The Bulldogs recorded their first victory of the season in blowout fashion against Trine University Saturday, Jan. 16 at Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Ferris consistently proved to be too much for the visiting Thunder. They dominated at both ends of the ice, scoring at ease and effectively minimizing Trine’s offensive opportunities and holding them without a goal. This was the first game of the season that Ferris shutout an opposing team, and their seven goals represented a season high.
Ferris was originally scheduled to play Northern Michigan Jan. 15 and 16 but those games were rescheduled due to COVID-19 issues within the Wildcat’s program. Ferris was able to schedule a game with Trine in place of their contest with the Wildcats.
Junior forward Jake Transit opened the scoring with a goal at 8:09 in the first period when he beat the Trine defense and scored on a breakaway for his second goal of the season. Senior forward Coale Norris assisted.
The Thunder were penalized at 14:05 and 14:08 in the first period. Despite having two more skaters on the ice than Trine, Ferris was unable to score on the power play.
At 17:14 in the first period, junior forward Ethan Stewart scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. He was assisted by freshman forward Stepan Pokorny and freshman defenseman Luke Farthing.
With 1:04 left in the first period, junior forward Justin Michaelian scored his fourth goal of the season. Transit assisted to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. They would hold that lead going into the first intermission.
At 6:42 in the second period, the Thunder were penalized for high sticking. The Bulldogs scored on the power play at 8:01. Sophomore defenseman Jake Willets scored unassisted, his second goal of the season.
Sophomore forward Brenden MacLaren got in on the scoring for Ferris at 11:59 in the second. He extended Ferris’s lead to 5-0 with his first goal of the season. Willets and freshman defenseman Ben Schultheis assisted.
With six minutes left to play in the second period, Willets took a huge hit in the open ice and remained down for a few seconds before skating gingerly off the ice. He returned to the ice at the start of the third period.
Stewart scored his second goal of the afternoon and fifth of the season at 18:26 in the second period. He was assisted by Pokorny and freshman forward Antonio Venuto.
Freshman forward Mitch Deelstra scored his fifth goal of the season for the Bulldogs at 2:30 in the third period on a power play. He was assisted by Stewart and sophomore defenseman Connor Fedorek.
Stewart’s big day finished with two goals and an assist. Associate head coach Drew Famulak was impressed with the junior forward.
“If anyone wants to know how to be a player, just watch Ethan,” Famulak said. “All he does is work hard-in the weight room, in the classroom, in practice, and then that translates to the games. It’s a great sign that our young kids can look up to him.”
Both teams chirped at each other on the ice for the duration of the game. On multiple occasions, the officials had to separate players before a skirmish could break out. The officials had to separate a pile of players in Ferris’s goal after a shot by Trine with 9:30 remaining in the game. Trine was penalized for slashing and Ferris’s senior forward Liam MacDougall for roughing.
At the conclusion of the game, Ferris had 41 shots on goal compared to just 12 for Trine. Junior goaltender Roni Salmenkangas registered his second career shutout for the Bulldogs.
Despite not having won a game coming into their game with Trine, Famulak said his team’s morale was never shaken.
“The morale on our team has been great, we’ve been playing some great hockey,” Famulak said. “Hats off to our kids because they just keep working and working. We’ve got tremendous leadership from our senior class, so our morale has been terrific all year.”
The blowout victory against Trine precedes a four-game road trip for the Bulldogs, starting at Minnesota State Jan. 22 and 23. Ferris will look to improve upon their 1-8 record and turn their season around.