BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — On a night where Northern Michigan and Michigan were upset, the same bug would not bite the Bulldogs. Trailing 3-1 in the third period, Ferris State came back to tie the Irish, 4-4, in Big Rapids.
“Unlike last night, the game was a lot slower tonight,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “Both teams are so well conditioned, but after you play an intense game like last night, you don’t have as much to give the second night. That showed, especially in the third period.”
Notre Dame got on the board first with a shorthanded tally. With Ferris State pressuring in the offensive zone, John Wroblewski poked the puck free and went in with Yan Stastny on a two-on-one. Wroblewski passed the puck across the crease and Stastny it in for the 1-0 lead at 10:30.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame goaltender Morgan Cey kept the feisty Bulldog squad off the board with many excellent saves.
Greg Rallo tied the game at 7:11 while on the power play. Rallo took the pass and faked the low shot. Cey went down and Rallo backhanded the puck upstairs.
Notre Dame came back less than a minute later on a power play of its own. Connor Dunlop chipped a centering pass just over the outstretched pad of Brown at 8:05 to take the 2-1 lead. Wroblewski scored his second goal of the night at 16:26 while on a two-man advantage. Aaron Gill fed a wide open Wroblewski who shot the puck into the pads of Brown. However, the puck had eyes and slipped past him and in to make it 3-1.
Ferris State responded, however. Jeff Legue scored just 32 seconds into the third to bring the Bulldogs within one.
“I knew we had to get a goal really quick in that period. We needed to wake up the home crowd and get them back into the game,” Daniels said. “When Legue scored that quickly, I knew we had a chance to come back.”
Greg Rallo scored his second goal of the night to tie the game and bring the sellout crowd to a frenzy. Phil Lewandowki muscled his way around a Irish defender and right to the front of the net. Lewandowski was pushed into Cey, and Rallo shot the puck into the wide open net.
The frenzy only lasted nine seconds.
The Irish got a very fortunate bounce to take the lead at 6:14. A pass back to a Ferris State defenseman went off a skate and right to a wide open Cory McLean. McLean picked the far side of the net past Brown to take the 4-3 lead.
Both teams’ energy level crashed after that goal as it became a defensive battle. Most shots generated by both teams were not quality scoring chances, but Ferris State would pick it up a notch with five minutes to go.
At 17:31, its pressure paid off when Legue notched his second of the night off a similar play like the Bulldog third goal. Matt York carried the puck into the slot, and was checked from behind into Cey. Legue shot the puck into the open net to re-tie the game.
Ferris State worked hard to get the game-winner as the Irish were back on their heels. In overtime, Ferris State was awarded a power play, but could not convert.
“I thought we generated more quality chances than Notre Dame did in the last few minutes of the third period and in overtime,” Daniels said. “It just seemed our passes were just a little off.”
When asked about the tie, Daniels was content with the result.
“We came back from a two-goal deficit,” he said. “We make that mistake on the road, and I don’t think we could have come back. However, with the crowd and excitement they generate, we got the job done.”
Ferris State hosts Northern Michigan for a two game set, while Notre Dame hosts Yale for a two game non conference series.