BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — Ferris State and Nebraska-Omaha was a game that had something for everyone. Great goaltending, good flow to the game, hard hits, and even some defensive play from both teams. In the end, it ended up being a tie. The goal came when Nebraska-Omaha pulled its goaltender with a minute left in the game and the extra attacker proved to be the difference. At 19:28 it was Bryan Marshall that picked up the puck at the side of the net and pushed it just past the glove of MacIntyre to make it a 2-2 tie.
“I think the fans were treated to a great game tonight,” Ferris State coach Bob Daniels said. “This game had everything. To see that point slip away in the last minute was hard, but looking at the game as a whole, I thought we played very well.”
End-to-end action was featured in the first period as there was great flow to the game. UNO got on the board first at 6:59. Brent Kisio threw the puck across the front of the net to Dan Hacker who put it into the open net to make it 1-0. Matt Stefanishion tied the game just 15 seconds later when he unleashed a shot from the point that hit the top corner of the net.
The second period both teams played much more defensively and the physical play increased. Ironically, the goal that put the Bulldogs ahead in the second period was a fluke one. Defenseman Matt York took a shot from the point that hit a Nebraska-Omaha player, popped up in the air, and landed behind the goaltender and crossed the line. It was York’s first goal of the season to make it 2-1 at 12:28.
Derek MacIntyre had to be sharp after that goal because the Mavericks turned up the offensive pressure. Nebraska attempted 38 shots in the second period alone, but only 14 made it on target. The Bulldogs played tentative with the lead right up until the end of the second period.
Chris Holt held the Bulldogs to a one goal lead on a trio of spectacular saves. The first was a backhand chance that Holt snagged out of midair while laying on his side. The second was a Jeff Legue breakaway chance, and the third was a Joe Van Culin partial breakaway that Holt gloved easily. MacIntyre came up with a few good saves of his own as time began to run against the Mavericks. Marshall tallied his game tying goal in the final minute.
“After I got passed over for the World Juniors, I felt I had to step up my game,” goaltender Chris Holt said. “I feel I have something to prove out there. I made some good saves, some lucky saves, and got some lucky bounces at times. Overall, I thought we played very well.”
Nebraska had the first two good chances in OT, but they found themselves shorthanded when Alex Nikiforuk took a checking from behind penalty at 1:32. Fatigue was a factor as both teams looked lethargic. Greg Rallo took a penalty 2:50 to give the Mavericks some power play time. Both goaltenders make key stops until the end.
“Some people think when there is a tie, the team that scored last feels good while the team that gave up the goal feels bad,” Daniels said. “That isn’t the case here. Both teams played hard until the very end and there is nothing to be disappointed about.”