BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Even a two-goal deficit couldn’t keep the Bulldogs down.
With his squad down 2-0 early, Chris Kunitz netted the game-winner — one of six unanswered goals — in the second period as Ferris State worked its way to a 6-2 victory Saturday over Lake Superior State.
In an ominous beginning for the Bulldogs, Lake State was awarded with the first power play of the game. Chris McNamara took the pass from Kevin Wilson and slid it past Bulldog goaltender DeCaro at :21 to make the score 1-0.
Ferris State came back with more jump, but Lake State scored again. Jason Nightingale was in front of the net for a deflection past DeCaro at 9:17 to make it 2-0.
Rob Collins put the Bulldogs back in the game on a outstanding individual effort, moving around a Lake State defenseman and chipped the puck past Laker goalie Denike at 15:10 to make it 2-1.
“I didn’t think I would get a chance to score at first,” Collins said. “After I got around the defenseman, I saw the goalie was cheating off the post a little. I went for the far side and got it.”
Kunitz tied the game later in the first period. Denike stopped an initial shot from Matt York, but Kunitz was there for the rebound as he put it in top shelf at 19:01 to make it 2-2.
Kunitz kept the Bulldogs rolling in the second period. Collins won a faceoff cleanly back to Kunitz, who one-timed a shot past Denike at 0:00 to make it 3-2.
In the third period, Lake State came out determined to take the battle to Ferris, and DeCaro stood tall during a critical five-on-three power-play opportunity.
Still, Collins got Ferris a two-goal cushion when he sent a blistering slapshot past Denike at 6:20 to make it 4-2.
Lake State coach Frank Anzalone called a timeout with six minutes left to rally his team, but Ferris came out with more effort. The Bulldogs added two empty-net goals from Mike Kinnie and Simon Mangos in the last three minutes of the game to seal the victory.
Anzalone was not happy with his team’s performance.
“I inherited a 12th-place team in a 12-team division,” Anzalone said. “We have to stop playing for tomorrow and play for tonight.”
Ferris State coach Bob Daniels had nothing but praise for his team. “I feel we played a lot stronger game tonight,” Daniels said. “I felt that we might sit back after they scored the second goal and think that we got our one win, and it was enough. After Rob Collins got his goal, it seemed to light a fire under our team.”
Kunitz felt very good after the game as well. “I hope the coach keeps Rob and I together. We work really well together.”
Ferris State travels to Notre Dame next weekend, while Lake Superior State has a home-and-home series with Northern Michigan.