Sometimes the best comebacks can be quickly forgotten if the team fails to top the scoresheet.
This happened to the Bulldogs hockey team Saturday night, Oct. 26, when they fell 6-4 against the Northern Michigan Wildcats. After the first period, the game seemed to be a slaughter. The Bulldogs went into the break down 4-1, allowing four goals on seven Northern Michigan shots.
This offensive output by the Wildcats forced Ferris head coach Bob Daniels’ hand at the goalie position. As the second period began, freshman goaltender Carter McPhail replaced sophomore goaltender Roni Salmenkangas.
“The only thing we did [defensively] was change the goaltender,” Daniels said. “We didn’t give them much early which was really good. When Carter got in there, we sustained play on Northern Michigan’s end of the rink. He didn’t see a lot of shots in the first ten minutes, maybe a couple, so that gave him a chance to settle in.”
With a new goaltender in the game, the Bulldogs sparked a reaction. The first major highlight of the second period for the Bulldogs would be a shorthanded goal by senior forward Jason Tackett, in which he ricocheted the puck off the goal’s far post from nearly parallel to the net.
This offered the Bulldogs momentum, and junior forward Marshall Moise made it a one score game with a goal moments later off a power play.
The game then became a defensive battle as both goalies stepped up. Momentum for the Bulldogs was stunted, though, with a five-minute major penalty on junior forward Lucas Finner with 9:30 left in the game. Finner was ejected after a high hit earned him a hit–to–the–head penalty.
“The five-minute major in the third was obviously painful for everybody. It once again took a lot of energy and forward momentum away,” Daniels said. “But the guys did a good job and dug in.”
This meant the Bulldogs wouldn’t be at full strength until just more than four minutes left. That didn’t stop Moise from tying it up with 2:36 left in the third period, though. This tied the score at four with 2:30 left to play.
But it was downhill from there for the Bulldogs, as a mistake at the Northern Michigan blue line saw a Bulldog pass intercepted on a breakaway. This time the Wildcats took full advantage and scored on McPhail for his first time on the night to go return on top 5-4. With an empty–netter moments later, the Wildcats would win 6-4.
While it was a tough loss late, there were some positive takeaways for Marshall Moise.
“It shows a lot of heart from our team, we were down 3-0 early to Miami of Ohio as well and fought back quite a bit,” Moise said. “It shows a lot of character from our team early on and I’m excited to see what we can do.”
The Bulldogs hockey team will have a chance to bounce back from a 2-3 start with another WCHA matchup at Lake Superior State 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1.