The Ferris hockey team has been in a slump and has not won a game since Nov. 3, but the results from this past weekend looked promising.
For the first time in three weeks, the Bulldogs were back on home ice after a long weekend in Alaska Fairbanks. During the time in Alaska, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Anchorage, a town that is 361 miles south of where the Bulldogs were. With the earthquake and the two losses the Bulldogs were handed, they were ready to be at home.
Ferris knew they had a difficult weekend in front of them with the No. 12 nationally ranked Bowling Green Falcons, which Ferris has not beat since Jan. 28, 2017. The Bulldogs looked to get the motivation and intensity from the home crowd to upset the Falcons and turn a new page towards a winning streak. Although it was a great effort, the Bulldogs tied 3-3 Friday, Dec. 7, and lost 4-3 in overtime Saturday, Dec. 8.
“I think we’ve showed we can play with the top teams in conference. We just kind of have to keep playing our game,” Ferris senior forward Corey Mackin said. “We can play with anyone and that definitely gains us confidence and we’ll just kind of keep that rolling.”
The Bulldogs came out hot Friday as they scored the first and only goal in the first period coming off the stick of Ferris sophomore forward Lucas Finner. The momentum did not follow the Bulldogs headed into the second period, however, as the Falcons scored two quick goals to put the Bulldogs down 2-1. The momentum went back to Ferris in the third period and the Bulldogs scored two goals, one from junior forward Oskar Andren and one from freshman forward Justin Michaelian. As it looked like the Bulldogs would finally secure a win, the Falcons scored with less than three minutes left to force overtime.
Overtime consists of 5-on-5 for five minutes and if no one scores it heads to a 3-on-3 overtime. If neither of the teams score during that time, it goes to a shootout, which is exactly what happened. There were great chances for both teams during the overtime periods, but the Falcons were able to get the lone goal in the shootout and win, although it will go in as a tie in the books.
“It was really important, especially because we haven’t been playing so well,” Ferris junior defenseman Nate Kallen said. “I felt like this game was a big step towards wins in the future just because we came out really hard, a lot harder than we have in the past.”
The Bulldogs looked to take what they learned from the previous game and break the spell of avoiding the win column on Saturday. Just like the previous night, the Bulldogs would get the first goal on the board from Mackin but the Falcons tied it up as they headed into the second. The Falcons got off to a quick start in the second to make the score 2-1 but Mackin tallied another goal to keep the game tied at 2-2.
It looked as if it was a resemblance of the night before as the Bulldogs went up 3-2 from Finner in the beginning of the third, and the Falcons were able to make it a tie game yet again at 3-3. The two teams were caught in a stalemate for the rest of the third period, which forced another overtime game, the Bulldogs’ third overtime game in their last four games played. The pressure of the Falcons was too much for the Bulldogs to handle, as they scored a quick goal in the first 30 seconds to take down the Bulldogs 4-3.
“I hope the guys don’t get too despondent. I really do,” Ferris head coach Bob Daniels said. “Because we are heading in the right direction and the guys are playing good hockey. We’re just not getting rewarded for it.”
The Bulldogs head back on the road for a weekend series against the Northern Michigan Wildcats 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.