The Ferris State Bulldogs began their six-game home set with a 5-4 overtime win over the Bemidji State Beavers.
The victory pushed Ferris State into a tie with the Beavers at the top of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and moved their record to 3-0-0 in conference play.
The game began with an even keeled war of attrition. Both teams got comfortable in the neutral zone during the first ten minutes.
A single second past the halfway point in the first period, Bemidji State forward Phillip Marinaccio ripped a heat seeker past Bulldog’s goaltender CJ Motte after Ferris sophomore defenseman Connor Schmidt turned it over in between the blue lines.
The lead lasted only 1:01, as freshman forward Chad McDonald put home a rebound off a Jason Binkley shot for his first career collegiate goal.
Senior forward Andy Huff opened second period scoring when he batted home a rebound 3:46 into the period.
Beaver forward Markus Gerbrandt found himself on the scoreboard next at 8:48, but was again countered by a Ferris goal when freshman Kyle Schempp scored his fourth of the year at 15:29. Both goals were on the powerplay.
The Beavers were poised to pull the momentum away when their Russian defenseman Ruslan Pedan ripped a bomb past Motte at 19:38 in the second on the powerplay.
Bemidji State tallied the next marker, when Cory Ward scored his sixth of the season at 6:25 in the third, which gave the Beavers a late lead at 4-3.
Junior forward Justin Buzzeo would knot the game up at 4-4 at 10:23 in the third period, when he scored his sixth of the season. The goal passed his single season total from the 2012-13 campaign.
The last 9:37 of regulation was more like the first ten minutes of the contest, a back and forth affair.
With just over three minutes remaining in the contest, Motte was tested with a one-timer from point blank that he kicked away while doing the splits.
Moments later the Beavers wrapped another puck off Motte that hit the post and landed inches in front of the goal line. Motte lunged glove first while falling backwards and kept the puck out of the net to preserve the tie.
In overtime, the Bulldogs wore down the Beavers and finished them off in the opener when junior defensemen Jason Binkley made a nifty move around the defense and launched a missile past Beaver goaltender Andrew Walsh for the win.
Puck drop at Ewigleben for the second game of the series on Nov. 9 is scheduled for 7:07 p.m.