BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — On Friday night, Nebraska-Omaha capitalized on its chances while Ferris State couldn’t get anything going. Maverick goaltender Chris Holt stopped almost everything in his path while Bulldog goalie Mike Brown didn’t get a bounce.
Saturday was a different story. The Ferris State forwards’ shots found the net and Brown stopped 36 in a 4-0 victory.
“We just didn’t play as thorough tonight as we did last night, that’s for sure,” Maverick coach Mike Kemp said. “We just didn’t get the bounces and Ferris did. I also have to give credit to Mike Brown. He played an exceptional game. It is good to be leaving with a split. You have to get points on the road in this league and we did that.”
As on Friday, Ferris State got on the board first. Mike York sent a slapshot that was stopped by Maverick goaltender Kris Tebbs, but the rebound kicked out to Carter Thompson, who threw the puck at the net. The shot slipped between the post and the blocker of Tebbs to give Ferris the early lead at 16:30.
The decision to play Tebbs after the terrific game that Holt had Friday was not an issue for Kemp. “It was a decision we made before we left Nebraska,” Kemp said. “There wasn’t a problem with Kris Tebbs’ performance. He made 33 stops in the game, after all.”
Simon Mangos started the dominance in the second period. At 2:08, Jeff Legue fed Mangos in the slot, and he wristed the puck past Tebbs to give Ferris a 2-0 lead.
Brett Smith chipped in another goal to increase the lead to three less than two minutes later. Mark Bomersback passed the puck into the slot and Smith chipped it over the Maverick goaltender at 3:47.
That led Kemp to call his timeout to rally his troops.
Nebraska-Omaha had three good chances to score in the second, but Brown was there each time. The best opportunity came late in the second on a UNO power play. Jason Krischuk let a shot go from the point that was stopped by Brown, but Wong was on the doorstep for two quality chances. Brown sprawled out in the crease to stop each shot.
Derrick McIver increased the Bulldog lead to four goals on a nifty two-on-one while shorthanded. Brett Smith passed the puck over to McIver, who wristed it off Tebbs’ glove hand and into the net at 19:16.
It was the first special-teams goal for Ferris State in the series after being denied on 11 straight power plays.
The rest of the game was tight, with Brent Kisio getting the best opportunity on a breakaway attempt, but Brown was equal to the task once again.
“I thought Mike Brown played exceptional tonight,” Bulldog coach Bob Daniels said. “He was the difference in the game, no doubt about it. The game was more evenly played and the shots on net were very even.”
Despite the win, Daniels had some criticisms. “I thought Brett Smith has been playing excellent hockey — him, along with Derrick McIver. However, I am not happy about the misconduct penalties we took last night and again tonight. Mike Kinnie and Matt York both took selfish penalties and those hurt the team. I am quite upset over that.”