Hockey victories with one-goal differentials have decidedly more intrigue than say 7-1 victories.
The nation’s No. 5 ranked hockey team, Ferris State, completed a two-game sweep of the Northern Michigan Wildcats with a 2-1 win on Saturday, Feb. 8 inside Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The win followed a 7-1 Bulldog victory on Feb. 7.
Unlike the first win when the Bulldogs’ top line combined for six points, it was the fourth line that handled the scoring duties in the second game of the series.
“I thought they played strong all night long,” Head coach Bob Daniels said. “They played with a lot of energy
The Bulldogs immediately deflated the Wildcat’s hopes by scoring 3:44 into the contest, when freshmen forward Jared VanWormer scored his second goal of the season, and his first in front of the Ferris crowd.
“Can’t beat it,” VanWormer said. “It was nice scoring at Michigan Tech, but getting it on the first shift kind of set the table for me, [Dakota] Klecha and [Dominic] Panetta, I think it helped us out with a lot of confidence.”
During the second intermission, Ferris honored the man beneath the mask of Brutus the Bulldog. Senior Zach Totten, who has served as Brutus for four and a half years, doffed the Brutus head at center ice in front of a sold out crowd of 2,490 fans.
Totten took one final skate around the ice in what turned into an emotional gesture for the long serving mascot. Man fans expressed their gratitude, and the student section, more widely known as the Dawg Pound, gave one of their loudest ovations this season.
As the the game flipped to the final chapter, the Bulldogs added to their 1-0 lead when senior forward Cory Kane scored his second goal in as many nights at 4:21 in the third period. Again, fourth liners VanWormer and sophomore forward Klecha were in on the action, each picking up assists on the play.
Northern Michigan was able to punch in their first goal since the first period of Friday night’s game, when Wildcat forward Darren Nowick scored at 12:47 of the third period.
During the course of the game, Ferris lost senior forward Andy Huff, owner of three points in the series opener, to an undisclosed injury. They also lost senior forward Garrett Thompson who split his elbow open during the second period, but returned to the bench with 40 seconds to play in the third period.
Daniels noted that Huff’s injury “May be more problematic,” than Thompson’s. Thompson is expected to play next weekend, while Huff’s status is unknown.
The sold out crowd and intensity of the Dawg Pound seemed to overwhelm Northern Michigan in the closing minutes of the third period, and Ferris left the ice taking their third win in four contests from the Wildcats this season.
The win was Ferris State’s 20th of the season, which will at least put them in a tie for second place in the nation in overall wins.
On Valentine’s Weekend, Ferris will rekindle their relationship with the Bemidji State Beavers in Bemidji, Minnesota. The Feb. 14-15 contests have 8:37 and 8:07 p.m. puck drops scheduled respectively.