UnderDawgs win overtime thriller

Ferris hockey wins 5-4 in OT to move on in NCAA Tourney

The Dawgs are rolling on the best winning streak of the season, having won five straight postseason contests.
The Dawgs are rolling on the best winning streak of the season, having won five straight postseason contests. Photo courtesy of Kevin McDermott

The Ferris State hockey team came into their first round game of the NCAA Tourney as big underdogs. They left the game victorious.

Ferris State junior forward Gerald Mayhew skated along the right side boards and made a move towards the net, shoving a backhand off of the pads of Husky goaltender Charlie Lindgren. The rebound bounced right to the stick of Ferris junior forward Jared VanWormer who hammered it home for his second goal of the game, and quite possibly the biggest goal of his life.

VanWormer’s goal was scored just 18 seconds into an overtime period that was forced after St. Cloud State scored two third-period goals after trailing the Bulldogs 4-2.

The Huskies came into the game as the No. 2 offense in the nation, averaging 4.28 goals per game, but it was the Bulldogs’ No. 29 ranked offense who got the best of the Huskies.

The first goal of the game came from the stick of Ferris State sophomore forward Mitch Maloney off an assist from senior defenseman Brandon Anselmini.

The 1-0 lead didn’t last long though, as St. Cloud State answered just 17 seconds later with a goal by Jacob Benson.

Van Wormer would answer back on his first goal of the game with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period to give the Dawgs a 2-1 lead heading into the second.

It didn’t take long for Ferris to net another when senior forward Kenny Babinski ripped a wrist shot off the far-side post and past Lindgren to put the Dawgs up 3-1 just 1:04 into the second period.

The No. 2 ranked power play of St. Cloud State got the best of the No. 11 ranked penalty kill for Ferris State when the Huskies cut their deficit to one with a goal by forward Mikey Eyssimont.

Ferris State extended the lead back to two when VanWormer made an unbelievable play from his stomach behind the SCSU net. The puck was lofted into the air, possibly by deflection. The puck was caught by Mayhew, who was standing right in between the circles. He put the puck down and snapped a shot over the shoulder of Lindgren for a 4-2 lead that the Dawgs carried into the third period.

St. Cloud State pressed hard in the third period, putting the Bulldog defense to the test. Eyssimont scored his second power-play goal of the night just 4:38 into the third to inch closer to Ferris.

With 8:31 left in the third period, SCSU found the net again when forward Joey Benik buried an open shot after a puck slipped through the Ferris defense.

Despite a couple good chances from both teams, the game remained scoreless into overtime where VanWormer’s third point of the night pushed the Bulldogs into the Elite Eight.

Ferris State will take on the winner of tonight’s game (March 26) between Denver and Boston University on Sunday, March 27 at 5 p.m. in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. The game can be viewed live on ESPNU.