BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — It was a battle for respectability.
Ferris State has been fighting for it all season, and Michigan State is battling just to get it back. Friday night belonged to the Spartans, who defeated the Bulldogs 6-2 in front of a hostile crowd at Ewigleben Arena.
The first period was dominated by defense as both teams felt each other out. The referees were content to let the teams play and to keep the whistles put away. Michigan State get more quality chances, but Ferris goaltender Mike Brown was on his game, meaning that it wasn’t until 19:49 that Fretter scored his first goal of the season.
Brock Radunske skated behind the net and centered the puck to Fretter, who tapped the puck past Brown to take the lead 1-0.
Michigan State dominated the second period by taking advantage of Bulldog defensive mistakes. Fretter scored his second of the night at 1:53 on a two-on-one opportunity off a beautiful pass by Joe Markusen to make it 2-0.
Kevin Estrada tallied another goal at 5:17 by deflecting a shot from Duncan Keith to make it 3-0, and Brad Fast extended the lead 4-0 on another two-on-one at 10:25 as he picked the far side of the net with a wrist shot.
A Ferris State timeout gave the bulldogs life. Trevor Large shot a puck that goaltender Matt Migliaccio saved, but Mike Kinnie backhanded it upstairs at 12:02 to get Ferris on the board.
The momentum from that goal was short-lived, though, as the Bulldog defense kept pinching and Michigan State got another two-on-one. At 18:37, Mike Lalonde took the pass from Jim Slater and wristed the puck upstairs to reestablish the Spartans’ four-goal lead.
The third period was the most physical as the Bulldogs expressed their frustration by taking the body. Michigan State was happy to return the favor, and David Boothe then scored on a wrist shot from just past the blue line at 6:35 to make it 6-1.
Ferris’ Jeff Legue scored a power-play goal at 9:44, but by then the game was over.
Ferris State travels to Michigan State on Saturday to complete the home-and-home series.