BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Once again, Ferris State outshot Western Michigan. This time, the result was different.
Matt Stefanishion and Jeff Legue scored two goals apiece in a 6-2 Saturday victory over Western Michigan to earn a split in the series.
Stefanishion got the game winner at 5:31 of the second period. After Matt Bomersback’s shot was stopped by WMU goaltender Daniel Bellissimo, Stefanishion was there to put the rebound home.
“I thought we played a very solid game again tonight,” Ferris coach Bob Daniels said. “If you look at the stats, we have outshot our opponents by almost a 2-to-1 margin in the last four games, but we have been unable to score. We have run into some excellent goaltenders at Lake State and Western.
“Tonight, it was good to see the puck go in for a change. The thing we have to work on is defensively around our net. We didn’t give up many shots, but the ones we give up are great opportunities.”
Western Michigan got off on the right foot in the first period as they were awarded the first four power plays of the game.
Mike Lesperance started the scoring at 4:00 when Brent Walton passed the puck over to Lesperance, who beat goaltender Mike Brown to the blocker side. But Stefanishion answered at 9:43 to make it 1-1 when he blocked a clearing attempt and shot the puck past Bellissimo.
The second period was all Bulldogs. Derek Nesbitt got the scoring started at 3:55. Matt York unleashed a shot from the point that was stopped by the goaltender, but Nesbitt put the rebound back to make it 2-1.
Then, after Stefanishion’s second goal of the game, Greg Rallo and Mark Bomersback connected to make it 4-1 at 7:05. Rallo passed the puck over to Bomersback, who roofed it over the outstretched pad of the goaltender.
Jeff Legue rounded out the scoring in the second period at 12:55 with a wrist shot that rang off the post and into the back of the net to make it 5-1.
“I thought Derek Nesbitt played the best game of the season tonight,” Daniels said. “Along with Nesbitt, I would put Adam Miller, Matt Rutkowski, and Greg Rallo on that list as well. Mike Brown played exceptional tonight as well.”
Walton would not be denied in the third period. At 4:46, Walton intercepted a pass and skated in alone on Brown. Brown dove to make the save, but Walton put it upstairs to make it 5-2.
Legue completed the scoring for Ferris on a deflection at 6:35.
“Brent Walton is a dynamite hockey player,” Daniels said. “You can’t contain him and keep him off the scoresheet. You can try to limit him to a few points on the weekend, which is what we tried to do. He still got two points tonight. I think that shows how good he really is.”
Talking about his 200th win, Daniels wouldn’t take all the credit.
“It all doesn’t fall on me. It all goes back to the assistant coaches, players, and so on. That is the one thing I have had throughout the years is a great coaching staff. Now, let’s concentrate on getting 201.”