State of shock

CCHA Tournament play comes to a halt for the Bulldogs

So Close: Jordie Johnston approaching the goal for a shot against Bowling Green State in the weekend CCHA quarterfinal series. Bulldogs were defeated 4-3 in the last game of the series against BGSU Falcons on Sunday. Photo By: Brock Copus | Multimedia Editor
Bulldog nation was silenced in Ferris’ last home hockey game of the season and the last game of their playoff series against Bowling Green State University.

Ferris, the number one seed in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, was stunned by BGSU in their three game playoff series that took place March 9-11 at Ewigleben Ice Arena.

The series was the last chance for the Bulldogs to perform before their home crowd. For eight seniors it was the last time they could play in front of Bulldog nation.

Ferris began the CCHA playoffs in the quarterfinal round against BGSU with a 3-2 loss in overtime. The Bulldogs had 54 shots on Bowling Green State’s junior goaltender Andrew Hammond. Hammond recorded double-digit saves each period.

“We had close to 60 shots and just couldn’t score,” senior forward Jordie Johnston said. “It was just a matter of us not scoring on our opportunities otherwise the game could have been an 8-2 game, or the opposite of what it was.”

In the second game of the series Ferris went on to even the playoff series at one win each by claiming a 7-4 victory over Bowling Green State. The Bulldogs forced a third game, in which Ferris was defeated by BGSU in overtime 4-3.

“Pretty big heartbreaker we didn’t make it to the Joe Louis,” senior goaltender Taylor Nelson said. “It’s pretty tough. As a senior, you want to go out winning your last home game. Not only for us but also for the fans that have supported us all year long. It hurts pretty bad.”

The Bulldogs built a 3-0 lead in the first period of the final game of the series. But BGSU managed to score once in the second period and twice in the third to tie it up and force overtime. Bowling Green State went on to win off of a deflection that was heading wide of the net.

“It was just as much of a heartbreaker for us as it was for the fans,” Nelson said. “Playoffs are a different beast. I know that each and every one of the guys put their best foot forward.”

Bowling Green State will head to the Joe Louis Arena after upsetting sixth-seeded Northern Michigan and the top-seeded Bulldogs. Bowling Green finished last in the CCHA regular season standings and was given the bottom seed in the tournament.

The now nationally 8th-ranked (U.S. College Hockey Online) Bulldogs are 23-11-5 overall after the playoff series.

Despite being knocked out of the CCHA playoffs, Ferris still has a shot at being selected to participate in the NCAA Division I Tournament.

The NCAA Division I Tournament field of teams will be selected March 18. The NCAA will select 16 teams to compete in four regional tournaments.

If Ferris is selected to participate, they will play in the Midwest Regional hosted by Michigan Tech University and played in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Each regional will begin in the semifinal round and winners of the round will advance to the regional finals. Each winner of the four regional finals will advance to the Frozen Four in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Ferris has only been to the NCAA Tournament once in the program’s history.

Ferris is currently tied for sixth-place in U.S. College Hockey Online’s PairWise rankings. PairWise rankings attempt to mimic the method used by the NCAA Selection Committee to determine which teams will compete in the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament.