Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey team fought back from a two-goal deficit to earn an impressive 5-3 victory over previously unbeaten St. Lawrence in non-league action on Saturday (Oct. 19) night during the school's first-ever "Pink In The Rink" contest at the Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids.
The Bulldogs donned pink jerseys for the special contest, which benefited breast cancer research locally thru the Susan P. Wheatlake fund. A crowd of nearly 1,900 fans were on hand as the Bulldogs split the weekend series against the Saints to improve to 3-2 overall on the year.
The visitors got off to a quick start as St. Lawrence struck first at 9:16 of the opening period when Eric Sweetman notched his first goal of the year off an assist from Brian Ward on the power-play to give the Saints the early lead.
The lead grew to two goals only 32 seconds into the second period as Matt Carey found the back of the net for an even-strength goal. The marker was his first of the season as well and came from Jeremy Wick and Greg Carey.
However, the Bulldogs answered back quickly. FSU pulled within a goal at 2:07 of the second when senior Garrett Thompson recorded his third goal of the year on the power play to begin the Bulldog charge. Justin Buzzeo and senior captain Scott Czarnowczan picked up the helpers.
FSU then tied the game up at two goals apice at 11:04 of the second when Buzzeo recorded his third goal of the year. The roles were reversed as Thompson earned the first assist and Justin DeMartino picked up the second assist for FSU on the even-strength tally.
The score stood at two goals each heading into the third, but the Bulldogs came out of the locker room sharp and recorded back-to-back goals only two minutes apart early in the period to take the advantage.
The first goal of the final period was scored by senior Cory Kane in a 4-on-4 situation with senior Andy Huff credited with the assist at 1:27 of the third.
Then, slightly less than two minutes later at 3:25, a freshman notched his first goal of his collegiate career as Big Rapids native Seth Adams put one past the St. Lawrence defense with assists going to fellow freshman Kyle Schempp and sophomore Brandon Anselmini. The goal proved to be the eventual game-winner.
Ferris State pushed the lead to 5-2 with just over 11 minutes to play as Huff notched his first goal of the campaign to help seal the victory. Czarnowczan picked up his second helper of the night with junior defenseman Jason Binkley notching an assist as well.
The Saints accounted for the final scoring of the night as they trimmed the margin back to two goals at 18:29 of the third on Woody Hudson's first score of the year, but could get no closer. Patrick Raley and Gavin Bayreuther had the assists.
Ferris State junior goaltender CJ Motte tallied a game-best 31 saves in improving to 3-0 overall in net this season with the victory. He made 11 saves in the first period followed by 12 in the second and eight in the third.
Overall, St. Lawrence held a 34-22 edge in total shots, including a combined total of 25 in the opening two periods of action. Both teams finished with nine shots in the final period, but the Bulldogs took advantage with three goals in the frame to earn the win.
Matt Weninger suffered his first loss of the year for St. Lawrence as he surrendered all five Bulldog goals while making 16 saves. Tyler Parks came on in relief for 9:57 and had a single save before the Saints pulled him for the extra skater the final 1:10 of action.
Both teams totaled eight penalties for 16 minutes in the box. However, Ferris State was able to capitalize as the Bulldogs finished three-of-five with the man-advantage after entering the game with only two power-play goals on the year. FSU also held St. Lawrence to a single power-play tally in five tries.
With the setback, St. Lawrence dropped to 3-1 overall this season.
Ferris State will take next weekend off before the Bulldogs open Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) action for the first-time ever on Nov. 1-2 at Alabama-Huntsville. FSU then returns home for three consecutive league weekend stands in the month of November starting with a series against Bemidji State on Nov. 8-9 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena.