Big Rapids, Mich. - The nationally fourth-ranked Ferris State University men's ice hockey team will head into the New Year with a school-record and nation-leading 15-game unbeaten streak as the Bulldogs registered an impressive 2-0 victory over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday (Dec. 14) night at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing.
The Bulldogs claimed the victory over the Spartans in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game played before 5,737 fans and televised live regionally by Comcast to match the school-record of 15 consecutive games without a loss previously set in 1990-91 and later matched by FSU's historic Frozen Four squad two seasons ago in 2011-12. FSU is 12-0-3 in its last 15 outings and has not lost since Oct. 18.
In addition, with the win, Ferris State becomes the nation's first collegiate team to reach 14 victories this year as the Bulldogs are now 14-2-3 overall this season. They also own an impressive 10-0-2 mark in their debut season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) with a first-place lead at the break.
The Bulldogs entered the contest ranked fourth in the nation in both major college hockey polls along with the pairwise rankings, which help determine the NCAA field at the end of the season, and did not disapoint.
Ferris State scored once in each of the first two periods of action and received a complete game shutout from the nation's winningest goaltender in junior CJ Motte, who had 16 saves in increasing his nation-leading mark to 14-0-3 in net this season. His 17-game unbeaten start is a school-record and the longest streak in the country.
The Bulldogs scored early in the battle between the two former Central Collegiate Hockey Association rivals as freshman Chad McDonald tallied his fourth goal of the year at 9:21 of the first period off a feed from sophomore Kenny Babinski. FSU limited the Spartans to only six shots in the opening frame en route to a 1-0 advantage after the opening 20 minutes of action.
Ferris State increased its lead to 2-0 only 5:34 into the second stanza when junior Justin Buzzeo picked up his eighth goal of the year on a Bulldog power-play with a pair of freshmen in Gerald Mayhew and Ryan Lowney earning the assists.
The score stood up the rest of the way as Motte was up to the task in net and the Bulldogs limited MSU to only 16 total shots on the night. The shutout was Motte's second of the season for the Bulldogs.
Overall, Ferris State owned a slim 22-16 margin in total shots and the Bulldogs were able to capitalize once in four power-play opportunities while the Spartans were held without a goal in six tries in the man-advantage.
FSU was called for six penalties totaling 12 minutes in the box and Michigan State was penalized three times for nine minutes.
By virtue of the shutout win, Motte claimed the game's first star with McDonald picking up the second and Buzzeo claiming the third.
Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand fell to 4-7-1 overall in net with the loss despite making 20 saves in the contest. MSU dropped to 5-9-1 on the year with the setback.
The victory was Ferris State's ninth in the last 11 matchups against the Spartans and FSU has now won six of the last seven, including four in a row over MSU.
The Ferris State win came on the heels of a 2-2 overtime tie on the road against Michigan on Wednesday (Dec. 11) night in Ann Arbor as the Bulldogs completed the two-game stretch against the state's Big Ten schools unbeaten.
Ferris State will return to action on Jan. 3-4 as the Bulldogs take part in the prestigious Mariucci Classic hosted by the University of Minnesota. FSU will square off against RPI in the opening contest on Friday, Jan. 3, at Minneapolis. The contest begins at 5 p.m. (ET). FSU will then face either host Minnesota or Colgate the following night on Saturday, Jan. 4, at a time to be announced.
FSU will resume conference play at home on Jan. 10-11 versus Michigan Tech inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena. Single-game tickets for all 2013-14 home contests are on sale now and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com, by calling 1-800-585-3737 or in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. For more information, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888.