Big Rapids, Mich. - The unbeaten streak continues for the nationally 10th-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team as the Bulldogs opened a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) home series with a 5-3 win over Alaska on Friday (Nov. 22) night inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The Bulldogs ran their unbeaten streak to eight consecutive contests (7-0-1) and held onto first place in the WCHA standings with the triumph. FSU scored the first four goals of the contest and withstood a three-goal spurt by the Nanooks to earn the victory on home ice.
Ferris State scored the lone goal of the opening period as junior wing Dominic Panetta notched his second goal of the campaign on a shot to the high glove side to give the Bulldogs the early 1-0 edge. The goal came at 8:18 of the first period with assists credited to freshman Gerald Mayhew and defenseman Brandon Anselmini.
FSU added two more goals in the second period and killed off a five-minute penalty to build a 3-0 edge heading into the third and final period.
In the second frame, FSU sophomore Matt Robertson scored on a breakaway at 16:55 to push the advantage to two goals. The assists on his goal went to senior forward Justin DeMartino along with junior goaltender CJ Motte.
Soon after, at 18:28 of the second, junior defenseman Jason Binkley scored his third lamplighter of the year off a feed from junior wing Justin Buzzeo to make it a three-goal game.
The Bulldogs pushed the edge to four goals only 44 seconds into the third and final period when freshman Chad McDonald tallied the eventual game-winner for his third goal of the campaign. He buried his goal with help from senior captain Scott Czarnowczan and sophomore linemate Kenny Babinski as each picked up assists.
Alaska, though, responded by scoring three-straight goals in the final period to cut the margin to a single goal. The first came off the stick of Marcus Basara, who earned his fifth goal of the year at 5:12. Assists on the Nanooks' first goal of the night were tallied by Colton Parayko and Tyler Morley.
Just over five minutes later, the Nanooks notched their second goal when Cody Kunyk found the back of the net for his seventh goal of the 2013-14 season. The helper went to Shawn Hochhausen.
Shortly after, at 11:36, Morley put a shot past Bulldog goaltender Motte to make trim the margin to 4-3 overall. Both Trevor Campbell and Basara received assists as the Nanooks pulled within striking distance.
However, any hopes of an Alaska comeback were spoiled as Babinski notched his fourth goal of the year on the Nanooks' empty net at 19:28 of the third. Binkley claimed his eighth assist of the year while Motte attained his second helper of the night on the pass up the ice.
Motte stopped 41 Alaska scoring chances in the Bulldog victory as the reigning WCHA Defensive Player of the Week remained unbeaten at 9-0-1 on the year between the pipes.
Overall, the Nanooks held a 44-32 edge in total shots, which included a game-high 19 over the final 20 minutes of play.
Alaska had 10 shots in the opening stanza followed by 15 in the second before the third-period onslaught. On the opposite end of the ice, Ferris State totaled 14 in the first period along with 13 in the third, but the Bulldogs were limited to only five shots in the second while killing off six penalties in the frame.
Two of Ferris State's five shots in the second period, though, resulted in Bulldog goals. Alaska's John Keeney made 27 saves in net for the Nanooks in dropping to 3-2-1 on the year.
Ferris State totaled seven penalties on the night for 25 minutes with Alaska finishing with four penalties for eight minutes. Neither team was able to capitalize on the power play as FSU went 0-for-2 and the Nanooks were 0-of-4 in the game.
McDonald picked up the game's first star on the strenghth of his game-winning goal while Panetta earned the second and Robertson received the third in the game played before a crowd of 1,834 fans along with the 40th consecutive sellout of the "Dawg Pound" student section.
Ferris State evened the all-time series between the two teams at 30-30-4 with the win and FSU is now 17-9-3 in history against Alaska at the Ewigleben Ice Arena. It was also the Bulldogs' sixth win to go with a tie in the last nine matchups versus the Nanooks. Overall, 19 of the last 20 meetings between the two teams have been determined by two goals or less.
With the win, the Bulldogs are now 9-2-1 on the year and 6-0-1 in WCHA play. Alaska fell to 5-4-2 overall along with 2-3-0 in league action.
The Bulldogs will try to keep their unbeaten streak alive and hold onto first place in the WCHA standings as they close out a six-game homestand against Alaska in the series' finale on Saturday (Nov. 23) night in Big Rapids. The puck is set to drop at 7:07 p.m. (ET).
Single-game tickets for all FSU home contests this season are currently on sale and can be bought online at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or purchased in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office. The ticket office will open on Saturday at noon. For more ticket information, fans can visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.
This weekend's series' wraps up a six-game homestand for the Bulldogs. Saturday's contest against the Nanooks will be FSU's final action at home in the 2013 calendar year until the Bulldogs return to home ice on Jan. 10-11 versus Michigan Tech.