|1st||17:19||FSU||1-0||EV||Chad McDonald (9)||Sean O'Rourke/7, Tyler Dorantes/6|
|2nd||4:53||LSS||1-1||EV||Mitch Hults (8)||J.T. Henke/11, Anthony Nellis/12|
|2nd||12:04||LSS||2-1||EV||Jake Hand (3)||Gage Torrel/11, Aidan Wright/3|
|2nd||15:51||LSS||3-1||SH GW||Diego Cuglietta (6)||-|
|3rd||11:38||FSU||2-3||EV||Mitch Maloney (4)||Kyle Schempp/14|
|Lake Superior State||0||3||0||3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Lake Superior State||6||5||8||19|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Lake Superior State (13-20-5)||0/3||5/10||1|
|Ferris State (15-14-6)||0/4||4/8||0|
|Lake Superior State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Gordon Defiel (W, 10-12-4)||60:00||2||14||14||6||34|
|Ferris State Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||Saves|
|Darren Smith (L, 12-9-5)||40:00||3||6||2||0||8|
Big Rapids, Mich. -- Despite a late flurry of chances for the Ferris State Bulldogs, the Lake Superior State Lakers escaped Big Rapids with two points with a 3-2 win in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play on Saturday (March 5) at Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Due to a Northern Michigan loss, Ferris State clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the WCHA playoffs, where the fourth-seeded Bulldogs will meet the fifth-seeded NMU Wildcats.
Ferris State opened the scoring at 17:19 of the first when junior forward Chad McDonald notched his ninth goal of the season, matching his career high.
Senior defenseman Sean O'Rourke gained his career-best seventh helper of the season after batting the puck out of mid-air past center ice where McDonald found himself unabated to the net. McDonald faked to the backhand and moved around Lake Superior State netminder Gordon Defiel before sliding the puck in. Sophomore defenseman Tyler Dorantes was credited with his sixth assist of the year on the goal.
The Lakers evened the contest at 4:53 of the second stanza when Mitch Hults scored his eighth of the year from JT Henke and Anthony Nellis. Henke and Hults had a two-on-one break, and Henke slid a pass across to Hults who fired it off the far post and in.
Lake Superior State took a 2-1 lead at 12:04 of the second when Jake Hand tallied his third of the year from Gage Torrel and Aidan Wright. Wright shot the puck off a body in front and Ferris State freshman goaltender Darren Smith leaned to his right. The shot rebounded to Smith's left where Hand found it and buried it into a nearly empty net.
Diego Cuglietta added a shorthanded breakaway goal at 15:51 of the second to extend the Laker lead to 3-1. Cuglietta charged in on Smith and put it between his legs, while McDonald desperately tried to get back after a turnover in the Ferris State offensive zone, tripping Cuglietta in the process and taking a penalty after the goal.
As the Bulldogs took the ice for the third period, Head Coach Bob Daniels elected to pull Smith in favor of junior goaltender Charles Williams to finish the contest.
Ferris State cut the Laker lead to 3-2 at 11:38 of the third when sophomore forward Mitch Maloney scored his fourth of the season. The Lakers turned it over in the slot, and Maloney ripped it off a Laker defender and past Defiel. Junior forward Kyle Schempp grabbed his 14th helper of the year on the play.
The Bulldogs pulled Williams with a little over 90 seconds to play and had a few chances, but the Lakers held on for the victory.
Defiel improved to 10-12-4 on the season for LSSU, while Smith took the loss for FSU, falling to 12-9-4. Ferris State outshot the Lakers 36-19 on the night with Smith and Williams each making eight saves.
The Bulldogs ended the 2015-16 regular season with an overall record of 15-14-6, with a 13-11-4 mark in WCHA play.
Fourth place Ferris State will host the NMU Wildcats for a best-of-three first round playoff series on March 11-13 at Ewigleben Ice Arena. Puck drops for Friday and Saturday's games are scheduled for 7:07 pm ET. If necessary, game three is scheduled for Sunday, March 13 at 5:07 pm ET.