BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — In a game dominated by special teams, it was an even-strength goal that proved to be the difference.
Kevin Swider notched two goals and a assist while Jason Basile got the game-winner at 14:18 in the third period to give Ferris State a 5-4 win at home over Colgate.
With the game on the line, Basile scored the winner on an excellent effort. Scott Markowsky broke in the Colgate zone with Basile on a two-on-one and passed the puck to Basile in the slot. The Colgate defender hooked Basile’s skate and dragged him down just as Basile shot the puck between netminder Jason LeFevre’s pads.
“It’s about time,” Bulldog netminder Vince Owen said. “We’ve been struggling lately. It’s good to get a win under our belts.”
Ferris State got out of the gate quickly. Swider shot a rebound off of LeFevre’s pads and into the net on the power play at 3:13 in the first period.
Later in the frame, the Bulldogs were awarded a rare five-on-three opportunity when Scott Markowsky was cross-checked in front of the net. Chris Kunitz needed only seven seconds to score, as he skated from the point to the left faceoff circle and fired a shot past LeFevre’s glove side at 12:51 to make it a 2-0 advantage.
Three minutes later, Colgate got its own two-man advantage. Cory Murphy shot the puck from the point, which deflected off of Sean Nolan’s skate and past Owen at 16:30 to cut the lead to 2-1.
Ferris State continued its pressure on the power play with two goals 48 seconds apart in the second period. Rob Collins shot the puck upstairs past a sprawling LeFevre at 3:34 to make it 3-1; then Swider had the puck deflect off his stick, jump over LeFevre and fall into the net behind him at 4:22 to make it 4-1.
Colgate’s power play got the Red Raiders back within two when Etienne Morin took advantage of a poor clearing attempt by Ferris State and scored upstairs on Vince Owen at 8:24.
Colgate’s hard work in Ferris State’s end produced two goals to tie the game in the third period. Morin notched his second of the night off a beautiful pass in the slot by Bryan Long at 6:00 to make it 4-3; then, with Colgate shorthanded, Mike O’Malley intercepted a Ferris State pass and backhanded a shot past Owen at 10:11 to tie the game at 4-4.
Ferris State and Colgate play again on Saturday to finish the series.