Big Rapids, Mich. - For the second time in three years, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has claimed a conference regular-season championship.
The Bulldogs posted a 2-1 triumph over Lake Superior State in the regular-season finale on Saturday (March 8) evening before an announced crowd of 2,551 fans inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena to record at least a share of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season crown.
The victory came on "Senior Night" as the Bulldogs honored five seniors prior to their final collegiate regular-season home game and the senior class provided the early spark in helping the Bulldogs to the win.
Senior Garrett Thompson struck early in the opening stanza for the Bulldogs with his 15th goal of the year only 1:03 into the game off a feed from fellow senior captain Scott Czarnowczan. That helped set the tone for the night as the Bulldogs took the early 1-0 lead.
Czarnowczan then found the back of the net himself for the Bulldogs' second goal less than a minute later at 1:54 of the opening frame off an assist from senior forward Justin DeMartino. The goal was Czarnowczan's fifth of the year and proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Lake Superior State trimmed the margin to 2-1 only 29 seconds in the second stanza on Colin Campbell's 14th goal this season in unassisted fashion, but the Lakers could get no closer as the Bulldogs shut the door.
LSSU entered the contest needing a win to reach the league's postseason tournament while the Bulldogs were playing for a league crown. With the win, the Bulldogs moved in front of Minnesota State in the league standings pending the outcome of MSU's late game against Michigan Tech. If MSU wins, the two teams would share the regular-season crown or FSU would be the outright champion with a MTU victory.
Czarnowczan picked up the game's first star by virtue of his two-point night while Thompson claimed the second star and junior goaltender CJ Motte was the third star of the night. Motte made 24 saves in moving to 24-7-3 on the season.
Ferris State held a 31-25 edge in total shots and the Bulldogs finished one-of-three on the power play for the game while holding LSSU off the board in three tries with the man-advantage. Both teams were called for four penalties totaling eight minutes in the box.
Ferris State will be either the first or second seed for the WCHA Playoffs and host a first-round series next weekend, March 14-16, inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Games one and two are Friday and Saturday at 7:07 p.m. (ET) with the deciding third game on Sunday set for 5:07 p.m. (ET) if necessary.
Complete WCHA First Round matchups will be announced following the official conclusion of regular-season action and all games are finished.
Tickets for the first-round series can be purchased in advance thru the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex, online at StarTickets.com or by calling 1-800-585-3737. For more information, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com or call (231) 591-2888. The ticket office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET).