The Bulldogs posted two shootout victories over No. 1 Miami (Ohio)
The Ferris State hockey team upset nationally No. 1 ranked Miami (Ohio) with a pair of road shootout victories over the weekend.
Ferris improved to 7-3-2 overall this season and 2-2-2-2 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) after earning four points in the conference standings. Head coach Bob Daniels believes the team is improved, but must continue to work on a few areas.
“After this weekend, I think we have a chance to be a very good team,” said Daniels. “But we have to continue to work hard if we’re going to get there.”
Ferris started the weekend with a 2-2 overtime tie on Friday, which led to a shootout victory. Neither team jumped on the board in the first period, despite a combined 19 shots on goal by both teams. Sophomore goalie Taylor Nelson was instrumental in the first period as he stopped 11 shots for Ferris.
The Bulldogs netted the first goal of the game as senior left wing Blair Riley scored a fast-break goal just 1:50 into the second period.
However, the Red Hawks managed to sneak in a last second goal as the team capitalized on a Bulldog turnover and scored the tying goal with only 1.3 seconds left in the period.
The game remained tied for the majority of the period. With 4:38 left in regulation, however, Miami scored the go-ahead goal when Curtis McKenzie knocked in a loose puck in front of the Bulldog net for a 2-1 lead.
With just 23.3 seconds remaining in regulation, Ferris struck back as Riley tallied his second goal of the contest as he tapped in a loose puck in front of the Miami goal to force overtime.
In the overtime period, neither team could score a goal in the five-minute period as the teams went on to a three-player shootout.
During the shootout, Nelson stopped all three of Miami’s shots while Ferris scored on the first opportunity as junior defenseman Zach Redmond snuck a wrist-shot past Miami’s Cody Reichard, giving the team a shootout victory and two points in the CCHA standings. Nelson ended the night with 30 saves.
After posting the shootout victory on Friday, Ferris found itself in another shootout after ending Saturday’s regulation period in a 1-1 tie.
Starting with a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs struck first in the second period as senior right wing Aaron Lewicki scored a power-play goal midway through the period to give the team a 1-0 lead.
Ferris held the lead going into the third period, but the Red Hawks knotted up the score 5:28 in the period when Andy Miele knocked a slap-shot by junior goalie Pat Nagle.
Neither team was able to break the stalemate in the third period and sent the game into a second consecutive overtime period.
In the overtime, both teams attacked the net as they combined for nine shots on goal. Miami had a chance to take the game when the Bulldogs were down a player due to penalty, but Nagle made a huge save on a last-second shot by Miami to send the game to the second shootout of the series.
The Red Hawks struck first in the shootout as they scored on their first shot attempt. The Bulldogs retaliated on their second shot attempt as Riley snuck in a shot to tie up the shootout 1-1.
Sophomore defenseman Chad Billins scored on the 11th shot attempt for the team. Nagle shut the door on Miami with a glove save on the final shot attempt to give Ferris the 2-1 shootout victory. A CCHA record 22 total skaters participated in the shootout.
One of the keys in the weekend for the Bulldogs was the strong goalie play from both Nelson and Nagle, who combined for 69 saves in the victories. Daniels was impressed with the play from both goalies.
“We received excellent goaltending from both guys this weekend,” said Daniels. “We’ve really appreciated the effort both Pat and Taylor have given us so far this season.”
Up next for Ferris will be a home series against conference foe Ohio State University. Ohio State, 5-6-1 overall, is 4-3-1-1 in the CCHA and is currently in third place in the conference.