. 8-9, on the road at Northern Michigan. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor

After this past weekend’s split decision against Northern Michigan, the Bulldogs are squarely in fourth place in the CCHA standings with 39 points trailing the first-place Miami Redhawks by eight points for the conference lead.

Ferris traveled to the Upper Peninsula Feb. 8-9, attempting to sweep the Wildcats and move closer to the top of the conference.

An early lead from a power play goal, Feb. 8, by freshman defender Brandon Anselmini gave Ferris a 1-0 lead. Ferris extended it to a two-goal lead midway through the second period when Ferris senior left wing Kyle Bonis slammed home a rebounded puck.

The Wildcats would try to come back by scoring one in the third to get within a goal of Ferris. Senior center Travis Ouellette dashed the hopes of the Wildcats, scoring an empty net tally in the waning second of the game, capturing Ferris’ first win of the series by a final score of 3-1.

Game two of the series, Feb. 9, would not go as well for the Bulldogs as they failed to manage a single goal, falling to the Wildcats by a final score of 3-0.

After a scoreless first period, the Wildcats managed to score the first goal of the game eight minutes into the second period. They then banged in a goal in the final minute of the second stanza before adding a power play tally in the final period to finish the game and the series.

With only two series left in the 2013 season, the Bulldogs are in the CCHA’s top echelon of teams. They come back for the final home series of the year against the Bowling Green State Falcons before ending their season in Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines.

“We just have to worry about ourselves. We have to play our own game, regardless of who we play. Our mental approach will not change simply because of how crucial these next few games are,” Bonis said.

The Falcons come to Big Rapids in seventh place in the CCHA Standings and are led by sophomore forward Ryan Carpenter who has 12 goals and 25 total points. Carpenter currently stands in fifth place for total points in the conference.

Positioning in the CCHA is becoming more important, as the first three teams consisting of Miami, Western Michigan and Notre Dame are all separated by three points, with Ferris trailing Notre Dame by five points in fourth place.

The Bulldogs, having acquired 39 points this year, have Ohio State University and the Alaska Nanooks nipping at their tails. The schools lag behind within two points of Ferris for the fourth spot in the standings. The top six in the CCHA are close, while no other team in the CCHA have met the 30-point mark in the league.

“Every game from here until playoffs is so important. Anyone can make a move in the standings, and we want it to be us,” Bonis said.

During the series finale Feb. 16, Ferris will give its seniors a final send off. Senior Night looms large as a special moment for the Bulldogs, as they are applauded for their four hard years of spit, blood, sweat
and tears.