Bulldogs split opening series

Ferris begins season 1-1 after weekend series with Miami (Ohio)

The Bulldogs split their season opening series against Miami (Ohio). Photo by Bradley Moore, Torch Photographer

In just two games to begin the 2021-2022 season, Ferris hockey matched their win total from a season ago.

Following a 1-23-1 campaign in 2020-2021, the Bulldogs started this season on the right foot. Ferris followed up an opening night loss on Saturday, Oct. 2 against Miami of Ohio with an overtime win against the RedHawks Sunday, Oct. 3.

Head coach Bob Daniels spoke on getting a win early in the season following an opening night loss.

“I was proud today,” Daniels said. “Yesterday we had a two goal lead and were not able to drive that home. Tonight we were down a goal twice and came back to take the lead.”

On Saturday, the Bulldogs played an intense first period with the RedHawks. Ferris scored first when senior forward Jake Transit scored an unassisted shorthanded goal early in the first period. The RedHawks scored the next goal, and sophomore forward Antonio Venuto answered back with the Bulldogs’ second goal of the game.

Miami scored again, followed by two more Bulldog goals in the first period. Senior forward Marshall Moise and sophomore defenseman Sam Skinner recorded the two Bulldog goals, giving them a 4-2 lead after the first period.

Miami outscored the Bulldogs 4-0 in a momentous second period. The RedHawks capitalized on a turnover behind the net at 02:34, leading to a series of consecutive unanswered goals for Miami. The RedHawks finished off at the 19:45 mark with a goal on a power play. Miami took a 6-4 lead into the final period.

“Our first period was good,” Daniels said. “We scored four goals consisting of every kind, with a penalty shot, shorthanded goal, power play, and a 5-on-5. In the second period, we got beat to the loose pucks and fell behind. They were more physical and hungrier around both goals. Them getting 4 unanswered goals is the story.”

The remaining third period would not see a goal until the RedHawks capitalized with an insurance goal on the empty net in the final few seconds of the game. he Bulldogs ended with a final score of 4-7 loss to the Miami RedHawks.

Ferris State won the battle for shots on goal 30-22, while Miami had 3-6 on the power play. Sophomore goaltender Logan Stein made 15 saves in the loss. Venuto became the first Bulldog to score a penalty shot since Gerald Mayhew against Minnesota State on March 19, 2016.

In Sunday’s game, Ferris came out on top of an overtime game 4-3. The RedHawks scored a goal at 2:42 to take the quick lead in the game. Sophomore forward Mitch Deelstra answered back with a goal front of the net off assists from sophomore forward Stepan Pokorny and freshman forward Kaleb Ergang.

In a scoreless second period, Stein prevailed for the Bulldogs making 12 stops, including several vital shorthanded saves to keep the Bulldogs 2-1 going into the third period.

In the third period, Venuto forced a one-time goal to even the game at 2-2. Freshman forward Bradley Marek gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead just over 1:30 to play in the game. However, the RedHawks managed to tie the game with just 60 seconds remaining on the clock with their goalie pulled.

In overtime, Pokorny scored a shorthanded game-winning goal to give the Bulldogs a 4-3  win over the RedHawks.

“I just shot on the net and tried to get a draw down in their zone,” Pokorny said. “It kind of just bounced to me and I was able to score it. It was great to get a win. We want to keep winning.”

Stein, who recorded 27 saves and his first collegiate victory, felt his team played much better in their second game of the season.

“This game was a much better game from our perspective,” Stein said. “We won the special team battle and had a solid 60 plus minute effort. As a group we are just taking this season step by step. We want to improve everywhere and keep trying to constantly go out there together as a better team.”

Ferris won the shots battle for the second straight night going 33 to 30.

Ferris will hit the road to take on the Western Michigan Broncos in the first away game of the year Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. The Broncos will then visit Ewigleben Ice Arena on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. to conclude the weekend.