Big Rapids, Mich. - Nationally 19th-ranked Ferris State scored the game-winner in overtime as the Bulldogs beat Bemidji State to win their first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) home contest on Friday (Nov. 8) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
Junior defenseman Jason Binkley powered a shot past BSU goaltender Andrew Walsh only 1:28 into the extra session to account for the game-winner, which was the first of his collegiate career. Senior defenseman Scott Czarnowczan and freshman forward Kyle Schempp received the assists on Binkley's second goal of the campaign.
Ferris State fought back from a 4-3 third period deficit to remain unbeaten in the WCHA with a 3-0 league mark. FSU is now 6-2 overall this season and has won its last four outings to date.
Bemidji State, which was leading the WCHA standings in total conference wins coming into the series' opener, fell to 3-5-1 overall and 3-2 in league action.
The Beavers struck first in the opening stanza as Phillip Marinaccio scored an unassisted goal midway thru the opening period at even-strength.
However, Ferris State answered only a minute later when freshman Chad McDonald scored his first collegiate goal at 11:02 of the first frame with the assist credited to Binkley.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the night early in the second period when senior Andy Huff found the back of the net only 3:46 into the period with freshman defenseman Ryan Lowney and junior Dom Panetta picking up the helpers as FSU grabbed a 2-1 lead.
BSU responded with a power-play goal at 8:48 of the second frame off the stick of Markus Gerbrandt, which tied the game up at two goals apiece. Graeme McCormack earned the assist on Gerbrandt's fifth goal of the year.
Ferris State surged in front again at 15:29 of the second when Schempp tallied his fourth lamplighter of the campaign in a power-play situation to give FSU a 3-2 lead. Freshman Gerald Mayhew and sophomore connor Schmidt posted the helpers on the Bulldog goal.
The lead didn't last for long, though, as Bemidji State came back to tie the game up with only 22 seconds remaining in the second period on Ruslan Pedan's second goal of the year. McCormack recorded his second assist of the night as the two teams headed to the final intermission tied at three goals each.
Bemidji State moved in front as the Beavers scored a go-ahead goal at 6:25 of the final period when Cory Ward connected on an even-strength goal in unassisted fashion.
However, the Bulldogs tallied the pivotal game-tying goal at 10:23 of the third when junior forward Justin Buzzeo recorded his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Senior Garrett Thompson posted the assist as the Bulldogs tied the game up to force overtime and eventually setup Binkley's heroics.
Ferris State held a decisive 46-23 edge in total shots for the night, which included a 22-6 advantage after the opening period of play. FSU had all three potential scoring chances between the two teams in the extra session.
Junior goaltender CJ Motte remained unbeaten in net for the Bulldogs as he ran his mark to 6-0 on the year by making 22 saves. Walsh had 38 stops on the opposite end of the ice for the Beavers.
FSU finished one-of-three on the power-play and limited BSU to a two-of-five showing with the man-advantage. Overall, the Bulldogs had four penalties for eight minutes in the box with BSU called three times for six minutes.
By virtue of his game-winner, Binkley picked up the first star of the game with McDonald earning the second and Buzzeo the third.
Ferris State improved to 6-4 all-time against the Beavers with the victory.
The Bulldogs will wrap up the two-game weekend series against Bemidji State on Saturday (Nov. 9) night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena as FSU continues a six-game homestand over the next three weekends. The puck is set to drop at 7:07 p.m. (ET).
Ferris State will hold Veterans Appreciation Night on Saturday. Complimentary tickets will be available for Veterans while supplies last and up to four guest tickets may be purchased for $6 each.
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.