Big Rapids, MI - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team moved into first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) standings as the Bulldogs won their fifth consecutive contest with a 5-3 win over Bemidji State in Saturday's (Nov. 9) series finale at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
A crowd of more than 2,000 fans were on hand as the nationally 19th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 7-2 on the year and stayed unbeaten at 4-0 in the WCHA. The victory capped a successful weekend for Ferris State, which hosted its first-ever WCHA home series against the Beavers.
The Bulldogs exploded for four goals in the first period and withstood three-straight goals from Bemidji State in the second frame to pull out the two-goal victory.
Freshman forward Gerald Mayhew tallied his first career goal nearly midway thru the opening period at 9:51 to give Ferris State the early advantage. Assists were credited to fellow freshman defenseman Ryan Lowney and senior forward Garrett Thompson, who posted his seventh helper of the year.
Ferris State pushed the lead to two goals at 13:57 of the first period when sophomore Zach Dorer found the back of the net for his first goal of the campaign. Junior forward Cory Kane and senior forward Andy Huff both picked up their third assists of the season on Dorer's goal.
The lead grew to three goals less than a minute later as senior captain Scott Czarnowczan tallied his third goal of the season at 14:44 of the first. He picked up a rebound and banged it home as junior defenseman Jason Binkley and junior forward Dominic Panetta tallied the assists.
Czarnowczan added his second goal of the night at 19:03 of the first period to make it 4-0 in favor of the Bulldogs after the opening period of action. His second marker also came at even-strength with Binkley and freshman Chad McDonald assisting on the lamplighter with less than a minute to go in the opening stanza.
The Ferris State lead, though, was trimmed to a single goal in the second frame as the Beavers fought back. Markus Gerbrandt had two goals in the middle period for BSU, which took advantage of two opportunities with the man-advantage.
Gerbrandt tallied his first goal of the night only 1:26 into the period off a feed from Danny Mattson and Ruslan Pedan with the Bulldogs shorthanded following a penalty.
Then, at 8:28 of the second, Brad Robbins picked up his first goal of the year for Bemidji State on a pass from Graeme McCormack with BSU again on the power play. Less than three minutes later, Gerbrandt picked up his second goal of the night and seventh of the season at even-strength in unassisted fashion.
However, the Bulldogs responded with just under six minutes to play in the second stanza when Huff notched his third goal of the year off assists from Mayhew and Kane at 14:04 of the middle period. The score stood the rest of the way as neither team could put the puck in the net the rest of the second frame or the entire third period.
The Bulldog victory came on the heels of an exciting 5-4 overtime win in the series' opener on Friday night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in which Binkley scored the game-winner for the Bulldogs.
On Saturday night, the Bulldogs outshot the Beavers 30-23 with a decisive 18-2 edge in the opening 20 minutes of action. FSU was outshot, though, in both the second and third periods by counts of 11-9 and 10-3, respectively.
The Beavers took advantage of eight Bulldog penalties as they finished two-of-six on the power play as compared to Ferris State's 0-of-6 figure. Both teams totaled 16 minutes in the sin bin on eight infractions.
Ferris State junior CJ Motte remained perfect on the year as he made 20 saves in improving to 7-0 this season between the pipes. He tallied 10 saves in the third and final period alone.
On the opposite end of the ice, Andrew Walsh took the loss for BSU after allowing four goals with 14 saves in the first period. Reid Mimmack came on in relief and allowed only a single Ferris State goal with 11 saves in 39:02 of action.
By virtue of his two goals, Czarnowczan picked up the game's first star honors while Mayhew was honored with the second star and Binkley claimed star number three.
With the two weekend wins, Ferris State improved to 7-4 all-time versus the Beavers. FSU also owns a current 3-1 mark to date at home this season.
Ferris State will continue league play at home the next two weekends as FSU hosts Bowling Green (Nov. 15-16) and Alaska (Nov. 22-23) in back-to-back weeks as part of a six-game homestand. Next Friday's series' opener versus Bowling Green begins at 7:07 p.m. (ET) inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Heading into next weekend's action, Bowling Green is tied for second place behind the Bulldogs in the WCHA.
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 is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET) with extended hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m.
For more ticket information, fans can visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888.