BIG RAPIDS, Mich. — In a battle of the dogs, the Ferris State Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 over the University of Connecticut Huskies Friday night.
After a grinding first period from both teams, the Bulldogs scored two goals in the second frame to earn the win.
I think the team did a good job given the environment we’re in right now, said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. We have four forwards out tonight ill.
The first period was characterized by back-and-forth hockey with few chances for either team. Neither side could capitalize until Connecticut’s Daniel Naurato beat Ferris State goalie Taylor Nelson with just 33 seconds to play in the period. James Gallagher and Sean Ambrosie were able to dig the puck out from behind the Bulldog net with Ambrosie finding Naurato in the right circle for the goal.
Connecticut had four shots on two power plays but failed to capitalize, while Ferris State mustered just one shot on their lone man advantage of the period.
A holding penalty to Ferris State captain Cody Chupp started off the second period. However, the Huskies were unable to convert on the power play. They would go 0-7 and get just six shots with the man advantage in the game.
Following the penalty kill, the Bulldogs got on the scoreboard at the 3:34 mark of the frame. A Derek Graham shot from the right point trickled behind Connecticut’s starting net minder Brad McInnis. Michael Trebish and Matt Kirzinger received the assists after their breakout from the Ferris zone.
The Huskies faced a lot of pressure from Ferris’s power=play unit after taking back-to-back penalties following the Bulldog goal. A bench minor for too many men on the ice which was served by sophomore Marcello Ranallo was immediately followed by a grasping the facemask infraction to Andrew Olson.
The Huskies were able to fight off the disadvantage and fought back with one of their best chances of the night when Ranallo had all the time in the world in the low slot only to be foiled by Nelson.
McInnis was replaced by freshman Jeff Larson later in the second period when he was shaken up by a shot from Ferris State defenseman Scott Wietecha. Larson had 24 saves in taking the loss.
He’s a kid right out of midgets, said Connecticut head coach Bruce Marshall. I thought he played very well into the situation.
Connecticut failed to capitalize on a five minute major and game misconduct to Chupp for checking from behind in the second half of the period. They generated a few chances on a power play that was nullified by a Chris Waterstradt hooking penalty with just over four minutes to play in the second.
I don’t know where that came from, said Daniels. He [Chupp] just took a run at a guy. You’re not going to win too many hockey games taking those kinds of penalties.
The Bulldogs ended the game’s scoring when freshman Travis Ouellette deflected a Wietecha shot past Larson at the 18:29 mark of the second. Graham added the second assist on the play.
The third period belonged to the Huskies, but they were unable to find the tying goal. Their best chance came on a 2-on-1 that was waved off after video replay showed the puck was kicked into the goal.
The Huskies were able to gain momentum apply pressure after the no goal but Nelson was able to make the saves down the stretch. Marshall pulled Larson for an extra attacker in the last minute of play but Nelson made some key saves after Ferris State iced the puck twice.
I thought Taylor Nelson played really well for us, said Daniels. In the third period near the end, he made a number of big saves including one with about five seconds to go on a bang-bang play right out front.
Nelson had 26 saves in the victory; Ferris State held a 38-27 advantage in shots on goal.