Dealt an off hand

Bulldogs handle heart break in close series with Ohio State

Ferris State may reflect on their past seasons in the CCHA after Ohio State won game three of the last CCHA playoffs appearance.

“It’s tough to reflect on so quickly. But looking back at all the memories that have been made. The things we accomplished as a group, is something very special,” Ferris’ senior captain Kyle Bonis said, after asked about his experience at Ferris.

Ferris State’s desire to keep the season alive was evident in a tight 3-2 loss on March 17, that featured 49 Bulldog shots on net to the Ohio State Buckeyes’ 27.

“It obviously hurts right now. We all wanted to advance to Joe Louis and have a chance to win the last CCHA tournament ever. But it was not in the cards for us. I am proud of how we grew as a team and the guys left have a bright future,” Bonis said.

The Bulldogs junior forward Andy Huff (6G, 12P) scored the first of the night while on the Bulldogs top line to tie the game 1-1 in the first. Ferris’ junior center Cory Kane (9G, 16P), who had a game-high eight shots on goal, gave Ferris a 2-1 lead in the first period 59 seconds later.

“[The] goal was good [because] it gave us the lead and momentum,” Kane said. “[We] weren’t able to sustain the lead because of penalty trouble.”

Ferris State’s penalty kill was off-kilter in the series. It allowed two power-play goals on the night, and four in 11 attempts during the series; uncharacteristic to the season’s average of 84.3 percent.

Ferris finished their season 16-16-5 overall after a 13-12-3-1 showing in the conference’s last season.

“This season has been incredible to say the least. We may have not went as far, but we were a very young team and our freshman stepped in and got the job done,” Ferris wing Justin DeMartino said.

Ferris’ sophomore defensemen Jason Binkley (2G, 18A) and Simon Denis (4G, 13A) played in all 37 games this season.

The Bulldogs had freshman defensemen Brandon Anselmini (4G, 9A) and Connor Schmidt (2G, 3A) dress for 32 and 33 games, respectively, to give the Bulldogs a boost in place of injured defenseman and aid in the loss of eight graduated seniors.

Ferris’ top scorer this season, Bonis (19G, 8A) combined with his line mates for 79 total points this year; the most points of all lines. Senior center Travis Ouellette (11G, 15A) and junior wing Garrett Thompson (11G, 15A) were integral playmakers this season.

Ouellette returned at Michigan from an injury and began a five point (2G, 3A) streak that ended with the postseason. He finished with a squad-best plus/minus of positive-10.

Four seniors will graduate from Ferris this year. Senior goaltender Rob Granett’s eligibility is complete and he will begin his clinical rounds for Pharmacy in Grand Rapids.

Last year’s top-scorer for Ferris center Matthew Kirzinger (1G, 3A), an enforcer and puck chasing playmaker in forward Eric Alexander (5G, 12P, 73 PIM), plus Bonis and Ouellette complete their career at Ferris too.

“All of our seniors are tremendous competitors and have a work ethic second to none. That’s one of the things that will be missed – their commitment to excellence,” DeMartino said.

Coach Bob Daniels was tremendously proud of the upperclassman’s ability to inspire this year’s group and maintain their focus.

“I’m really proud of what the team accomplished,” Daniels said. “The senior class did a great job of keeping the team focused and together.”

*G denotes goals
*A denotes assists
*P denotes points
*PIM denotes penalty minutes