Ferris State prepares to face-off with Michigan in the last CCHA regular season hockey game each university will play at Yost Ice Arena, with home-ice advantage in the playoffs on the line for Ferris.
Last night, March 1, the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Ferris State Bulldogs 4-1 by demonstrating puck and zone control, maintaining a fast tempo, and outhitting the Bulldogs by a large margin, 27 to 16.
“We just did not do enough to earn a victory. It is tough to see but we have another game to look forward to,” senior left wing Kyle Bonis said.
Michigan’s tight hold on offense prevented Ferris from outshooting the Wolverines, and resulted in a 37-23 advantage for Michigan.
Michigan kept the puck away from their defensive zone which helped preserve Michigan goaltender Steve Racine’s save percentage and goals against average, which are .894-percent and 2.86 for an average.
Racine has 35 goals scored against him in 14 games of CCHA contention. He is on a three-game win streak since making a return to Michigan’s crease against Ohio State University Feb. 22-23.
Conversely, Ferris’ sophomore goaltender CJ Motte is ranked 20th among the nations goaltending leaders according to U.S. College Hockey Online. He has a .925 save-percentage overall and has allowed 2.21 goals against through 31 games this season.
“It’s simple. We need to be harder to play against,” Bonis said. “[And] just play the game the way we can.”
The Bulldogs power-play and penalty killing unit were successful against Michigan. Ferris’ senior center Travis Ouellette returned to the Bulldogs line-up to score a power-play goal, and give Ferris’ unit a 50-percent proficiency for the night.
Ferris’ penalty kill prevented Michigan from scoring more than once during the power-play, of the Bulldogs four penalties during the evening.
Ferris is 6-5-2-1 during the second night of a series in the CCHA, that includes a broken series, with a week between games, between Ferris and Michigan State that began in December and ended with Ferris topping Michigan State in January.
“We realize how important tomorrow is and we need to be ready for the challenge. Play hard, play simple, we will be fine,” Bonis said.
A win today, March 2, will give the Bulldogs a possible tie-breaking opportunity for home-ice advantage during the quarterfinal round of the 2013 CCHA Playoffs.
Ferris will face Ohio State University in the quarterfinal round March 15-17. OSU must lose this evening against Miami(Ohio), and Ferris must win in order for Ewigleben Ice Arena to play host during the playoff series.