The Bulldogs are the last-place team in the WCHA, but they battled against the top team in the conference and the #3 team in the nation.
Ferris played their Friday, Feb. 19 matchup with #3 ranked Minnesota State to overtime. The Mavericks came out on top 5-4. Minnesota State goaltender Dryden McKay is regarded as one of the best goalies in the nation with a .947 save percentage, good for second-best in the country. He also leads the nation with eight shutouts. This was only the third time all season McKay has allowed four goals in a game.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, Ferris battled with Minnesota State but lost 5-1. Two Bulldog players, sophomore defenseman Brenden Rons and junior forward Jake Transit, were ejected for game misconduct.
Rons’ ejection came during the second period after he hit a Maverick skater hard into the wall. Minutes later, the Mavericks also committed a game misconduct penalty and a player was ejected.
Transit was ejected at 12:19 in the third period. Freshman forward Mitch Deelstra and the Mavericks were also penalized at the same time for roughing after the whistle.
“The five-minute major to Brendan Rons, in my opinion, was just him making a strong play in the corner,” head coach Bob Daniels said. “I really wish Transit hadn’t taken that five-minute. The rule is you can’t face mask a guy and he did that. He probably didn’t even know the rule.”
The Mavericks opened the scoring on the night just 50 seconds into the game. Ferris answered Minnesota State’s early goal at 13:41 when freshman forward Stepan Pokorny scored off of a deflection from sophomore defenseman Jake Willets’ shot and tied the game at 1. Pokorny was assisted by Willets and senior forward Marshall Moise.
Each team received a five-minute major penalty for game misconduct in the second period. Rons received the penalty for the Bulldogs and was ejected. Minnesota State reclaimed the lead 2-1 amidst these penalties at 8:33 in the second period and extended the lead 3-1 at 17:25.
Senior forward Lucas Finner was penalized at 18:43 in the second period and the Mavericks capitalized on the power play to take a 4-1 lead into the third period.
In the second period, the Bulldogs lost senior forward Liam MacDougall to what Daniels described as an upper body injury. MacDougall did not return to the game.
Minnesota State tacked on a fifth goal at 18:35 in the third period and won the game 5-1. Ferris recorded just 15 shots on goal, while the Mavericks had 38.
Freshman goalie Logan Stein recorded 33 saves for Ferris.
Ferris fought hard in the game, but the third ranked team in the nation ultimately proved to be too much for the Bulldogs. Daniels felt his team was worn down after their game Friday night.
“I don’t think tonight was as physical as last night,” Daniels said. “I think there was some residual effects in terms of us looking a little tired, especially in the second half of the game.”
Ferris will play Lake Superior State University Friday, Feb. 26 at Ewigleben Ice Arena before concluding their regular season against Lake Superior State March 6.