OXFORD, Ohio — After suffering a disappointing shootout loss the night before, the Ferris State Bulldogs were able to overcome a rough Miami RedHawks 2-1.
“I think that last night we were obviously good enough to get a tie and then a win in the shootout,” said Miami Coach Enrico Blasi. “Tonight we weren’t good enough. Ferris Sate took it to us and they deserved to win tonight.”
FSU’s Justin Lewandowski opened up the scoring with a quick wrist shot past freshman goalie Conner Knapp almost halfway through the first period. Lewandowski scored after taking a slick pass from Todd Pococke.
The physical play that was seen on Friday night continued on Saturday with both teams hitting hard. Things began to get nasty late in the first period as both teams had to send players to the box for roughing after the whistle.
Defensively, both goalies were strong. FSU’s Pat Nagle made 12 straight stops, keeping his team up 1-0, while Knapp also stopped 12 in the first.
Just under three minutes into the second period, Ferris State’s Casey Haines stole the puck away from a Miami defender in the neutral zone, put on a burst of speed and buried a shorthanded goal to make 2-0.
“I don’t think we were sharp tonight,” said Blasi. “Obviously Ferris came out hard and they did a lot of good things. We just couldn’t match their intensity and their play making.”
The mutual dislike between the two teams reared its head in the second period. About five minutes into the period, Ferris State’s Brendan Connolly and Miami’s Jarod Palmer were both saddled with two-minute minors for roughing after the whistle and 10-minute game misconducts.
Nagle made a remarkable glove save late in the second to keep his team up 2-0. Nagle stopped a Garry Steffes one-timer cold after Steffes was able to sneak past the Bulldogs’ defenders.
“That’s a game saver,” said Ferris State Coach Bob Daniels. “That’s a heartbreaker for them. I give a lot of credit to Nagle.”
The RedHawks finally broke through on Nagle in the third. Brian Kaufman put the RedHawks on the board with around seven minutes left in the game.
After surrendering a 2-1 lead Friday, the Bulldogs clamped down defensively in the third to preserve the win and get a split in the series.
“I’m proud of how they’ve been playing in the road games,” said Daniels. “I do feel though that we’re a long way from having a solid 60 minutes. We’ve got to learn how to drive a game like that home. I just felt like we needed to play more in their end of the rink to force the issue.”
Next week, Miami heads up to East Lansing, Michigan to take on the Michigan State Spartans. Ferris State heads out to the University of Nebraska-Omaha for a weekend tilt with the Mavericks.