Northern Michigan senior goalie Brian Stewart earned his third shutout of the season as he stopped all 51 Bulldog shots in the 4-0 victory.
Ferris outshot Northern Michigan 51-21 in the game, including a 21-4 shot advantage in the second period. Including the 4-3 shootout victory by the Wildcats on Friday night, Stewart saved 94 of the 97 shots he faced in the series. Ferris head coach Bob Daniels said Stewart was the difference in the game.
“We had plenty of point-blank chances, we just couldn’t find a way to solve him,” said Daniels.
Wildcat sophomore forward Justin Florek scored two goals, one shorthanded, in a 3:13 span in the first period and that proved to be all Northern Michigan would need. Northern Michigan was 1 for 5 on its power play opportunities, while Ferris did not score on any of its nine power play chances.
Despite the loss, Daniels was pleased with the team’s performance overall and said he felt that all four offensive lines were “humming.”
“That looked to me like a team that wanted to win tonight and was playing hard,” said Daniels.
The Bulldogs remain in third place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) standings with 40 points. Ferris is 17-9-4 overall and 11-7-4-3 in conference play. The Bulldogs are 12-3-1 at home this season and 4-5-3 on the road.
Since a series sweep on Notre Dame on Jan. 10, Ferris is 1-5-2 in its last eight contests. The Bulldogs claimed a shootout victory over Ohio State, but has garnered six points over the stretch. Ferris senior captain Cody Chupp said the team is frustrated, but knows they have the personnel to get the job done.
“As a whole team we are trying to get back to where we were,” said Chupp.
Daniels said some of the Bulldogs’ recent struggles can be traced to the offensive line of seniors Cody Chupp, Blair Riley and Casey Haines. Over the past eight games, the line produced three goals and eight assists. Chupp, Riley and Haines produced 67 points over the first 22 games of the season.
“That was a line earlier in the year that was scoring a lot of goals for us and right now they are coming up empty,” said Daniels.
The Bulldogs travel to the upper peninsula this weekend for a pivotal series against the Lake Superior State Lakers. The Lakers are 14-11-5 overall, including an 8-5-1 record on their home ice. Ferris and Lake Superior State split the season series a season ago. The Bulldogs are 40-62-13 all-time against the Lakers.
Check out the video of the shootout between the Bulldogs and Wildcats at http://bit.ly/dz3I68
Check out the photo gallery for more photos from the game at http://bit.ly/b6WkFN
Play-by-play action from the game can be read at https://fsutorch.com/2010/02/05/live/fsu-vs-northern-michigan-1-of-2/