Every point matters

Ferris hockey headed home with crucial four points

Photo by: Samantha Cavotta | Torch Photographer

The Bulldog hockey team was able to leave the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska, with four more points under their belt after a win and a tie.

Headed into the weekend, the Bulldogs (8-21-3) were still on the outside looking in for the potential to be in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) postseason play, right behind Alabama-Huntsville. The Bulldogs traveled up north to take on the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (3-24-3), where they knew they would need points heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

The last time these two teams met this season, Ferris came out on top with a total score of 7-2 and a pair of their first conference wins. Now, as they were away from home, the Bulldogs hoped to replicate the style of play they performed during that first series to come away with two wins as well as six points. Before the series, the Bulldogs had 14 points, which was eight points behind Alabama-Huntsville, who currently hold the eighth and final postseason spot.

The first game Friday, Feb. 15, the Bulldogs came out with redemption of the 6-1 loss they gave up their last game. More than halfway through the first period, Ferris freshman defenseman Cooper Zech scored his team tying seventh goal of the year with the help from Ferris sophomore forwards Frankie Melton and Lucas Finner. Zech continued to impress many and live up to his hype as that goal brought him to a team leading 27 points on the season, five more points than any other Bulldog.

Play slowed down in the second period, where both teams were held to under eight shots on goal and neither team added a goal to the scoreboard. It was not until early in the third where the Seawolves were able to break through and tie the game at 1-1. Nearly ten minutes after the tying goal, Ferris would break even and score what would be the game-winning goal, which came off the tape of Ferris sophomore forward Coale Norris, his first game-winning goal of the season and fifth on his two-year career. The Bulldogs were able to come away with the 2-1 win and the three points, which brought them within five points of Alabama-Huntsville.

Late Saturday, Feb. 16, as the puck drop was in the Alaska standard time zone, a full four hours behind the Eastern time zone, the Bulldogs seemed to have been late, as the Seawolves were able to get the first goal of the game just less than four minutes into the first period of play. However, the Bulldogs got back on track and scored shortly after, with Ferris junior forward Craig Pefley finding the back of the net for his third goal on the season.

The two teams would have a stalemate in the second and third period, with the slight advantage to the Seawolves, who outshot the Bulldogs 17-16 in that time. Neither team was able to break the tie in regulation, which forced the game into overtime. Ferris was only allowed one shot on goal in the first session of overtime and held the Seawolves to just two themselves, which forced the second round of overtime, which is 3-on-3. Since no one scored after the first overtime, the game counted as a tie and both teams get at least one point, and both teams go on to play the 3-on-3 to decide who gets the extra point. If it is not decided there, then it goes into a shootout.

A shootout was not necessary, as Alaska-Anchorage junior forward Jonah Renouf gave Anchorage the extra point a minute into 3-on-3 play, which left the Bulldogs with just one point in the tie.

The Bulldogs got four out of six points on the weekend to put them at 18 points, just four away from Alabama-Huntsville. It could all come down to next week’s series as the Bulldogs are back at home 7:07 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in a weekend matchup against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers.