Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team jumped out to a fast start in its 2013-14 home opener before a crowd of 2,121 fans at the Ewigleben Ice Arena on Friday (Oct. 18) night, but unbeaten St. Lawrence fought back for a 3-2 victory in Big Rapids.
FSU scored the first two goals of the night in the series' opener between the two non-conference opponents before the Saints responded with three-straight goals, including the game-winner with less than seven minutes to play.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fell to 2-2 overall on the yar while St. Lawrence improved to 3-0 this season.
Ferris State got on the board first at 19:13 of the opening period when forward Justin Buzzeo notched his second goal of the year at even-strength off assists from senior Garrett Thompson and junior TJ Schlueter. The assist for Thompson was his third of the year and increased his team-leading point total to five on the season.
After taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, the Bulldogs quickly claimed a two-goal advantage when senior Justin DeMartino registered his second marker of the year off a feed from fellow senior Cory Kane for a short-handed tally at 1:07 of the second frame.
However, the Saints pulled within a goal only two and a minutes later when Drew Smolcynski recorded his first goal of the season with assists to both Alex Hagen and Matt Carey at 3:31 of the second.
St. Lawrence tied it up at two goals apiece late in the second when Brian Ward found the back of the net for his third goal this season. Assists were credited to Gunnar Hughes and Patrick Doherty at 17:21 of the period.
After an even third period of play, the Saints pulled out the win as Smolcynski stunned the home crowd with his second goal of the game at 13:36. Hughes picked up his second assist of the night on the game-winning goal as the Saints held FSU at bay the rest of the way.
Ferris State was outshot by a 29-26 count for the night as the Saints recorded 12 shots on goal in both the second and third periods after totaling only five in the opening 20 minutes of action.
Neither team was able to capitalize on the power play as each went 0-of-5 with the man-advantage. In addition, both teams were called for six penalties totaling 12 minutes in the box.
Sophomore Charles Williams earned the start in net for the Bulldogs and made 26 saves in 59:24 of action before being pulled for the extra skater in the final minute. He had five saves in the opening frame followed by 10 in the second and 11 in the third.
On the opposite end of the ice, Matt Weninger won for the third time in as many appearances for St. Lawrence after stopping 24 Bulldog scoring chances.
The loss was only the Bulldogs' third in nine all-time meetings with the Saints, who were coming off a season-opening sweep of Maine last weekend and won 18 games a season ago.
The two teams will meet again in the series' finale on Saturday night at the Ewigleben Ice Arena with the puck drop set for 7:07 p.m. (ET). Saturday's contest will represents FSU's "Pink In the Rink" contest with the Bulldogs donning special pink jerseys for the game to help raise money for cancer research as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.
A variety of promotional and informational events will take place in conjunction with the event, which benefits the Susan P. Wheatlake fund.
Tickets for Saturday's contest are on sale and can be purchased online at StarTickets.com, by calling (800) 585-3737 or in person at the FSU Athletics Ticket Office located inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The ticket office will open on Saturday starting at noon or call (231) 591-2888 for more information.