Ferris State Hockey lost both home matchups against the Minnesota State Mavericks on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12.
The Bulldogs (3-6-1, 1-3 in CCHA) were 3-19 in the past five years heading into the series against the Mavericks (4-3-1, 2-0 in CCHA). Minnesota State continued their dominance beating Ferris 6-2 on Friday and then winning 3-2 on a last-second shot in overtime on Saturday.
Freshman defenseman Jack Mesic talked about what Ferris needs to do to turn it around heading into the thick of conference play.
“We need to just keep working on our system and keep our energy high,” Mesic said. “We need to keep our heads up high and just be ready right when we get up for whoever we play.”
In the first game of the series, the Bulldogs got off to a slow start which gave a big lead to the Mavericks. Minnesota State scored first four minutes in the game. The goal was followed by two more first period tallys from the Mavericks. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 3-1 courtesy of sophomore forward Tyler Schleppe. Minnesota State capitalized again, scoring two quick goals of the three scored in the second. Ferris pulled junior goaltender Noah Giesbrecht after 23 minutes of play and brought in senior goaltender Logan Stein.
The Suwanee, GA. native stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the remainder of the game. The Bulldogs got one back with a third period goal from freshman forward Emerson Goode. The Mavericks’ big lead propelled them to a 6-2 win over the Bulldogs.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, head coach Bob Daniels thought there were positives to take from the Bulldogs play.
“I thought the guys competed quite a bit harder than they did last weekend,” Daniels said. “We blocked a lot of shots so that showed we were invested in the game. We let a couple in early, which had us chasing for the rest of the game.”
Following the blowout loss, the Bulldogs put together a much closer game that went down to the final 10 seconds of overtime and ended with Minnesota celebrating a 3-2 victory.
After a scoreless first period, the Bulldogs pulled out in front thanks to a goal from Goode. Ferris was not able to hold the lead very long as Minnesota State equalized only 49 seconds after the goal from Goode. The Mavericks pulled away three minutes later with a goal. Ferris ended up tying late in the third with a goal from Nick Nardecchia.
Minnesota State started overtime with a power play that carried over from the third period. Stepan Pokorny was then whistled for a trip which gave the Mavericks a 5-to-3 advantage. Despite killing both penalties, the Mavericks scored the winning goal with 6.3 seconds remaining.
Daniels felt the penalties late in the game cost them the victory.
“We got the penalty at the end of regulation and the one in overtime and those just bled into the remaining time,” Daniels said. “I hate to hear that define the game because we played pretty darn well.”
Highlighting play for the Bulldogs in the winless weekend was Goode. The rookie’s two goals was his first two collegiate tallys.
“I am very fortunate to get the chances I get,” Goode said. “I’m also very glad I was able to capitalize on those chances. It was just upsetting that we had some unfortunate penalties that cost us the win.”
Minnesota State is the defending champion of the CCHA and had also ended Ferris’ season last year by knocking them out of the CCHA playoffs in the semi-finals. Ferris was able to manage to split the regular season series with the Mavericks last season. The Bulldogs are hoping to even the season series as well next time they play.
The Bulldogs will be on the road next week to continue their in-conference play, as they take on the Michigan Tech Huskies on Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18.