Undefeated in Shootouts

The nationally No. 11-ranked Bulldogs are third in the CCHA standings

The Clash: Junior Mike Embach (#26) and freshman Matthew Kirzinger (#20) fight an Ohio State opponent for control of the puck last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Kathy Cubert, Ohio State University Lantern
Ferris sophomore defenseman Chad Billins netted the clinching goal in a shootout victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday.

Billins faked a shot to the left top shelf before he pulled the puck back to the right, allowing him to sneak the puck past Buckeye goalie Dustin Carlson, giving Ferris a 4-3 shootout victory.

“It was exciting to score the final goal in the shootout,” said Billins. “But I would have never got the chance to score if it wasn’t for my teammates coming up big in the shootout as well.”

Ferris got on the board first as senior defenseman Matt Case scored his fourth goal of the season at the 15:07 mark in the first period.

The Bulldogs took advantage of the overturned goal quickly as senior Aaron Lewicki scored his eighth goal of the season three minutes into the second period to give the team a 2-0 lead.

The lead did not last for long though, as Ohio State scored back-to-back goals in a span of 40 seconds to knot up the score. Ferris regained the advantage with eight minutes left in the period when senior forward Blair Riley posted his team-leading 17th goal of the season.

In the final period of regulation, Ohio State forced a 3-3 tie by converting a power-play opportunity with 16 minutes left in the period. In the final three minutes of regulation, both teams were down a player as penalties were assessed to both teams. Ferris had a power-play opportunity in the last 1:15 of regulation, but was unable to capitalize on the advantage, sending the game to an overtime period.

After neither squad claimed the victory in overtime, the contest went to a shootout. The Buckeyes struck first on their first shootout attempt as OSU’s Jon Albert snuck a backhander past sophomore goalie Taylor Nelson.

OSU maintained the 1-0 lead going into the final shootout attempt, but senior captain Cody Chupp scored the equalizer to force a 1-1 tie and another shootout attempt. The extra attempt proved to be crucial for Ferris, as Billins snuck in the clinching goal after Ohio State missed on its attempt.

The Bulldogs converted two of its seven power play chances, while Ohio State was 1 for 9 on its opportunities. Two Buckeye goals were waived off during the game, one for goalie interference and the other because the puck never crossed the line.

Ferris dropped the series-opening contest on Friday, 5-3, despite outshooting Ohio State 49-30.

Ohio State took a 2-1 advantage in the first period, as both teams posted 11 shots on goal.

After the Buckeyes stretched their lead to 3-1 on a power-play opportunity early in the second period, the Bulldogs trimmed the lead to 3-2 when junior Justin Menke scored a goal off a deflection off Case’s leg.

Ferris could not claw any closer though, as Ohio State scored twice in the final period to seal the victory. Five different players netted goals for the Buckeyes.

Following this weekend’s action, the Bulldogs are 17-8-3 overall and 11-6-3-3 in conference play. The team will return to action this weekend with a two-game home series against the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Ferris is 12-2 at home this season.

“All of the series from here on out are very important for us,” said Billins. “It’s also still important to take it one game at a time though.”