The Bulldogs shocked the seemingly unbeatable No. 1 nationally-ranked Miami (Ohio) RedHawks with two dramatic victories.
“I was very happy with the win and it meant a lot to the team because obviously Miami has a terrific program,” said Ferris head coach Bob Daniels. “It meant a little bit more because it was Miami.”
The Bulldogs improved to 5-3-2 overall and 2-2-2-2 in the conference. Ferris has won both of its shootouts this season and are fifth in CCHA standings. Ferris is ranked 20th in the national poll following the wins, while Miami fell to 4th in the rankings.
Saturday evening, the Bulldogs come out with a 1-1 tie against Miami, but earned the extra point in the standings with a 3-2 shootout victory. Miami scored first in the game, but the Bulldogs would even the score just minutes into the second period when sophomore forward Kyle Bonis passed to freshman Cory Kane who scored his second goal of the year for Ferris.
The Bulldogs kept the RedHawks off the board for the remainder of the game despite being outshot 37-19 in the contest. After a scoreless overtime, the teams headed to a shootout.
Bonis, along with juniors Derek Graham and Jordie Johnston, tallied goals in the shootout to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 shootout victory. Senior goaltender Pat Nagle recorded a season-high 36 saves in the game.
“I was real impressed with the seniors Hennig, Redmond and Nagle,” said Daniels. “You’re going to need leaders and that was provided by the senior class.”
The Bulldogs went into Saturday with the same strategy as before, not changing much and hoping to continue the way they had been playing all season.
“There isn’t much you can do in a 24-hour period; all the preparation went on during the week,” said Daniels. “We all watched films and fine-tuned during the morning practices. We preached that we needed more of the same.”
The Bulldogs upset the RedHawks 3-2 on Friday, which marked Miami’s first regulation conference loss of the season. The first goal was scored by Miami just 3:06 into the game, but Bulldog senior Mike Fillinger would score his first goal of the season to knot up the score at 1-1 in the first period. With a little over one minute left to play in the first, Bonis tallied his fourth goal of the season to give Ferris a 2-1 lead going into the second period.
The RedHawks knotted the game at 2-2 halfway through the second period, but the Bulldogs responded quickly. Sophomore Matthew Kirzinger scored the eventual game-winning goal late in the second period. Nagle had 16 saves in the victory and improved his league-leading goals against average to 1.75 per game.
Nagle earned the CCHA’s Goaltender of the Week award after saving 52 of 55 shots in the series against Miami.
“We just had to play well defensively and try not to have any penalties at all,” said Daniels.
The Bulldogs will hit the road this weekend to play Lake Superior State on Nov. 12-13 in Sault Ste. Marie. The Lakers are 3-5-2 overall this season.