BIG RAPIDS, MICH. — While Ferris and Miami came ready to play, both left their defense in their respective locker rooms. In a back-and-forth battle, it was Miami who came out on top 5-4 over Ferris State at Ewigleben Ice Arena.
Rob Collins and Chris Kunitz combined for a short handed goal at 9:37 of the first period to start the scoring. Kunitz broke in on a two-on-one. Collins took the pass and back-handed it past Miami goaltender David Burleigh to make it 1-0.
“Kunitz and Collins are two of the premier players in the league,” Bulldog coach Bob Daniels said after the game. “You will see a lot more of them as the season progresses.”
Miami struck back quickly, 27 seconds later with a power play tally of their own at 10:04 to tie it at 1-1. Evan Cheverie shot the puck from the point. Rebounding off the boards behind the net it came to Nick Jardine who was staring at a wide open net with Ferris goaltender Mike Brown at the other side. Jardine made no mistake.
It only took 38 seconds after that for Miami to take the lead. Greg Hogeboom ripped a shot above the glove of Brown to make it 2-1 at 10:42.
Ferris State tied it up quickly at 15:03 to make it a 2-2 game. Collins out-hustled the Miami defense and made a perfect pass to Kunitz behind the net. Burleigh moved quickly to the other post, but not fast enough as Kunitz tucked the puck into the net.
Miami got on the board to break the tie in the second period. Deskins’ shot was turned away by Brown, but it was Michael Glumac who was on the doorstep for the easy goal at 8:03 to make it 3-2.
Kunitz answered the goal at 9:48 when he broke in on Burleigh with Collins on another two-on-one. Kunitz faked the pass and then shot the puck in the net when Burleigh went down to tie it 3-3 at 9:48.
Glumac and Deskins would find rhythm of their own again later in the period while on the power play. At 13:09, Deskins passed the puck up to Glumac who broke in all alone with only the goaltender to beat. Brown dropped into the butterfly, but not before Glumac tucked the puck under his pads and into the net to make it 4-3.
But Ferris State would just not go away. In the third, it was freshman Mike Kinnie who got a rebound and banged it home past the sprawling Miami goaltender to tie the game 4-4 at 8:40.
Later in the period, Kunitz was dumped in the offensive zone with no call. Ten seconds later, Ferris State forward Trevor Large hit Deskins along the boards. The result was a two-minute penalty to Ferris which, although questionable, proved to be a costly one. Hogeboom would have his initial shot rebound off the crossbar, but Mike Kompon wouldn’t be denied as he banged the puck past Brown to make it 5-4 at 12:47.
The Bulldogs crashed the net, but all the chances went just a little wide or were thwarted by the Miami goaltender.
“We are a lot faster team and I think we will score more goals. However, we shouldn’t sacrifice our defense,” Daniels said. “We will come out tomorrow with a stronger defensive effort.”
The Bulldogs and Redhawks will face each other again on Saturday at 7:30 in Big Rapids.