Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team, which is ranked 14th in the country, scored four unanswered goals as the Bulldogs rallied to beat rival Bowling Green by a 4-2 count to remain atop the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) on Saturday (Nov. 16) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
The Bulldogs scored three times in the final period while increasing their unbeaten streak to seven consecutive games before a near-capacity crowd of 2,182 fans in Big Rapids. With the win, Ferris State improved to 8-2-1 on the year and stayed unbeaten in WCHA play at 5-0-1 overall.
The two teams had previously finished deadlocked at 3-3 in overtime on Friday night during the series' opener as the Bulldogs scored twice in the final two minutes to pull out the tie.
On Saturday night, Bowling Green started quickly as the Falcons struck first at 12:37 of the opening period on Kevin Dufour's first goal of the season off the stick off Andrew Wallace. The 1-0 score stood up thru the remainder of the opening stanza.
Bowling Green had an opportunity to increase the lead early in the second frame as the Bulldogs were called for an infraction near the net that resulted in a Bowling Green penalty shot. However, BGSU's Bryce Williams was denied by Bulldog junior goaltender CJ Motte with the school's 39th-straight sellout of the "Dawg Pound" student section at his back.
The Falcons did finally increase their advantage several minutes later as Matt Pohlkamp found the back of the net on an even-strength tally at 6:13 of the second frame to make it a 2-0 contest. Both Brent Tate and Dan DeSalvo were credited with assists on the second goal of the night.
Ferris State managed to trim the deficit to a single goal late in the second period when freshman forward Kyle Schempp tallied his fifth goal of the campaign at 18:03 off a feed from both junior Justin Buzzeo and senior Garrett Thompson. The score remained at 2-1 in favor of the Falcons heading into the third and final period.
In the third period, the Bulldogs overcame an early penalty by scoring the squad's second short-handed goal of the weekend. Sophomore Kenny Babinski broke free on BGSU's power play and skated the other way for his third goal of the year at 5:37 to tie the conetst up. Freshman Chad McDonald tallied the assist.
Then, late in the contest, Ferris State got the go-ahead goal as sophomore Matt Robertson scored on a melee in front of the Bowling Green net. The goal came on a major power play for the Bulldogs following a costly penalty from BGSU's Adam Berkle, which resulted in a game misconduct. Babinski and freshman Gerald Mayhew picked up the helpers on Robertson's game-winner for the Bulldogs.
Ferris State then tacked on an empty-net goal a short time later at 18:59 when Thompson recorded his sixth marker of the year in unassisted fashion after the Falcons had pulled the goaltender.
Motte earned his eighth victory of the season in net while improving to 8-0-1 on the year with 30 saves in the contest. He had eight in the first period followed by 13 in the second and nine in the third.
The loss went to Bowling Green's Tomas Sholl, who made 25 saves on the night. His totals included 11 saves in the opening 20 minutes to go with nine in the second and five in the third and final period.
Ferris State was outshot by the Falcons 32-29 for the night, but FSU had the lone power-play goal of the weekend. The Bulldogs finished one-of-five in Saturday's series' finale while the penalty kill unit held BGSU scoreless in four tries.
Overall, the Falcons had six penalties for 23 minutes with Ferris State called six times for 12 minutes on the night.
Robertson picked up first star of the game honors by virtue of his game-winner. Meanwhile, Babinski claimed the second star and Schempp received the third.
Ferris State maintained its hold on first place in the WCHA after three weekends of action with the three points on the weekend. BGSU had entered the series tied for second place behind the Bulldogs, but now trail Ferris State by four points in the league standings after the setback.
The Falcons fell to 5-4-3 overall and 3-2-1 in the WCHA with the loss. Ferris State has now 14 of the previous 19 matchups between the two schools.
The Bulldogs wrap up their six-game league homestand by hosting Alaska next Friday and Saturday (Nov. 22-23) in Big Rapids. Both games begin at 7:07 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
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.