Motte shuts out Tech en route to hard fought victory

The top two defenses in the WCHA faced of on Jan. 10 in Big Rapids and the game went exactly as advertised.

Nationally ranked #3 Ferris State was coming off their first lost in 77 days and 16 games headed into their Jan. 10 match up with Michigan Tech, and were able to muscle off the Huskies for a hard fought 1-0 victory.

The chances were few and far between for both the Bulldogs and Huskies. The second period provided the most fireworks of the contest.

Midway through the second, a seemingly harmless stoppage in play turned nasty when Ferris junior forward TJ Schlueter traded fisticuffs with Michigan Tech’s freshmen defensemen Cliff Watson amongst others in front of the Ferris bench.

Moments later, Ferris senior forward Justin DeMartino got his shoulder underneath Tech captain Brad Stebner’s shoulder and annihilated him with a clean hit into the boards behind the Huskies net.

Stebner lay still on the ice for several moments before the officials blew the play dead. The Huskies captain skated off under his own power with a trainer at his side and didn’t return.

Through countless blocked shots and deflections, not to mention big time saves by both Ferris junior CJ Motte and Tech sophomore Jamie Phillips, the second period came to an end with the two teams deadlocked at 0-0.

Just over one hundred and ten minutes of play from their last goal (Jan. 4 vs. RPI) Ferris finally fired in what turned out to be the dagger.

At 8:25 in the final period, Garrett Thompson popped up to the high slot and launched a slap shot off the post past Phillips to take a 1-0 lead.

The goal was Thompson’s team leading 11th of the season, matching his total from the 2012-13 campaign.

Motte nailed down his third shutout of the season with a 25 save performance, and a new personal single season record for wins with his 16th victory of the season and received 1st star of the game honors.

Ferris is now four points ahead of the WCHA’s second place team, Minnesota State, whom they play next weekend (Jan. 17-18).

The Bulldogs finish their home series with Michigan Tech on Jan. 11 at 7:07 p.m.