The No. 9 Ferris State hockey team scored early and scored often en route to a 4-3 victory against the No. 8 Wolverines of the University of Michigan.
Early and often may be a bit of an understatement for the Bulldogs (1-0), as they took a commanding 2-0 lead just one minute and three seconds into the game. Sophomore and assistant captain Kyle Schempp opened the scoring just 27 seconds into the game off of a feed from junior left wing Matt Robertson. Chad McDonald, sophomore right winger, then followed suit with a goal of his own.
“You can’t really put it into words; the crowd was into it all night,” McDonald said. “I mean, 2-0 a minute and a half into the game, you can’t beat that. It definitely got the guys going and gave us some confidence that we can do this. Michigan is a big name, but ya know, so are we.”
Ferris State added one more goal in the opening period as freshman forward Mitch Maloney found the net on the power play and was assisted by sophomore defenseman Ryan Lowney and senior goaltender CJ Motte.
The Wolverines (0-1) tried to fight back into the game early in the second period, scoring just ten seconds into the period off the stick of Tyler Motte. After a lengthy review, the goal would stand, bringing the game to 3-1 in favor of the Bulldogs”
“The review took a long time and that kept Michigan from building any kind of momentum,” head coach Bob Daniels said. “That gave us a chance to regroup. We said hey look, if it goes on the board, we just have to be ready to play. If it doesn’t, lesson learned. As it turns out, it went on the board, but that break helped us.”
The Bulldogs would add another goal in the period, again from McDonald that pushed the game to a 4-1 score heading into the third period.
Michigan tried to fight back late in the third period with two goals of their own off the sticks of Travis Lynch and Evan Allen.
The Bulldogs managed to hold off the Wolverine comeback, despite Michigan ending the game with a 6-on-4 power play after a tripping penalty on Lowney.
Motte was strong for the Bulldogs in net, recording 34 saves on the night and picking up his first win of the season. Schempp and Maloney took the second and third stars of the game, respectively, and McDonald picked up the number one star of the game after recording two goals on the evening.
With the win against the Wolverines, the Bulldogs will surely be moving up in the college hockey rankings and McDonald said this win puts Ferris out ahead of a lot of teams in college hockey, but they still have work to do.
“It definitely puts us on the right note to start out the year,” McDonald said. “Obviously it’s a big win, we had them on their heels last year and lost in a shootout. We can have our moment here tonight, maybe tomorrow to be excited about winning. In retrospect, it’s just another game and we still have 36 more to go and hopefully more to get where we want to be eventually, and we know that.”
The Bulldogs next game is scheduled for Oct. 10 as they face Wilfred Laurier at home in Ewigleben Arena. Puck drop is slated for 7:07 p.m.